Where does Dolphins’ Adam Gase stand among 2016 NFL head coach hires?

Adam Gase hasn’t been great or terrible thus far. (AP)

Considering he hasn’t been fired and doesn’t have a winless season on his record, Dolphins coach Adam Gase is doing fine among his peers from the 2016 hiring class. Still having a job is pretty much the threshold for being considered a success among that group.

While there was certainly disappointment, among the fanbase and throughout the organization, over Miami going 6-10 last season, Gase is still .500 in regular-season games thanks to a 10-6 debut. The last Dolphins coach to finish .500 or better in his tenure was Dave Wannstedt from 2000 through ’04.

Following Wannstedt, Nick Saban went 15-17, Cam Cameron got fired after a 1-15 rookie year and has never gotten another head-coaching opportunity, Tony Sparano was 18-15 including a playoff loss in his first two seasons and Joe Philbin went 15-17 in his first two.

Seven teams hired coaches in the 2016 offseason, and San Francisco was the first to move on when it fired Chip Kelly for going 2-14. New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo got canned during this season when his team was 2-10, and a messy situation in Tennessee led to the dismissal of Mike Mularkey after going 9-7 in consecutive seasons and winning a playoff game this year.

Kelly is now the head coach at UCLA, and McAdoo is interviewing for coordinator jobs.

Among the seven coaches in the 2016 class, Gase’s .485 winning percentage (including playoffs) ranks behind Eagles coach Doug Pederson at .636 and Mularkey at .559. Pederson’s team is playing in the NFC championship game Sunday.

As for the rest of the class, Tampa Bay’s Dirk Koetter has gone 14-18 and Hue Jackson continues to look like he made a big mistake taking the Cleveland job after one win in two seasons. The Browns are bringing him back despite their 1-31 record under him.

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Mike Tannenbaum says both teams won 2016 Dolphins-Eagles trade

The Eagles probably wouldn’t have Carson Wentz without their trade with Miami. (Getty Images)

The Dolphins have been active on the trade market the past two offseasons under Mike Tannenbaum, and he recently offered some insight into how he views deals.

For Tannenbaum, it’s important not only to get good value on his trades, but also to make sure Miami maintains a reputation as an organization with which other teams are comfortable negotiating. When looking back at last year’s swap of the No. 8 pick for the Eagles’ No. 13, plus Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso, Tannenbaum takes pride in knowing the trade worked out for Philadelphia as well.

The Eagles were able to package that pick and others to get the No. 2 selection from Cleveland and take quarterback Carson Wentz. Miami, meanwhile, caught a big break with Laremy Tunsil plummeting to them at 13th.

“It’s really important that you have 31 trade partners,” Tannenbaum said. “And you really want to come up with solutions that work well for both teams.

“You go back to last year with Philadelphia, for example—I don’t want to speak for them, but I think they’re pretty happy with Carson Wentz. For us to get Tunsil, Maxwell and Kiko, we feel good about that. So I think it’s really important to be a good listener and to understand what the other team is trying to do.

“When it comes to Julius Thomas or Branden Albert, hopefully those are trades that (the Jaguars) feel good about as well, and we could work with them again in the future. Because in a cap system you have finite resources to get better. So I think trades is an area that you have to look at as a viable way to help yourself.”

In his rookie season, Wentz completed 62.4 percent of his passes, averaged 236.4 yards per game and had 16 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. Maxwell, Alonso and Tunsil, meanwhile, were all immediate starters for the Dolphins.

More recently, the Dolphins were on the brink of releasing Albert before they pulled that back to make a deal with Jacksonville. They sent Albert out for a seventh-round pick and sent back a seventh rounder to Jacksonville for Thomas. That kept either team from having to chase the player it wanted in free agency.

Miami also traded for Rams defensive end William Hayes, who figures to be a key part of the rotation this season.

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Tom Brady for 6-7 more years? ‘Great’ says Miami Dolphins’ Adam Gase

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady plays in the Super Bowl often. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

PHOENIX — The owner of the New England Patriots, a man named Robert Kraft, said this week that his quarterback, a man named Tom Brady, may play another six or seven years.

Perhaps you’ve heard of these two.

They win a lot. And Miami hasn’t won nearly enough since Brady’s arrival in Boston.

The Dolphins must spend a lot of time thinking about what the Patriots have done and how they can close the gap, and likely, when that darn Brady will finally retire.

So to hear this week that Brady, a man about to turn 40, may play forever – OK, maybe not forever – must have been frustrating for the good folks from South Florida.

Not so fast, my friend.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase doesn’t back down from a challenge. Even the best-looking, best-passing man on the planet. OK, so, the NFL.

“If he can play that long, that’s great,” Gase said, after an uncharacteristically long pause at a breakfast gathering with reporters Tuesday morning. “I mean, he’s great for the league.”

What Gase said next is the best part.

“And I think that our organization, we can’t be an organization to run and hide,” he said.

We won’t run and hide from Robert Kraft, or Bill Belichick, or Tom Brady, or anyone, Gase may have well implied. This man has moxie. This man understands that as Tony Robbins might say, “You gotta believe, with all your heart and soul, that you can and will beat the Patriots, before you beat the Patriots.”

Or, something like that.

Back to Gase.

“We should want to go against the best team, every year,” he said. “And the fact that they’re in our division, we should look at that as a great challenge. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We know that our goal has to be to win the division. Because we know if we do that then that means we’re probably pretty good.”

For the record, the man nicknamed Tom Terrific or Touchdown Tom or The Pharoah (really, The Pharoah?) is 20-9 against the Miami Dolphins in his career, with 52 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

He’ll retire. Eventually. We think.

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Anthony Steen and 6 other surprising likely NFL starters in Week 1

Miami Dolphins center Anthony Steen (65) at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on August 25, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins center Anthony Steen (65) at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on August 25, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Whether they’re rookies adapting quickly to the NFL, veterans finally getting a shot or backups stepping in for injured teammates, there are surprises on NFL teams’ depth charts every preseason. And 2016 is no different.

As the regular season approaches, here are seven of the most unexpected likely starters looking ahead to Week 1:

Anthony Steen, C, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins will likely have an unfamiliar face at center for their opener against the Seahawks, as Anthony Steen seems poised to start in place of the injured Mike Pouncey. Steen made his first ever start at the center position during Miami’s third preseason game. Despite one fumbled exchange, Steen drew praise from head coach Adam Gase, who liked his aggressiveness and physicality. Though it may only be temporary, an NFL player brand new to a position starting in place of a perennial Pro Bowler certainly qualifies as unexpected.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

“Jerry’s World” may just turn into “Dak’s Universe” if Prescott’s impressive preseason play carries over into the regular season. Initially it appeared that the terrific exhibition performance of the rookie out of Mississippi State would simply serve as a showcase of his future potential, as the fourth-round pick was expected to play backup to long-tenured Cowboys QB Tony Romo. Now, after Romo’s back injury that will leave him sidelined for an extended period of time, Prescott will get an early shot at leading “America’s Team.”

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) plays during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) plays during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

To the most ardent football fans, David Johnson’s starting role is no surprise. The 24-year-old had a stellar rookie season in 2015, amassing 581 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 125 carries. Johnson’s meteoric rise out of Northern Iowa means that many around the country are still unfamiliar with his work, but his distinction as a top fantasy running back option suggests people are starting to take notice.

Andy Lee, P, Carolina Panthers

To be clear, it’s no surprise that 12-year NFL veteran and three-time Pro Bowler Andy Lee will have a starting job in the NFL this fall. What is surprising is the team for which he’ll be punting. On Monday, the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers swapped punters (and draft picks) in a slightly unusual trade, with Lee headed to Carolina and Kasey Redfern going to Cleveland. Lee has the sixth-highest gross punting average in NFL history, and will fill a major hole on the Panthers’ special-teams unit.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

Last season, Tyler Eifert was selected to and played in the Pro Bowl. During the game, he suffered an ankle injury that required offseason surgery that will force him to miss several weeks early in the season, leaving the starting job — at the time — for backup Tyler Kroft. But Kroft suffered a knee sprain during training camp, and while he is aiming to return for the Bengals’ opener, it’s possible he won’t be ready in time. If that’s the case, C.J. Uzomah will likely step in as the starter. Uzomah is entering his second year in the league, though he made just one catch for four yards in 2015.

Florida Atlantic University defensive back D'Joun Smith, (21), returns an interception for the second touchdown of the first quarter against the University of Tulsa Sept. 13, 2014 at Howard Schnellenberger Field in Boca Raton. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)
Florida Atlantic University defensive back D’Joun Smith, (21), returns an interception for the second touchdown of the first quarter against the University of Tulsa Sept. 13, 2014 at Howard Schnellenberger Field in Boca Raton. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)

D’Joun Smith, CB, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts’ cornerback corps has been ravaged by injuries this offseason, so much so that head coach Chuck Pagano referred to the team’s situation as “scary.” Indianapolis has lost former Dolphin Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson and south Florida native Darius Butler to injuries. Before the injuries, it seemed that former FAU corner D’Joun Smith would be cut from the Colts. But now there is an opportunity for him to play significant time — or even start. Smith’s availability and ability will hinge on his health.

Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos

When the Broncos acquired Mark Sanchez this offseason, it was assumed that he would take over the starting quarterback role in Denver following the retirement of Peyton Manning. Instead, Sanchez lost that distinction to former seventh-round draft pick Trevor Siemian out of Northwestern, who outplayed Sanchez during the preseason. Siemian appeared in only one game for the Broncos last season and he did not throw a pass, rushing once for a one-yard loss.

Miami Dolphins RB Arian Foster says NASCAR’s Tony Stewart is ‘fueling hatred’ over Colin Kaepernick controversy

Dolphins running back Arian Foster says NASCAR's Tony Stewart is fueling hatred. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Dolphins running back Arian Foster lashed back at NASCAR’s Tony Stewart over Colin Kaepernick controversy. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE – Dolphins running back Arian Foster took exception to NASCAR legend Tony Stewart’s criticism of Colin Kaepernick on Twitter.

Foster shot back at Stewart on social media after Stewart tweeted that Kaepernick needs to learn the facts before “running his dumbass mouth!”

Stewart ended his tweet with the hashtag: idiot.

Foster, who has never met Stewart, responded by tweeting, “how about attempting to educate him via your views instead of fueling hatred. you can get ahold of him if you want.”

Foster told the Post on Tuesday that, “calling somebody a dumbass and an idiot is not only petty but it’s just not helpful.”

Added Foster: “You’re just fueling the hatred. Anytime of racial tension or political tension in this country is going to be one side vs. the other and you’re going to have people who aren’t necessarily educated to all the facts but they cling to what they feel their views are and what they relate to and people who represent those views.

“If you want to be part of the (solution) and you don’t want to fuel hatred, go get in touch with Colin Kaepernick. You’re in NASCAR. You can get in touch with anybody in the NFL if you wanted to, if you’re really interested in an open dialogue. It’s obvious that he’s not.”

Foster said Stewart is just pandering to his fan base.

“Obviously, he’s kind of a right wing, conservative, NASCAR. … that demographic. You’re fueling that demographic that isn’t necessarily educated about everything that’s going on in this country which is, in my views, destructive.

“It’s all about how you approach it. If you approach it by dismissing a man and his views without trying to have an open dialogue and understand where he’s coming from then you’re just part of the problem. If you want to be part of the solution then have open dialogue, which is where I’m at in my life. When I was younger I probably would have shout back at him.”

Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, refused to stand for the national anthem last week as a protest against some of the country’s social and racial problems. He said he will continue the practice until change occurs.

Kaepernick has received criticism from those who believe he is causing a distraction. Foster, though, does not believe in distractions. He said the word is “a made up term for athletes to stay in line and for athletes to not do anything controversial.”

Foster avoids “distractions” by removing himself from the situation.

“Don’t watch the news, stay off social media,” he said. “Don’t talk to him because he’s very passionate about it.

“It’s their choice if they want to be distracted.”

Foster, 30, considers himself a socially conscious person who speaks his mind. He has sought out people who have suffered injustices to learn more about their plight, including his father who grew up in a time in Carson, Calif., when he had to be in his house when the street lights came on.

“At this juncture in my life I’m really about solutions,” Foster said. “The big problem now is nobody really knows what to do. The protests you see with the Black Lives Matter movement and with Colin Kaepernick, we want to do something but we don’t know what to do.

“We’re looking for answers. I don’t have the answers.”

 

 

 

 

6 NFL veterans in jeopardy of losing their jobs to rookies

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Dallas Thomas (70) (right) works against Miami Dolphins center Sam Brenner (65) at Dolphins training camp on July 27, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Dallas Thomas (70) (right) works against Miami Dolphins center Sam Brenner (65) at Dolphins training camp on July 27, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Every incoming batch of NFL rookies brings optimism and expectations to fan bases and front offices around the league. As younger and, in some cases, more athletic bodies are brought in to compete for starting jobs, some elder statesmen find themselves fighting for their jobs.

As the 2016 NFL Draft class looks to make its impact on the league, here are some veterans that may find themselves on the outside looking in with regard to playing time.

Case Keenum, Los Angeles Rams

After being selected first overall in the draft, Jared Goff enters the season with sky-high expectations, expectations that begin with him winning the starting QB job at some point this year. If that were to come to fruition, it would leave 28-year-old veteran Case Keenum in a backup role. Keenum has appeared in 16 games over the course of his three years in the NFL, throwing for 3,023 yards and 15 touchdown, while also throwing nine interceptions and fumbling eight times. This will be his second year with the Rams, though he only played in six games last season. Goff and Keenum will likely spend much of the preseason locked in a battle to win the starting role.

Frostee Rucker, Arizona Cardinals

Rucker has spent his last three seasons in Arizona, and he has been solid in his role. The 32-year-old defensive end is coming off a 2015 campaign that saw him collect 28 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 13 starts. Despite still being productive after 10 NFL seasons, the first-round draft choice of defensive end Robert Nkemdiche may point toward the team beginning to gear up for the post-Rucker era. Nkemdiche was selected 29th overall after posting a 26-tackle, three-sack season in 10 games at Ole Miss. Though the team may ultimately decide to play Rucker over Nkemdiche, the rookie should give the veteran a run for his money.

Kellen Moore #17 hands off to Darren McFadden #20 of the Dallas Cowboys against the Washington Redskins during the first half at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kellen Moore #17 hands off to Darren McFadden #20 of the Dallas Cowboys against the Washington Redskins during the first half at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys

The battle for the Cowboys’ starting running-back spot may have been decided already, as Darren McFadden may miss the season opener with a broken elbow. McFadden was set to battle first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott for the starting role, but now it appears that Elliott may have a clear path to the job. Elliott, the fourth pick in last year’s draft, has had a turbulent offseason after he was accused of domestic violence, though he has denied the allegation.

Glenn Dorsey, San Francisco 49ers

In 2013, Dorsey’s first year with the 49ers, the defensive end put together an impressive season, making 41 tackles and two sacks in 13 starts, but he then missed the entire 2014 season. Dorsey returned in 2015 to play in 10 games and make 18 tackles. The 31-year-old will now face competition in camp after the 49ers selected defensive end DeForest Buckner with the seventh pick in the draft. Buckner put up monster numbers in his final year at Oregon, making 45 tackles and collecting 10.5 sacks in 13 games. Buckner’s college numbers, as well as his position in the draft, point to the talent and potential that the rookie possesses. If the 49ers choose to explore that potential immediately, it could leave Dorsey on the bench.

DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans

Murray isn’t the only new running back to arrive in Tennessee this offseason, as the Titans also snagged Derrick Henry in the second round of the draft. The two are slated to compete for playing time with the Titans, with Murray considered the early favorite based on track record. Murray gained 702 yards on 193 carries as a Philadelphia Eagle in 2015, and he will enter 2016 just two years removed from a 1,845-yard, 13-touchdown season with the Cowboys. In Henry’s senior season at Alabama, he put up some incredible numbers in his own right, rushing for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns on 395 carries. While they may split time in the backfield for the Titans, it may be a season-long battle between Murray and Henry for the starting role.

Dallas Thomas, Miami Dolphins

Dolphins fans may want to give their team’s guard play a closer look this preseason. The Dolphins drafted Laremy Tunsil with the 13th pick in the Draft with the expectation that he’ll help bolster the offensive line in front of Ryan Tannehill. To do so, Tunsil would have to garner significant playing time, and Dallas Thomas may be the man from whom he takes that playing time. The Dolphins have said that Tunsil will have to earn the starting job, meaning that Thomas has the opportunity to remain the No. 1 if he impresses in training camp. On the flip side, the Dolphins invested their first pick in Tunsil and may be anxious to see what he can do at the professional level.

5 things to know about recently reinstated Dolphin Dion Jordan

Dion Jordan #95 of the Miami Dolphins reacts to winning a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Dion Jordan #95 of the Miami Dolphins reacts to winning a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Friday. The 26-year-old is scheduled to return after missing the entire 2015 season due to a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. His return is predicated on passing a re-evaluation, which will take place before the start of the season, following counseling.

Jordan, who was also suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season and another four games later that same season, will look to turn this third “second” chance into a productive season.

Here are five things to remember about Dion Jordan.

  • He was the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft

The Dolphins selected Jordan No. 3 after acquiring the draft pick from the Oakland Raiders. The only players selected above him were offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. The first skill player selected in that draft was Tavon Austin, who went to the Rams at No. 8. Other notable players picked after Jordan include Packers running back Eddie Lacy and Steelers back Le’Veon Bell.

  • He was a dominant player at Oregon

Jordan spent four years at the University of Oregon, where he really just ran over opponents. In his sophomore season, he made 33 total tackles, 5.5 for a loss, with two sacks. He followed that up as a junior by posting 42 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks the next season. His senior season saw a drop in some of his numbers, as he made 44 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks, but he did force three fumbles that year.

  • He ran track and field in high school

As a high schooler at Chandler High School in Arizona, Jordan ran track and field. He competed in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles, as well as the shot put and long jump. In 2008, his senior season, he set a personal record of 14.38 seconds in the 110m hurdles at the state championships. His personal record in the 300m hurdles was 38.95 seconds.

  • He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2013

Jordan announced at the NFL Draft Combine in 2013 that he would undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum. The surgery took between three and four months to heal and largely derailed the summer before his rookie season. However, Jordan was able to recover and appear in 16 games that year, making 19 tackles and two sacks.

  • He is signed through 2017

If Jordan can put together a productive season, the Dolphins would still have him under contract for another year — relatively inexpensively, too. This year, Jordan is set to cost the Dolphins a $5.4 million cap hit, but next season, that cap hit is reduced to $3.2 million. Should he put it together, Jordan still has time to give the Dolphins some value from his rookie contract.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill looks back at ‘special moment’ of birth of first child

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) receives a kiss from his wife Lauren after practice at Dolphins training camp on July 27, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) receives a kiss from his wife Lauren after practice at Dolphins training camp on July 27, 2013. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Ryan Tannehill has had a busy week.

The Dolphins quarterback took part in the team’s first training camp practice Friday and he celebrated his 28th birthday on Wednesday. If that’s not enough, Tannehill and his wife Lauren welcomed their first child, a baby boy, to the world on Sunday. Continue reading “Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill looks back at ‘special moment’ of birth of first child”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross predicts stadium will be done in time

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at press conference to introduce new head coach Adam Gase at Dolphins training camp facility in Davie, FL on Jan. 9, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at press conference to introduce new head coach Adam Gase at Dolphins training camp facility in Davie, FL on Jan. 9, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said the “last piece of steel” is going up at the stadium today and predicted the facility will be ready for the Sept. 1 preseason game against Tennessee, which will be the first event in the renovated structure.

“I know we will be playing,” Ross said in his most definitive vote of confidence yet.

Speculation crept up throughout the summer that the project was behind schedule, flamed in part by the third preseason game against Atlanta being moved to Orlando. But the Dolphins say that move was done to accommodate a request by the NFL rather than to buy time.

The latest price tag on the work, highlighted by a canopy to shield fans from the sun and rain, is $500,000. When work began, it was $350,000.

Ross said even though games will be played at the soon-to-be renamed stadium starting in early September, minor work, including cosmetic, will continue as the regular season starts.

Ross expects the general reaction to be that installing a canopy “looks easy,” but it has been so complex that he has been on the phone, checking up on things, every day since January from his New York base.

“There’s no way you can be late,” he said.

2016 training camp preview: How good is the Miami Dolphins 2016 draft class?

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Leonte Carroo (88) at Dolphins mini camp in Davie, Florida on June 15, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Leonte Carroo (88) at Dolphins mini camp in Davie, Florida on June 15, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Note: With Dolphins training camp set to begin today, the Palm Beach Post used the past week to take a look at the five biggest questions surrounding the team. We conclude our training camp preview with a look at which rookies can make an immediate impact for Miami this season. For a look at the other questions we discussed this week, check the bottom of this post.

It’s never wise to rely on rookies.

But the Dolphins are hoping a few first-year players can make an immediate impact this season. Miami’s 2016 draft class is made up of eight players, including six on offense. Continue reading “2016 training camp preview: How good is the Miami Dolphins 2016 draft class?”