DAVIE — When Adam Gase’s news conference opened on Tuesday afternoon, he was asked 18 consecutive questions about Hurricane Irma.
Gase didn’t have any answers. And of course, that was not his fault.
Gase isn’t going to want to hear this, but if the Miami Dolphins win four or five or six games this season, it’s going to be said and written that it wasn’t Gase’s fault.
Oh, there may be some blame about a decision to punt instead of going for it on fourth down, or about why Gase started a certain journeyman guard over another, but before his second season has even kicked off, Gase has been dealt a series of truly unlucky hands.
Some thought it was unfair that the Dolphins opened last season on the road at Seattle and New England, two perennial juggernauts.
That was nothing compared to the series of body blows Gase has had to manage before this season.
A season-ending injury to starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
A season-ending injury to starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
A half-season injury to starting left guard Ted Larsen.
The Dolphins thought they were doing the right thing by asking the NFL to open the season at home, considering all the time and resources that have been put into picturesque Hard Rock Stadium.
Of course, Hurricane Irma had other ideas.
Of course, the Dolphins and Bucs would have preferred to play anywhere in Week 1, as opposed to delaying the game to their mutual bye week, forcing a schedule of 16 consecutive games.
The players in Miami’s locker room did not want that.
“Trust me, you don’t know what 16 straight weeks would do to your body,” one Dolphins veteran was telling a rookie who plays his position on Tuesday.
But that’s exactly what will happen for Miami, now forced to deal with perhaps one of the most difficult schedules in NFL history.
• Miami will play their first three games away from home — at Los Angeles, at New York and at London.
• In order to have a bye week in November, the Dolphins asked to play the week after London at home, which they’ll do. Of course, there is no longer a bye week in November.
• Miami will play only three of their first nine games in Miami Gardens.
• The Dolphins will also play two games in five days in October (a Sunday at Atlanta followed by a Thursday at home against the Jets).
Gase was able to steer the Dolphins through significant adversity in his first season, establishing confidence in the locker room and in the fan base with an unexpected 10 victories and a playoff appearance.
In 2016, Tannehill didn’t finish the season, nor did Mike Pouncey or Reshad Jones or Koa Misi or Byron Maxwell or Jordan Cameron or Jelani Jenkins.
Every team faces adversity. Every team loses at least a few key players to injury.
But all this is well above the mean.
Gase is a personable individual, capable of small talk with almost anyone of any background or with any job.
But it was clear on Tuesday that he was locked in on a season that will now not start as scheduled. Gase, like most coaches, is completely consumed by football.
“We’re going to keep preparing like we’re playing Sunday,” Gase said Tuesday. “Where and when, we really don’t care.”
It is safe to say Gase was not zoned in on The Weather Channel.
It is obviously of the utmost importance that the people of South Florida stay as safe as possible during what could be a potentially catastrophic natural disaster.
That is far, far more important than any football game or even season.
But Dolphins football is also important, not only to the players and coaches, but also to the South Florida community.
And so, it is our responsibility to also discuss how these off-field events may impact Miami’s season.
Gase has already exhibited strong leadership, confidence and management skills.
Once again, they’re about to be tested to the extreme.