Highlights from Dolphins coach Adam Gase’s Monday news conference in the wake of the team’s fifth consecutive win:
• On when he decided he could win with Ryan Tannehill, and that he could be a good quarterback, and why he decided that:
“Before I even took the job. That’s why I took the job. That’s a starting point. When you feel comfortable with the quarterback you are was coming in with, that’s a good starting point. And obviously, there’s a huge checklist going down after that.
I felt really good about him coming and the more we worked together the better I felt. As we’ve gone along, it probably took me a little longer than it should have to figure out what we can do well on offense. That was a little disappointing. It’s really my fault not waking up and realizing we can do this, this and this and stay away from these things. That was bad coaching.
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“He has done a great job of sticking with our process and trusting me on some stuff. There were couple things he changed that probably wasn’t really comfortable for him and he did it, and that showed a lot of trust with him. Some things with footwork. It was not easy to go about changing some things if you’ve been doing it a certain way. Getting your third new coordinator in five years.
“I’m sure Sherm [Mike Sherman] had some things he liked he wanted him to do. Bill [Lazor] had some things he wanted him to do, and I come and say do it this way. At some point, when you’re a fifth-year quarterback, you’re like, ‘How many times do I have to change this?’ He did a good job as far as buying in and doing it the way I asked him to do it.”
• On Tannehill’s attitude during a game when the first 10 possessions included nine punts and an interception: “Ryan never wavered. His attitude in the huddle. He kind of felt we were right there, just had to clean a few things up.”
• Tannehill, who has struggled in the fourth quarter at times in the past, has a 90.8 fourth quarter passer rating.
“He hasn’t done anything to show me he can’t do things in the fourth quarter,” Gase said. “What your experiences are and what my experiences have been have been completely two different things. When we get into the fourth quarter and it’s a close game, I feel confident.”
Then Gase cracked to reporters: “Between him being able to play in the fourth quarter and the deep balls, I kind of question your guys’ evaluation skills right now. I’m glad you’re not in personnel.”
• Gase had no update on Laremy Tunsil’s shoulder or which of his starting offensive linemen would be available Sunday against San Francisco. Tunsil played 25 of 60 snaps before leaving with the shoulder injury. Branden Albert (wrist) and Mike Pouncey (hip) remain out, though Albert has said he hasn’t ruled out playing Sunday.
• Even with Miami down 10-7, Gase said he was thinking only touchdown on the last drive. “That game wasn’t going to overtime. It was either going to be a pick or a touchdown.”
Where did that philosophy come from? “Being under Steve Mariucci. I wasn’t involved as much. Spending three years with [Mike] Martz was a great thing that could happen for me. I don’t know if you could have had a better mentor than what I had, learn from a guy that was about going to win the game, not playing not to lose.”
• What pleased him most Sunday? Our defense hanging in there and not getting frustrated with the offense. The sideline was really good as far as encouragement from both sides of the ball. Offense kept telling the defense, ‘we’re going to get it going.’ Defense.. their attitude was phenomenal. They were very positive as far as ‘you guys are going to get it going.’
• When was the moment the team flipped the switch? “After that Cincinnati game. The Cincinnati game was where we felt like we had to start making some adjustments. Cincinnati game, that Tennessee game were some turning points for us to where we knew we had some issues in some certain places. We knew we had some things we had to clean up personnel wise. We were having some issues as far as attitude. It wasn’t really work. It was the way we were going about our business. It wasn’t as detailed as we were looking for.
“Once we hit the Pittsburgh week - a lot of it had to do with [Mike Pouncey was back, Branden Albert] was back you could tell it was different. Everyone was like, all in, do every detail we can possibly do. We kept constantly building off that.”
• On Todd Gurley, who ran for 76 yards on 20 carries: “The two [20-plus runs] runs he had we misfitted. The rest of the game, we fitted everything right.”
• On the offensive line in the last two drives: “They did an outstanding job, fought to the end. You could see it on film, especially on Jarvis’ first touchdown.”
• On his team’s ability to rally from fourth-quarter deficits in four straight games: “It says it’s a group of guys that have developed a belief in each other. There’s a trust there. They’re holding each other accountable in everything they do, from the tiniest things, meetings, being on time. When we were out in the West Coast, that was a recipe for a lot of things to go wrong and we didn’t have any issues. No one was ever late. Everybody did everything right. You could tell, the veteran players really stepped up. You could hear them chirping a lot of times about doing things right, some guys making sure certain guys were on time. That’s a big step for us. There’s a different feel as far as making sure we’re all in this thing together. That’s why you see good things happen at the end of the game. There’s no, I wonder if this is going to happen. The whole time they’re thinking, we’re going to figure out a way to win. That’s a good minset to have….
“Everybody has sold out 100 percent to try to do everything we can to help our players have a chance in the fourth quarter to win a game.”
• On Dion Sims’ pass protection: “Anytime you got a tight end that basically you feel good enough to go one on one vs a defensive end, that’s a pretty rare thing to have. I don’t know if I had too many tight ends that have been able to do that. The last guy actually I can think of that I felt really comfortable winning one-on-one was Dan Campbell. It helped us being able to double some of those inside guys.”
• On the team’s playoff chances: “We’re so far away still. It’s not even worth it to me to look at it.”
• On using receiver DeVante Parker on defense on the Rams’ final play: “He’s back there to make sure he either catches it or knocks it down. I hope he was trying to catch it. I didn’t ask him.”
• On Parker’s play in general: “It’s probably a little tougher for him than what we realize. When you’re getting all these different types of techniques, he does have the ability to change some of his routes and him and Ryan have to be on the same page.
Even going back to the spring to him not practicing as much. Our timing has to pick up. We missed some things earlier in the game and you’re like, that doesn’t really look right. We put a lot on his plate as far as what we has to do and the options he has and he has to be right. He has done a great job as far as getting it mentally and being able to execute it on the field and then making the play. The margin of error for him [on that last play] was really slim. Ryan put the ball where it needed to be and he ran a really good route.”
• On the touchdown to Parker, Gase second guessed the call before calling a timeout: “I knew what hash we were on and I know who were going at. I may have said something to myself, just call it.”
• Has there been a shift in the culture of this team? “We’ve made some adjustments to the coaching staff and personnel and around the building. When you’re coming in and it’s a clean slate, I can’t speak on the past.”
• On teammates pushing Jarvis Landry into the end zone: “Ja’wuan has been doing such a great job of pursuing the ball. We encourage that a lot of time. Guys have really kind of seen him do that play after play. As soon as one guy sees a guy flash by him and it’s some of their guys, the rest of them start doing it. Initially, [Landry] should have gone down and somehow stayed up, did a great job of keeping his feet. At that point of the game, he’s exhausted. The fact he could stay on his feet was impressive. He’s a tough sucker. I don’t know if there are many other guys built like that guy.”
For a Monday six-pack of Dolphins nuggets, including Jimmy Johnson’s effusive comments about Tannehill and Gase, and some eye-opening perspective on what the Dolphins are doing, plus Sunday snap counts, please click here.