MIAMI GARDENS — The Dolphins had just scored to go up 33-9.
Only 10:21 remained.
And the two head coaches are friends.
So why did the Dolphins attempt an onside kick at that point? One that was successful, after Aterraun Verner collected Cody Parkey’s kick?
“Just playing 60 minutes,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “We’re not going to slow down. I don’t care what the score is.”
After the Dolphins won 35-9, Broncos coach Vance Joseph — Gase’s defensive coordinator last year — was asked about the play.
“That’s his choice,” Joseph said. “I tried one also.”
But it’s one thing to try one when down 19-9, as Joseph did. It’s another when the score is getting out of hand.
“I was ready to go back out there,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said. “I’m trying to get a sack, a sack forced fumble. That’s the game. I’m not sitting on the sideline and saying, ‘Man why are you kicked the onside kick, just give us the ball.’ That’s loser football. If they want to kick an onside kick let them do it. We have to cover it. We have to get the ball back and we have to play. It’s the pros. If it was little league, yeah we would be upset but this is the pros.”
Parkey said the call came from the sideline and wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision he made.
“They definitely tell me what to do on every kick and I just try to go out and execute it,” Parkey said.
And the reasoning?
“I think we were just trying to win the game, honestly,” Parkey said. “Coach tells me what to do and I go ahead and do it. It’s as simple as that.”
Broncos running back C.J. Anderson was noncommittal.
“That’s Goose,” Anderson said. “I love Goose man. That’s Goose, though.”
Did it bother Anderson, who said Gase sensed “blood in the water”?
“It’s not my place to say,” he said.
Denver sportscaster Troy Renck said Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said there “had to be bad blood,” possibly Gase taking a shot at John Elway, who runs Denver’s football operations.
The play was debated on NBC’s Sunday night pregame show by analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison.
“I don’t think I would do that as a coach,” Dungy said.
Harrison: “It’s the pros. Be ready for anything.”