5 Miami Dolphins dealing with intense pressure on MNF tonight

Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker juggles the ball over Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan and comes down with the reception (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

The last time the Dolphins played the Patriots, which was pretty much two weeks ago, Miami fell into 14-0, 21-7 and 28-10 holes en route to a 35-17 defeat. Oh, there were some other trouble factoids, too.

Tom Brady tossed 4 touchdowns and Matt Moore was sacked  7 times and Kenyan Drake gained 2.2 yards per rush.

The Patriots pretty much always beat the Patriots and the Dolphins are once again huge underdogs tonight and, oh yeah, they’re 0-4 on national televised games this year, which means The Daily Dolphin may not have so many late nights next fall.

But as for tonight, if some sort of holiday magic occurs, and the Dolphins stun the football world at Hard Rock Stadium, they would actually improve to 6-7 and be squarely back in the AFC Playoff race. This is Miami’s “bowl” game. The season could all-but-officially end tonight.

And so for the unexpected to happen, these fellas in old-school aqua and orange unis must come through:

• Alterraun Verner, cornerback — Verner did a nice job in relief of injured Cordrea Tankersley last Sunday. Of course Verner was facing Trevor Siemian and not Tom Brady, which is sort of like eating Froot Loops for dinner instead of Filet Mignon. Verner has a Pro Bowl pedigree, so it’s not like he’s chopped liver, to continue with the food theme. (There are some excellent new food choices at The Rock this season.) Do people really enjoy chopped liver? Look, Miami’s secondary was a mess against New England two weeks ago. Perhaps Verner’s veteran status will help ease the communication burden that weighed down the group then. Verner addressed facing Brady and company in the Daily Dolphin this week.

• Jay Cutler, quarterback — There are as many as four games left in the Jay Cutler Dolphins era, and probably no more. Perhaps there are four games left in Cutler’s career. He’s sort of been as advertised. Some up some down. Five wins. Five losses. 15 touchdowns, 11 interceptions. A passer rating similar to his career average, but not nearly as good as when he was with Adam Gase in 2015 in Chicago. Cutler conceded facing the Patriots is challenging. He hasn’t beaten them in three tries, of course neither has Gase, so that’s something they have in common. Maybe Cutler beats the Patriots, on a Monday night, and that’s a part of his Dolphins legacy we remember forever. I mean, if he did, we would, right?

• Mike Pouncey, center  — We could just as easily put Laremy Tunsil here. The rookie left tackle (hey, we said rookie left tackle) hasn’t gotten to where he needs to be, and acknowledged this week he’s working to master his practice habits. We could just as easily put Sam Young here, as the backup is projected to start at right tackle again for Miami. But we’ll put Pouncey here, because he’s the Dolphins offensive lineman most responsible to make sure that Patriots defenders don’t run clean though the line tonight. He’s the Dolphins offensive lineman who is more directly responsible to make sure the protection calls are right.

• Cam Wake, defensive end — Wake had five quarterback hits on Tom Brady, and one sack, in the last meeting. How many of these big stage moments does Wake have left as a Dolphin? The Dolphins got eight quarterback hits on Brady last game, which is great, though only the one sack, which is less great. Wake could use some help from Andre Branch or Charles Harris, because you have to figure the Patriots are going to make some adjustments and take their chances with the other guys. For Miami to have a chance, they must force a few uncharacteristic Patriots turnovers. One of those Wake sack-fumble-recovery deals with be a nice step in the right direction.

• DeVante Parker, wide receiver — Everyone is down on Parker, including himself, an understandably so. Parker has gone over 100 yards only three times in his young career, but twice actually came against New England, in back to back games at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. In video shot by NFL Films during the last meeting between these teams, Patriots coach Bill Belichick indicated he wanted to repeatedly double-team Jarvis Landry. Obviously Belichick doesn’t mind leaving Parker one-on-one. After that game, Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore indicated he can tell what routes Parker is about to run and is running, in part because Miami’s offense is not all that complex. Ouch. Parker has too much talent to suck this bad, for this long. Maybe tonight, somehow, he rediscovers his confidence.

How the Dolphins approach facing Patriots twice in three weeks

Jarvis Landry, on eve of Patriots clash: ‘Take the air out of the ball.’

Jarvis Landry doesn’t fear Bill Belichick double-teams: ‘I’m still open.’

Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills blossoms as player; team and community leader

Miami Dolphins’ OT Laremy Tunsil explains his lackluster second season

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Miami Dolphins: Best of Daily Dolphin player Q&A’s

Jarvis Landry opened up about how growing up in Louisiana helped form him as a person. Here is a look at some of the memorable 2016 Daily Dolphin quotes. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

One of the most enjoyable parts of the 2016 season for the Daily Dolphin was conducting some get-to-know-you Q&A’s with Miami Dolphins players.

Here are some of the best lines from those interviews, along with easy links in case you missed some or all of these last season:

Q: What is it like when you’re in a game and you know that a defensive back knows that he can’t cover you?

Jarvis Landry: “That’s like every game for me.”

Get to Know Jarvis Landry


Q: Toughest teammate you’ve ever had?

Mike Pouncey: “Richie Incognito. I love the way he approaches the game. He’s a physical football player. You can tell the way he plays that he really loves the game.”


Q: Which teammate has more strength than people realize?

Kenny Stills: “Ryan (Tannehill) is one of the strongest guys on the team. In every category, he’s strong. He is a beast.”

Get to Know Kenny Stills


Q: What would you do if you were not a professional athlete?

Kenyan Drake: “Astronaut. Space exploration. Astronomy. Astronautical engineering.”

Get to Know Kenyan Drake



Q: Which player could drag a 12-foot Christmas tree the furthest in five minutes?

Ja’Wuan James: “I would say (Ndamukong) Suh. He’s a strong guy. He does a lot of weird workouts. I could see him pulling a Christmas tree 10 miles.”

Get to Know Ja’Wuan James


Q: Who would finish 1-2-3 in a Miami Dolphins 40-yard dash 10 minutes from now on the practice field?

Jakeem Grant: “Me at one. At two, (Kenyan) Drake. Three, maybe Kenny Stills. I will say, Lafayette Pitts has showed me he is fast. I have seen the tape. I have seen him chasing Kenny Stills. He shocked me he’s so fast.”

Get to Know Jakeem Grant



Q: Who is your toughest teammate?

Laremy Tunsil: “(Jermon) Bushrod. Hands down. He’s a savage man. Hasn’t missed a snap yet. A lot of respect to that guy. Who has been battling. He’s a vet. Imagine how your body feels after 10 years. He hasn’t missed a down. Hasn’t missed a snap. Hasn’t missed a practice. Even training camp. That’s a lot of respect to him.”

Get to Know Laremy Tunsil


Q: At what time on what day after a typical Sunday afternoon game does your body feel good?

Jermon Bushrod: “(Long pause). Probably a week after the season’s done. (Long laugh.) And that’s the truth. Ehh. I start coming around about Wednesday, Thursday.”

Get to Know Jermon Bushrod


Q: What three words you would use to describe coach Adam Gase?

Michael Thomas: “Strategic. Motivated. Relatable.”

Get to Know Michael Thomas


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Dolphins’ Adam Gase: Jermon Bushrod was 2nd-best lineman last year

The Dolphins are very upbeat about Jermon Bushrod in 2017. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

PHOENIX—There’s a perception that Dolphins right guard Jermon Bushrod had a rough season in 2016. The o-line was inconsistent throughout the year, Bushrod said multiple times he wasn’t playing as well as he thought he should, he played hurt most of the year, he considered retirement and Pro Football Focus ranked him the No. 69 guard in the NFL.

Miami coach Adam Gase disputes that.

He bristled at a question that suggested Bushrod didn’t have a great season and defended him by saying he graded out as the team’s best lineman other than Mike Pouncey.

“For a guy that that’s the first time he’s ever played right guard after playing left tackle his whole career, I thought he did a pretty good job,” Gase said this morning. “We’re actually looking to get better from last year because he’s coming in knowing what to do. We can actually treat him like a veteran player.”

That last part means the Dolphins hope to cut back his reps in practice, which wasn’t an option last year. Because of the position change, Bushrod was taking almost as many reps as rookie Laremy Tunsil on a daily basis.

Even with Bushrod turning 33 in August, Gase thinks he’ll improve this season. He does not view bringing back Bushrod, who considered retiring before re-signing March 16, as a last resort.

“When you go into free agency, you kinda stack your free agents with everybody else’s and see where your guys stack up,” Gase said. “And he fit into what we wanted to do.”

As far as the retirement possibility, there wasn’t much persuading necessary. Bushrod and Gase met about a week after the season, and Bushrod told him he wanted to keep playing. Gase advised that he take a full month to be sure of his decision, and their follow-up was straightforward.

“You want to go another round, don’t you?” Gase said.

Bushrod replied, “Absolutely.”

[Dolphins submit a few requests to NFL regarding their 2017 schedule]

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[Dolphins admit Dion Jordan hasn’t worked out well for them]

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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.

Miami Dolphins plan for Mike Pouncey: ’16-plus games’

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill really almost returned in playoffs

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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad | Version 1.0

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Miami Dolphins plan for Mike Pouncey: ’16-plus games’

The Miami Dolphins are counting on center Mike Pouncey. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

PHOENIX — The best Miami Dolphins offensive lineman played only five games last season.

Coach Adam Gase has a different expectation for center Mike Pouncey in 2017.

“I’m going to do everything to make sure Mike’s out there for, I always tell him, 16-plus games,” Gase said Tuesday. “That’s the goal from here on out. That’s the only thing I’m going to talk to him about. I’m not going to talk to him about not missing games. It’s not going to come from a negative light for me. I’m going to talk about him playing 16-plus games.”

Due to injuries, including hip surgeries, Pouncey also missed two games in 2013, four games in 2014 and two games in 2015. The Dolphins shut Pouncey down at the end of the last season, when he wanted to play, with a look ahead to this season and more.

Gase believes Pouncey will be available on Sundays.

“I’m going to have a lot of confidence, because of who it is,” Gase said. “I’m not going to just turn my back on I think the best center in football. I’ll roll the dice with him for as long as I can because that’s how good he is. That’s how much he means to our organization.”

Ted Larsen, signed to play guard, probably left guard, can also play emergency center. And the Dolphins might also add a guard/center in April’s NFL Draft.

“We’re always going to have good contingency plans if something happens,” Gase said. “No one is ever going to be as good as him. It’s just a fact. He’s that good. And he makes that big of a difference for us.”

And so the Dolphins may limit how many practice reps and preseason snaps Pouncey takes.

“If you see him out there in bubble wrap,” Gase quipped, “Mike doesn’t need a lot of practice reps. We’re going to do what we need to do to make sure he’s ready. And after that I’m going to find out how many snaps we need him to take, if any. And then my goal is to get him out there on Sunday.”

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Bold Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase bows to no opponent

Miami Dolphins: Linebacker unit ‘headed in right direction’

Miami Dolphins ‘open’ to adding another guard

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad | Version 1.0

Get Dolphins stories right to your Facebook by liking this page

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill really almost returned in playoffs

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill nearly returned last season from what was initially feared to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

PHOENIX — Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill may have returned if the team had beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers and advanced in the NFL playoffs, coach Adam Gase said Tuesday.

Tannehill had returned to limited practice and was pushing Gase and the team hard for a return from a knee sprain. Nearly three months later, it sounds like Tannehill very well might have been successful in his plea if the team had won a game with Matt Moore as starter.

“I think it would have been really hard for us to keep him off the field for that game,” Gase said. “It probably would have come down to us as a coaching staff making a decision what was best for him. And that would have been a tough one for us. Because you want to do what’s best for the team and best for the organization but when your starting quarterback is basically saying I can go.”

Gase noted that Tannehill has a stronger personality behind closed doors than is often presented publicly.

“I don’t know if you guys have ever seen Ryan get mad but it’s he’s very persuasive,” Gase said. “I know he comes across as very mild-mannered but there is a side to him that is a competitive side that not a lot of people get to see. And you know that’s what you want out of your starting quarterback.”

We’ll never know for sure. Because the Dolphins lost. And the final decision never actually had to be made.

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Miami Dolphins ‘open’ to adding another guard

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad | Version 1.0

Get Dolphins stories right to your Facebook by liking this page

How the Miami Dolphins compare to New England Patriots, at the moment

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady #12 in action against the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, February 5, 2017 in Houston, TX. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

There are free agents to be signed and players to be drafted. And yes, the Miami Dolphins say publicly they need to focus on what they’re doing and how they’re growing as an organization, not the Patriots. Or Bills. Or Jets.

OK. Really, or Patriots.

But how can you ignore a franchise that wins year after year and seems to add players of note, without giving up much, year after year?

The Patriots have already added Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, Dwayne Allen, Kona Ealey and Rex Burkhead and re-signed Dont’a Hightower, Duron Harmon and Alan Branch this off-season, moving draft choices and spending money, well, right after another Super Bowl win.

But the Dolphins are moving in the right direction, too. Will there come a moment (after Tom Brady’s retirement?) where Miami passes New England? Who knows. But here’s a look at how each team’s top talent ranks according to Pro Football Focus, at one moment in time, a few days into 2017 Free Agency.

These edges were determined by using the best average at each position among players expected to contribute significantly (at the moment). Any tie went to the team with the highest-ranked player.

Based solely on these Pro Football Focus ranking averages these are the positions each team has an edge in:

New England (6) — Quarterback, Offensive Line, Tight End, Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety

Miami (3) — Running Back, Wide Receiver, Defensive Line

Based solely on these Pro Football Focus rankings, here are the Top 10 (star-caliber) players for each team:

New England (5) — Tom Brady (1), Rob Gronkowski (2), Marcus Cannon (3), Devin McCourty (4), Malcolm Butler (7).

Miami (5) — Jay Ajayi (3), Ndamukong Suh (4), Reshad Jones (6), Jarvis Landry (9), , Cameron Wake (10).


QUARTERBACK (Edge: New England)

New England — Tom Brady (1)

Miami — Ryan Tannehill (15)

RUNNING BACK (Edge: Miami)

New England — James White (29)

Miami — Jay Ajayi (3)


New England — Julian Edelman (21); Brandin Cooks (28); Chris Hogan (63); Danny Amendola (65)

Miami — Jarvis Landry (9); DeVante Parker (26); Kenny Stills (53)

OFFENSIVE LINE (Edge: New England)

New England — Marcus Cannon (3); Shaq Mason (15); Nate Solder (19); David Andrews (22); Joe Thuney (46);

Miami — Ja’Wuan James (32); Laremy Tunsil (41); Ted Larsen (44); Mike Pouncey (UR);  Kraig Urbik (UR)

TIGHT END (Edge: New England)

New England — Rob Gronkowski (2); Dwayne Allen (41)

Miami — Anthony Fasano (15); Julius Thomas (28)


New England — Alan Branch (25); Malcom Brown (31); Trey Flowers (31); Lawrence Guy (38); Shea McClellin (67); Kony Ealy (78); Rob Ninkovich (86)

Miami —Ndamukong Suh (4); Cameron Wake (10); William Hayes (17); Jordan Phillips (56); Andre Branch (70); Terrence Fede (UR)

LINEBACKER (Edge: New England)

New England — Dont’a Hightower (12); Kyle Van Noy (53); Elandon Roberts (54); Jonathan Freeny (UR)

Miami — Kiko Alonso (48); Lawrence Timmons (70); Neville Hewitt (75); Koa Misi (UR)

CORNERBACK (Edge: New England)

New England — Malcolm Butler (7, RFA); Eric Rowe (57); Stephon Gilmore (61); Justin Coleman (UR)

Miami —Byron Maxwell (11); Bobby McCain (68); Tony Lippett (75); Xavien Howard (78)

SAFETY (Edge: New England)

New England — Devin McCourty (4); Duron Harmon (54); Patrick Chung (82)

Miami — Reshad Jones (6); Michael Thomas (83); Nate Allen (UR)

Before blasting an NFL contract as ‘ridiculous!’ consider Isa Abdul-Quddus

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Before blasting an NFL contract as ‘ridiculous!’ consider Isa Abdul-Quddus

Isa Abdul-Quddus of the Miami Dolphins is walked off the field by trainers during the second half against the Buffalo Bills on December 24, 2016. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

It was the third roster transaction in a news release sent on the second day of NFL free agency.

Because it was a business transaction and the NFL is business.

But in the excitement of the Miami Dolphins re-signing wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive end Andre Branch and extending safety Reshad Jones, this name should not be forgotten.

Isa Abdul-Quddus.

The statement described his release from the club as simply “waived/failed physical.”

The truth is, at the age of 27, due to a neck/shoulder injury, Abdul-Quddus is not expected to play football again.

As it was described to me, Abdul-Quddus’ injury was unfortunate and unusual, even for a football player. It was the type of injury that usually occurs after a car crash.

One play. One snap. On a Christmas Eve day in Buffalo. The reason why NFL players often say they aim to play each snap as if it’s their last. Because, literally, it may be.

This is also the reason why some of us should pause before flexing our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram muscles, proclaiming that Player X “in no way deserves that $8 million a year contract! Ridiculous!”

Because, frankly, these NFL players should collect every penny they can get.

And none of us should begrudge it. For look at the risk they take.

Abdul-Quddus was an underrated safety. Last year, he flinched when I told him I might write he was one of the most underrated safeties in the NFL.

“Yeah, they’ve been saying that for a while,” Abdul-Quddus said with a smile.

“New idea,” I told him the next day. “What if I write, ‘It’s time to stop calling Abdul-Quddus underrated!'”

Abdul-Quddus has a warm, pleasant, humble demeanor.

In the same way Dolphins star safety Reshad Jones is confident, yet has humility, in part because Jones was a fifth-round draft choice.

Abdul-Quddus had an uphill climb, too, originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints in 2011. After five NFL seasons in which he had started a total of 16 games, the Dolphins identified Abdul-Quddus’ potential.

And they were right. Abdul-Quddus started 15 games as a Dolphin and was quite good. Abdul-Quddus had a career-high 49 tackles and matched a career-high with two interceptions.

He was a hard hitter, not afraid to put his body on the line.

“Enforcer,” Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell told me.

After the Abdul-Quddus injury, some teammates privately told me that when they see the type of collision that ended his season, they think about their own longevity and mortality.

Though Abdul-Quddus told me it was just a stretched nerve in his neck and that for sure, he would play again, others were concerned. In fact, the injury was more serious that originally believed.

The hope here is that Abdul-Quddus’ day-to-day life, without football, is not impaired.

When players talk about how they hope to walk away from the game at the perfect time, while they still have their health, those quotes are often left out of the stories.

Too cliche. Too unlikely. Too dramatic.

Well, not really.

There has been so much discussion, and with good reason, about the concussion issue. Former Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron, also a thoughtful, intelligent, approachable young man, has had his career ended prematurely due to multiple concussions.

But when players say they know their career could end on any one play, consider please, Abdul-Quddus. Also, please consider, that unlike in other pro sports leagues, NFL contracts are almost never fully guaranteed.

According to the web site spotrac, Abdul-Quddus collected nearly $8 million in six NFL seasons, including $4.25 from the Dolphins last season.

Not every NFL player earns $8 million a season. Consider Abdul-Quddus’ earnings in his first four NFL seasons: $380,000, $465,000, $556,668 and $805,842.

Abdul-Quddus was chasing a dream. And surely he would say he understood and accepted the inherent risks. But we should too.

When I think about Abdul-Quddus, who was a Dolphin for only one season, I’ll think about the smile he almost always brought into the locker room. I’ll think about a few of the key pass breakups he made, oftentimes propelling his body into a receiver to dislodge the ball.

But mostly, I’ll think about a few conversations we had along the way about life. Abdul-Quddus was born in Newark, New Jersey, and I was born in Queens, New York.

Abdul-Quddus is a Yankees fan and I was raised a Mets fan. But we could agree that there was much value in having been exposed to so many diverse Tri-State communities.

I remember Abdul-Quddus taking a sincere interest in my father, who I told him, had attended Fordham University, as he had. And had a love for playing football, as he did.

Abdul-Quddus was sincerely interested in hearing about how I had grown up, my passions and my family. I’ll remember those conversations, in the same way we should remember Abdul-Quddus even if, as expected, he never plays again.

There will be hundreds more free-agent transactions in the coming weeks. Let’s remember that players like Abdul-Quddus are more than transactions.

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Adam Gase says Miami Dolphins ‘played like crap’ against New England, Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

INDIANAPOLIS — While most coaches and executives in the NFL try at all costs to avoid comparisons to New England, Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase candidly admits a late-season, home blowout loss to the Patriots delivered a clear message.

(Photo credit: Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase speaks at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“New England showed us exactly how far away we were,” Gase said at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gase declined multiple opportunities to assess the 2016 Dolphins season as an overall success, despite having had some time to process the way a 10-5 season ended at 10-6, following bad losses to New England and Pittsburgh.

“I’d love to be able to say that, 100 percent, but those last two are who we are,” Gase said. “We played like crap in those two games.”

Gase’s honesty is one of his best attributes. Among his goals are to shoot it straight with players, coaches and the media. And so yes, the way Miami’s season ended still bothers Gase.

As if extra motivation was needed.

“It still stings a little bit,” Gase said. “It’s hard to get over the last game. Every time you’re watching cut-ups and something comes up and you see the chances you had here and there, it still bothers you. I thought the guys fought … we had guys that battled.”

Gase knows the Dolphins must improve in run defense, must add more skill and depth at defensive end and linebacker and add a starting-caliber safety, all through free agency and the draft.

“We’ve got a long ways to go and we’ve got to make sure that we develop this offseason and put ourselves in position the next season if we are able to get to the playoffs and we get another opportunity like that that we’re ready to go,” Gase said.

Gase believes having veterans like safety Reshad Jones return from injury will have a positive impact.

But Gase isn’t fooled by the unexpected 10-win season and playoff berth. The Dolphins are not yet within striking distance of championship conversation.

And Gase, candidly, refused to conclude the 2016 season was a satisfying.

“No,” he said.

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2017 Free Agents: Miami Dolphins need one of these safeties

Miami Dolphins feel Ryan Tannehill (knee) will be mobile

Miami Dolphins, Kiko Alonso to work on extension

Miami Dolphins S Isa Abdul-Quddus may never play again


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Mario Williams’ personal issues, conditioning ruined his time with Dolphins

Mario Williams is done in Miami, and it's uncertain whether there will be much interest in him in free agency. (Bill Ingram/The Post)
Mario Williams is done in Miami, and it’s uncertain whether there will be much interest in him in free agency. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

INDIANAPOLIS–The Dolphins envisioned a scary pass rush last season with Mario Williams and Cameron Wake at defensive end and Ndamukong Suh in the middle, but one piece of that equation didn’t materialize. Williams, who earned $8.5 million last season, was a dud.

He lost his starting job to Andre Branch early in the year, was called out by Vance Joseph for not playing hard enough, was a healthy scratch late in the season and was cut last month. His one year with Miami yielded nine tackles and four sacks, and he played 39 percent of the defensive snaps.
Continue reading “Mario Williams’ personal issues, conditioning ruined his time with Dolphins”