Dolphins coach Adam Gase overhauls staff hoping for change in 2018

Adam Gase says goes into the 2018 season with a much different coaching staff. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

MIAMI GARDENS–A sick feeling permeated the Dolphins’ locker room on New Year’s Day as players cleaned up the clutter from a 6-10 season. It’d been in the back of some of their minds over the previous few weeks when they’d blown key games to squander their shot at the playoffs, and it hit hard knowing there was no longer anything they could do to fight it.

For many veterans, it was a familiar scene. Reshad Jones, a safety who’s been with the organization since 2010 and never appeared in a postseason game, looked around disgustedly.

“I think we’ve got the right guys in this locker room,” he said. “I’m not sure what we need to change but something has to change. I can’t put one finger on it right now.”

Personnel moves are surely coming, but coach Adam Gase’s began his attempt to cure Miami’s mediocrity by overhauling his staff. He’s preparing for the upcoming season with new position coaches at 5 of 8 spots, as well as some other additions, and a retooled power structure.

Several underperforming position groups will have new supervisors when they hit the field for Organized Team Activities this spring: offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, defensive line and defensive backs.

“Sometimes change is good,” safety T.J. McDonald said. “We definitely needed a little change, whether it was through the coaches or whatever it might have been, so if this is the first step they felt like we needed, then we’re all in.”

The biggest shift comes at the top of the Dolphins’ offense, where Gase replaced coordinator Clyde Christensen with Dowell Loggains. That’s more than merely swapping out nameplates on office doors.

Christensen has almost 40 years of experience in coaching and agreed to be Gase’s offensive coordinator knowing that title wouldn’t come with much, if any, authority since the head coach would still be calling plays and managing every detail. He was a vital advisor, but as he put it, “It’s his show, and I’m just dancing in it.”

It won’t be that way with Loggains at all. Gase won’t let go of play calling, of course, but he brought in a 37-year-old peer and is willing to delegate some aspects of the offense.

The offensive line has been a major concern during Gase’s two-year run, and it was a mess last season with the forced resignation of Chris Foerster. The Dolphins brought in Dave DeGuglielmo as an emergency option mid-season, Gase settled on Jeremiah Washburn last month as a permanent solution.

Washburn was the assistant o-line coach in 2016 and left to take the same job in Chicago last season. Miami is keeping Chris Kuper on as his assistant.

It’s likely no new coach faces more critical decisions than Washburn, who comes in without a starting five in place. With right tackle Ja’Wuan James possibly on his way out, Washburn has to figure out where to play guard/tackle Jesse Davis, whether guard Ted Larsen works better on the left or right side and how to get more out of left tackle Laremy Tunsil after a disappointing season.

Gase fired running backs coach Danny Barrett and replaced him with Eric Studesville, who he worked with in Denver. Studesville also holds the title of Run Game Coordinator. At receiver, he promoted longtime Dolphins staffer Ben Johnson from assistant position coach to the head job, and former receivers coach Shawn Jefferson is now the Assistant Head Coach.

Gase retained tight ends coach Shane Day despite that position being a debacle each of the last two seasons and kept quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree. Hardegree was responsible for most of Miami’s red zone scheming last season.

Defensively, the Dolphins shelled out the fourth-highest amount of money for a defensive line in the league and finished 26th in sacks. Kris Kocurek, Ndamukong Suh’s first NFL position coach, came in from the Lions to see if he can do what Terrell Williams couldn’t. Kocurek also coached in Detroit with Matt Burke, who is staying on as defensive coordinator.

Burke and Gase also made a change in the secondary after the team finished middle of the pack in passing yards allowed and in the bottom third of the NFL in opponent completion percentage and passer rating. The Dolphins intercepted nine passes out of 528 attempts against them last year.

There’s a sense that the talent isn’t the issue, and that must’ve been Gase’s thinking when he fired defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo. Tony Oden, who was freed up by the head-coaching change in Detroit, has already made a strong impression on the players.

“Coach Oden’s a really good coach, great guy,” cornerback Bobby McCain said. “I met with him a couple times… He knows what he’s doing. We’re happy to have him. We’re excited to get started.”

Miami is also giving former safety Renaldo Hill his first NFL coaching job. He jumped from the University of Pittsburgh to be Oden’s assistant.

At linebacker, another position of concern, the team is sticking with position coach Frank Bush and assistant Charlie Bullen.

All the new faces will make it a much different atmosphere for the Dolphins when they get back to football over the next few months, but it’s not just a shakeup for the sake of doing something. Gase obviously believes he’ll be more comfortable and effective in this setup, and ultimately his job is the one that’s at risk if the plan doesn’t work.

“I definitely trust what Coach Gase and everybody is doing,” McDonald said. “We’re gonna ride with it and buy in.”

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New Miami Dolphins OC Dowell Loggains: ‘We’ve got to do a better job’ with young talent

Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant breaks a tackle by inside linebacker Reggie Ragland of the Chiefs en route to a 65-yard touchdown in December. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It didn’t take Dowell Loggains long to learn one basic truth about the Dolphins’ offense.

“We have a talented group of young players that we’ve got to do a better job with next year than we did last year,” said Loggains, who is only a few weeks into his role as offensive coordinator of the Dolphins.

Loggains arrives from Chicago, where he served for two seasons in the same capacity. Because he had succeeded Adam Gase as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Loggains kept tabs on the Dolphins when Gase first came to Miami, although he admitted he’s having to “get caught up” on the offense’s performance from 2017.

The more he studies, the more he’ll see there’s work to be done following a season in which the team finished 25th in total offense and 28th in scoring. But already, he senses there’s a nucleus to work with at receiver, especially if the Dolphins can keep the group intact. Much revolves around Jarvis Landry’s impending free agency, the hope being Loggains can work with Landry (league-high 112 catches, 987 yards), Kenny Stills (847 yards), DeVante Parker (670 yards in another injury-plagued season) and Jakeem Grant (203 yards as he continues development).

“I’m really excited to sit down and talk to (assistant head coach Shawn) Jefferson and (receivers coach) Ben Johnson about those guys each individually,” Loggains said. “When you watch the tape, you see splash plays on splash plays. It could be a really good group.”

Collective-bargaining rules limit the type of contact coaches can have with players in the offseason, so Loggains said he and the other coaches will be “figuring out where we failed and where we need to get better going forward.”

The Lions and Steelers led the NFL with 16 passes of 40-plus yards. The Dolphins were tied for 25th with just five, but there was the late-season emergence of Grant, who finally was able to display his sprinter’s speed on offense with a 65-yard touchdown catch against the Chiefs.

The deep ball would give running back Kenyan Drake breathing room. Toward that end, the Dolphins know what they have in Stills, who has scored 15 touchdowns the past two years.

If Loggains can solve the Parker riddle, he’ll become the first to do so. Parker, the former first-rounder, was limited to 12 starts in 2017, which doubled his total of his first two seasons. In 42 games played, he has managed three 100-yard games, a total that most agree is not indicative of his athletic ability.

“We’re just got to keep coaching these guys hard to get them to where we want to go next year,” Loggains said.

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Dolphins OC Dowell Loggains looks to make QB Ryan Tannehill a star

Ryan Tannehill is now in Dowell Loggains’ hands. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

Ryan Tannehill might not have any familiarity with new Dolphins offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, but Loggains has a pretty good handle on what he’s getting into with his new quarterback.

He began scouting Tannehill in advance of the 2012 draft, when Loggains was the Titans’ offensive coordinator and he was a prospect at Texas A&M. Tennessee wasn’t really in the market for a quarterback after taking Jake Locker the year before, but Loggains liked what he saw and has followed Tannehill’s career since.

“I’m excited about working with him,” Loggains said today. “He’s a guy that’s got a lot of physical traits, and Adam (Gase) thinks a lot of him. I’m excited when the offseason starts to get in the classroom and start grinding on the field and doing those things to help him get better.”

Quarterback looms large for the Dolphins this offseason. Starting with Tannehill, the Dolphins believe he’ll be fully healthy by spring after losing last season to a knee injury. Assuming that proves true, the next step is for the team of Gase, Loggains and quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree to develop him into a franchise-changing quarterback.

To this point, Tannehill hasn’t been that. He’s been good at times, but not great. The upside, though, is that he seemed to be turning a corner under Gase in 2016.

Not only did he post career-highs in passer rating (93.5), completion percentage (67.1) and yards per attempt (7.7), he displayed a mobility that Gase believes is an absolute necessity for quarterbacks in the modern era. That’s another challenge for Tannehill in his recovery from the knee injury.

Loggains will also be tasked with grooming the talent behind Tannehill, which could include a high draft pick this year. The Dolphins will select 11th overall, and they’ll vet quarterback prospects like Baker Mayfield over the next three months.

They can also consider re-signing current backup David Fales, a 27-year-old in whom Gase sees great potential. Fales has bounced around three franchises since being drafted in the sixth round in 2014 and has appeared in three regular-season games.

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Who’s buried in Jakeem Grant’s shadow? Miami Dolphins’ 5-6 offensive coordinator

Then-Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains (right) talks with the much larger offensive lineman Cody Whitehair. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dowell Loggains is still settling into his new job as offensive coordinator of the Dolphins, but he already has one part of his game plans down pat, and it involves receiver Jakeem Grant.

“I’ll probably try to stand next to him as much as I can on TV games and pregame warmups,” Loggains joked.

You could say Loggains stands out in football circles.

In a literal sense, though, you cannot say he stands tall.

Loggains is 5-feet-6. Maybe. In some places you’ll find him listed at 5-5.

Either way, he’s about the same height as Grant, who’s listed at 5-7. That makes Loggains short for a football coach (writes the Daily Dolphin reporter equally short).

And Loggains is way short for a Division I football player, which he once was. He was a walk-on backup quarterback at Arkansas who spent most of his time as a holder. Upon being named offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2003, Roy Wittke took one look at Loggains and according to the Chicago Tribune thought, “I’m in the SEC, and this is one of the quarterbacks?”

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Speaking with the South Florida media Friday, Loggains explained how he managed to overcome obstacles.

“It was work ethic,” he said. “It was knowing your own limitations and knowing what you had to do to separate yourself when you’re playing with guys that are a lot more talented than you. You just work your tail off and put yourself in good situations.

“It’s kind of the same way with coaching. You might not always be the smartest guy. You have to know your own limitations and just try to work harder than the next guy. I think that’s how you get jobs in this league and stay in this league is just develop an unbelievable work ethic, try to out-work as many people as you can and have self-awareness.”

So Loggains should have no problem identifying with Grant.

“It wasn’t the size, it was when I watched that slip screen that he took to the house,” Loggains said, referring to Grant’s 65-yard touchdown against the Chiefs. “His play strength for being a small guy — he plays very physical and very strong. I’m really excited about him.”

He’s excited about watching him play. He’s excited about not having to look a foot up when coaching at least one of his players.

“I’ll enjoy talking and being able to look eye-to-eye with him,” Loggains said.

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New OC Dowell Loggains: Reunion with Dolphins coach Adam Gase ‘no-brainer’

The Dolphins officially announced Dowell Loggains as their new offensive coordinator today. (Getty Images)

New Dolphins offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains likes to get straight to business with no concern for hurting anyone’s feelings, and that makes him a good fit with coach Adam Gase as they hunker down to sift through everything they need to fix this offseason.

In his first two weeks on the job, unofficially, Loggains has been poring over this season’s game film and working late into the night with Gase. They worked together in Chicago three years ago with Gase as the coordinator and Loggains as his quarterbacks coach, and it’s been refreshing to resume their no-holds-barred debates on scheme and personnel.

“It’s very blunt and to the point,” Loggains said this afternoon. “When you have mutual respect for each other, you can cut through a lot of those things and get right to the point, and that’s something I’ve always appreciated about our football relationship.”

Loggains laughed knowingly when asked about Gase’s personality and how they deal with each other.

“I think you know why I laughed,” he said. “Adam’s a very, uh, passionate and intense person that loves football. Being around that has been enjoyable again, just someone with that passion about winning and wanting to have success that bad.”

Loggains, 37, is the focal point of Gase’s staff overhaul following a 6-10 season in which Miami scored the fifth-fewest points in the league and gave up the third-most. He replaces Clyde Christensen, who was reassigned to an advisor role as Director of Football & Player Development.

While Gase felt it was necessary to make a change, he will remain the Dolphins’ play caller as he was during each of his first two seasons as head coach. Loggains is another supposed quarterback whisperer for Ryan Tannehill and will work with position coach Bo Hardegree and Gase in that regard.

While there’s obviously going to be limited authority for Loggains because Gase is so hands-on with the offense, he jumped at the chance to reunite. Chicago fired head coach John Fox on Jan. 1, and Loggains was in South Florida the next day to meet with Gase. They had an agreement in place a day later.

“I’ve known Adam for a really long time,” Loggains said. “We have a really good working relationship and …. we see offensive football and quarterback play the same way, so for me it was a no-brainer when I had the chance to come here and join up with him.”

Loggains has watched the Dolphins from afar because of his bond with Gase and as he acquaints himself with the roster by studying this season’s tape, he’ll see there’s a mixed bag.

No issue has greater importance than Tannehill’s return from a knee injury that wrecked his last two seasons. He originally hurt it late in 2016 as the Dolphins were pushing toward the playoffs, then it gave out on him on a non-contact play in training camp last year. He’ll be 30 when camp starts this summer.

Prior to the initial injury, Tannehill was playing some of the best ball of his career and posted a 93.5 passer rating in his first year working with Gase.

As bad as Miami’s been on offense, Loggains inherits a good core of skill players with three talented receivers and two multi-dimensional running backs. All five of those players are 25 or younger.

Of that group, the Dolphins need to decide whether to re-sign receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Damien Williams, both of whom are unrestricted free agents this offseason. Kenny Stills is signed through 2020, Kenyan Drake has two years left and DeVante Parker is under club control through 2019.

The offensive line is another area of concern as the Dolphins explore the possibility of replacing Ja’Wuan James at right tackle and face the need to install at least one additional reliable starter.

“I can’t really comment because I wasn’t here, (but) I know we have a talented group of young players and we’ve gotta do a better job this coming year than we did last year,” Loggains said. “I’m really excited about … diving in with assistant coaches and figuring out where we failed and where we need to get better going forward.”

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Dolphins move OC Clyde Christensen to Director of Football & Player Development

Clyde Christensen is sticking around. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins are officially announcing Dowell Loggains as their new offensive coordinator today, but Clyde Christensen will remain on staff.

Christensen will take the title of Director of Football & Player Development, which will keep him heavily involved in practice, working with players and coaches and developing each week’s game plan.

When coach Adam Gase opted to bring in Loggains two weeks ago, he actively sought to keep Christensen on board and the two still have a great working relationship, a source said. Christensen, 61, is on board with the new arrangement because he enjoys working with Gase and liked the idea of being a mentor to Miami’s young players and coaches.

He will be a valuable resource to Loggains, who is 37.

Christensen was the offensive coordinator the last two seasons, though his role was to be an advisor to Gase. Gase retained control over play-calling and worked directly with the quarterbacks.

Miami was 28th in points scored and 25th in offensive yardage last season while going 6-10 and missing the playoffs.

The new job doesn’t sound drastically different for Christensen, who described his role this season as “Giving (Gase) some ideas and kind of manage the things underneath him, talk through some things… so he can focus on calling the game.”

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Lieser: Miami Dolphins set to make series of risky bets on 2018 offense

Adam Gase needs many things to come together for the Dolphins’ offense to rise in 2018. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

After two years of middling offense under coach Adam Gase, the Dolphins head toward next season hoping to hit it big on a parlay of personnel bets.

More than anything the team that scored the fifth-fewest points in the league last year and was right around the league median in passing hopes the healthy return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill will provide an immediate boost.

It’s also banking on a DeVante Parker breakout season and various solutions to emerge on the offensive line and at tight end. Then there’s Gase’s gamble at offensive coordinator, a position he filled with Dowell Loggains.

Gase is going into Year 3 of trying to fix what he’s called a “garbage” offense, and he needs pretty much all of those things to work out if he’s going to turn this around next season.

Tannehill will be the focal point of the offseason and preseason after missing all of last year because of a knee injury. He suffered a badly sprained ACL in his left knee late in the 2016 season, rehabbed it, then saw it give out on him on a non-contact play in training camp.

Not only does he have to come back healthy at 30 and still be a mobile threat, he has to continue the improvement he showed in his first year under Gase. Prior to getting hurt, he had a career-high 93.5 passer rating.

But that can’t be his cap. Tannehill was still more of a caretaker than a difference maker that season, and the Dolphins need him to be top-10 at his position. They drafted him eighth overall six years ago and still can’t say definitively whether he’s the answer.

From 2014 through ’16, giving him a pass on his first two seasons as he acclimated to the NFL, he was 14th in passer rating (91.5), 11th in touchdowns (70), 12th in yards per game (250), seventh in completion percentage (64.9) and threw the ninth-most interceptions (36).

That’s not bad, especially considering he did it behind an offensive line that got him sacked 120 times in 45 games. For his career, by the way, Tannehill’s been sacked once every 13.9 dropbacks.

Considering that progress and the fact that Gase oversaw the best six-game stretch of his career—nine touchdowns, one pick, 217 yards per game and a 104.7 rating—it’s logical to be optimistic about Tannehill’s growth. Considering he opted for an ACL surgery that’s worked for many other players, it’s logical to be optimistic about his health. So while counting on Tannehill isn’t a sure thing, it’s a reasonably smart bet.

Of course, keeping him healthy starts with fortifying his offensive line. The Dolphins feel good about how center Mike Pouncey held up this season, but the rest of the line is in question.

Left tackle Laremy Tunsil didn’t play as well as anyone thought he would, and Miami must decide whether right tackle Ja’Wuan James is worth his $9.3 million team option for next season. That would make him the most expensive lineman on the roster.

Ted Larsen will play one of the guard spots, and the Dolphins likely will put Jesse Davis in the other one or at right tackle depending on who they can get in free agency and the draft.

There’s a lot of TBD in this department, making it a risky wager.

The next bet is that Miami will have one of the top skill position groups in the league, and that hinges on the players themselves as well as Tannehill’s ability to make them better the way elite quarterbacks do.

The odds are good on Kenyan Drake, who proved to be exactly the kind of dual-threat running back Gase needed. They’re also favorable on Jarvis Landry, assuming the Dolphins bring him back, and Kenny Stills.

Parker’s a risky proposition. No one doubts his ability. Everyone doubts his durability.

The organization has been waiting for his breakout year ever since drafting him 14th overall in 2015. All of his coaches and teammates were sure it would happen this season, and it looked like he was headed that way after a great offseason and strong start to the season.

It fell apart when he got hurt about a month in, and he was never the same. Parker finished third on the team with 57 catches for 670 yards and one touchdown in 13 games.

Life would be easier for Parker and the other receivers if Miami had a tight end. That position has been a void for the Dolphins the last two years. In fact, they haven’t had one finish in the top 20 in catches at the position since Charles Clay in 2014.

To fix that, it’s time to draft a tight end high. There is no obvious answer in free agency this year, and it’s time for the Dolphins to quit filling this spot with stop-gaps. Despite this developing into one of the most important offensive positions leaguewide, Miami hasn’t drafted a tight end in the first two rounds since 1976.

Last year, the Dolphins were a few spots too low to take O.J. Howard and they passed on Evan Engram and David Njoku in favor of defensive end Charles Harris. The 2018 tight end class doesn’t look quite as loaded, but South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst could be a target early in the second round.

Hurst is 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and had 44 catches for 559 yards and two touchdowns as a junior before leaving school early for the draft. Maybe he, or some other prospect, will be the long-term answer, but counting on a rookie is dicey.

Then there’s Loggains, who is charged with helping Gase make this work. Gase dropped longtime NFL assistant Clyde Christensen at the end of the season in favor of Loggains, a 37-year-old who worked with him as Chicago’s quarterbacks coach in 2015.

Loggains has four seasons of experience as an offensive coordinator with Tennessee in 2012 and ’13 and with the Bears the last two years. The highest any of those teams ranked in points scored was 19th. That said, 19th doesn’t sound so bad to a team that was 28th this year.

Whether someone has confidence in Loggains depends on whether they have confidence in Gase. He believes this is the voice he needs.

If Gase is right on Loggains, and hits on the other areas, the Dolphins are a candidate to make a great leap like the Jaguars and Rams did this year. If not, next season’s going to be another mediocre chapter in this organization’s story.

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Dolphins coach Adam Gase continues staff shakeup with another firing

The Dolphins’ defensive line will have a new leader next year. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

As part of Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase’s ongoing renovation of his staff following a 6-10 season, the team is not bringing back veteran defensive line coach Terrell Williams.

Williams was let go today, a league source confirmed, making him the fourth assistant coach from last season who won’t be back next year. Gase already replaced offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen with Dowell Loggains, brought in Jeremiah Washburn as the new offensive line coach and fired running backs coach Danny Barrett.

The Dolphins’ defensive line might have needed a new voice after failing to play up to its $36.2 million cost last season. That was the fourth-highest paid d-line in the league, and Miami finished 26th in the league with 30 sacks.

Veterans Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh had excellent seasons, and Andre Branch’s frustrating year can be attributed mostly to injuries. Beyond that, the Dolphins need to develop several younger players like defensive end Charles Harris.

Williams was hired before Gase took the job in January 2016 and stayed on through the arrival of defensive coordinators Vance Joseph and Matt Burke. This is the first change on Burke’s staff after a season in which the defense was 29th in points allowed, 19th in yards per pass attempt and 17th in yards per rush.

Prior to his three years with the Dolphins, Williams coached in college and the pros since 1998.

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Adam Gase runs Dolphins’ offense, but OC Clyde Christensen gets booted?

Clyde Christensen is being replaced as Miami’s offensive coordinator. (Andres Leiva/The Post)

DAVIE—Clyde Christensen is losing his job over all the bad plays he didn’t call.

Christensen was the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator the last two seasons to help Adam Gase in his first NFL head-coaching gig. Now he’s out as Gase turns to Dowell Loggains to replace him after Miami spent another year in the bottom 10 of the league in total offense.

Who’s to blame for all the “garbage offense,” to use Gase’s term, South Florida has endured the last two years? Not Christensen.

Gase runs the offense, something 11 other head coaches do, and he’s relied on Christensen mostly as an advisor. Gase calls the plays and works directly with the quarterbacks.

He recruited Christensen at least in part because he had almost four decades experience coaching offense, including 20 with the Buccaneers and Colts. At 61, he’s also more than 20 years older than Gase. That’s an extremely helpful resource—if you’re somehow able to secure it.

It’s hard to picture many coaches with his résumé wanting to take a job like this, one in which the head coach was intent on maintaining total control. Christensen seemed to embrace the role of getting Gase’s career off and running.

When asked during the recent season to clarify his responsibility on the staff, Christensen described it as “giving him some ideas and kind of manage the things underneath him, talk through some things like ‘How do we get this thing back on track?’ so he can focus on calling the game.”

He continued, “It’s the same as it’s always been, just to be a complement to him. It’s his show, and I’m just dancing in it.”

That’s not Christensen being snarky, by the way. That was something he said very humbly and supportively in a press conference when Miami’s offense was at its worst.

A funny story emerged in the preseason when the wide receivers began complaining that Christensen threw the ball too hard during their warmup drills. That prompted some good chuckles, but also this question: Why was the offensive coordinator doing a job that could’ve been handled by an intern?

“We’ve got about four quarterback whisperers here, so I just moved over to the receivers,” he said, making a joke that really wasn’t a joke. When asked about Jay Cutler’s performance at one point this season, he deferred by saying, “I’ll let Coach deal with that just because he’s kind of handling him.”

It gets harder and harder to see where Christensen is at fault.

Gase and Christensen’s dynamic has always come across like a father-son relationship, an image that traces back to the days Gase and Sean McVay and a bunch of the league’s other up-and-coming offensive minds would huddle around Christensen at the NFL Combine like he was their grandpa.

“We’d all be sitting in the end zone, and there’d be Clyde Christensen,” Gase said. “And there’d be like a herd of all these guys in their mid-20s sitting around him listening to Peyton Manning stories.”

Christensen backed Gase at every turn, no matter how bad things looked when he opened his career with a 1-4 start or this season when his offense managed two touchdowns in the first three games. After being shut out by the Saints in London, there was Christensen counseling Gase in a corridor at Wembley Stadium.

If Christensen doesn’t remain on staff, or if he’s marginalized to the point that he’s no longer part of the inner circle, Gase is going to miss that voice. He’d benefit from keeping Christensen as close as possible, but that could be awkward after replacing him.

The man replacing him, Loggains, is 37 years old, spent exactly one season working with Gase and was the offensive coordinator of a Bears team that averaged 16.5 points per game last year (he had a rookie quarterback, to be fair). He was looking for work because Chicago fired coach John Fox last week.

It takes a lot of faith in Gase to believe this is the move that’s going to get Miami’s offense rolling, which is something people down here have craved more than anything. It’s not just that the Dolphins are perpetually mediocre, it’s that they’re boring. They haven’t had a top-10 offense since 2001.

Since Gase took over the Dolphins, they’ve scored the ninth-fewest points, gained the sixth-fewest yards, committed the seventh-most turnovers, posted the second-worst third-down conversion rate and ranked 18th in passer rating. Something definitely needs to change, and apparently he thinks this is it.

He’s surely feeling the pressure of turning that around, especially going 6-10 this year. That sets the stage for a pivotal—and tense—upcoming season. He’d better be right that Loggains is the one to help him navigate it.

[Ryan Tannehill’s 2018 return from knee injury at forefront of Dolphins’ minds]

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[Longtime tight end Anthony Fasano weighs his NFL future]

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