Miami Dolphins: How Adam Gase crushed play design and calls vs. Pats

Head coach Adam Gase looking on during the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on Monday in Miami Gardens. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

DAVIE — Points are up, mistakes are down and creativity is in.

Adam Gase has the Miami Dolphins offense pointed in the right direction, and he deserves some props. Gase isn’t ready to take any bows, because the Bills are on docket and there’s no reason to think the Bills won’t beat the Dolphins if they don’t bring what they brought to the Pats last Monday.

Yes, they brought emotion and passion and better pre-snap focus and even some Madden spin moves (Kenyan Drake and even Jay Cutler) to Hard Rock Stadium. But Miami also won that game decisively because their head coach and play-caller, Gase, did a remarkable job of game-planning and game-day calling.

He is supposed to be an offensive guru. And he sure looked like one on Monday night.

I happened to see former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis strolling through the press box on Monday night, and dare I say: Adam Gase gives Miami a “decided schematic advantage.

Right after Miami’s win, quarterback Jay Cutler said Adam Gase was “dialing it up.”

And the Daily Dolphin wanted Cutler to expound upon that Friday. What exactly makes a great game plan and game-day calls?

“When number one is open,” Cutler said. “When that first guy in the progression is open. I think Adam was getting it in quick. There was no indecision. He had a good feel for what they were going to do. We were mixing it up. I think we kept them off-balance. We went to some different formations and personnel groups that we had. You can just tell in a play-callers voice, when they’re on a roll. And he was on one.”

Gase always takes blame when he feels he’s put his offense in a poor position to succeed. Lately, he’s been putting the Dolphins in a position to move the ball and score points.

“When a play-caller is hot,” Cutler explained. “Normally, one is going to be open.”

[RELATED STORY: The Tape Don’t Lie: Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, (More details on Adam Gase’s great night)]

In the last five weeks, the Dolphins are averaging 349.5 yards (12th in the NFL) and 24.8 points (11th).

In the previous nine weeks, Miami was averaging 275.0 yards (31st) and 15.2 points (32nd).

Gase would say that he had used all but about three of those play call calls against the Patriots before. But the plays he chose that night, and the order he ran them in, that night, is what separates average play-callers from great ones.

Asked about the improvements, Miami offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen noted Jay Cutler’s comfort level with the offense and red zone success. He also noted that Gase is doing well.

“There were some unique formations that (Gase) hit on,” Christensen said. “I do think that it’s not an exact science. It’s a feel thing. Sometimes you get hot and sometimes you don’t and sometimes you’re dialing them up and just everything is working. He dialed up some good stuff at good times. I think that probably Jakeem (Grant), even the shot he took there at the end, is probably a little out of the box and aggressive. It was a heck of a call and we had a chance and we didn’t execute that one; but there were a lot of things that were kind of unique that hit, which is a credit to him and even more so the players who execute them.”

Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills seemed reluctant to go into the specifics of things that have been working.

Gase utilized multiple formations, motions, play-action, personnel groupings, misdirection, bootlegs and most importantly, created mismatches. If Gase doesn’t think an opponent he’s studied on film can cover his guy, he’ll find a way to get them lined up together.

“That’s a tough question to answer without giving away our little secrets,” Stills said. “I think (Gase) found a way to get players out there to put points on the board and those players got out there and they played. He’s good at what he does and I feel like he was in a rhythm.”

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