Miami Dolphins

Playoff loss to Steelers 'still bothers' Adam Gase; 'We played like crap'

Dolphins coach Adam Gase meets with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase meets with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday. AP

For many in South Florida, the Dolphins' surprise playoff season was cause for celebration.

Don't count Adam Gase among them.

Asked at the NFL Scouting Combine if he can take some satisfaction in the Dolphins' 10-6 campaign, Gase responded:

"No, because next year nobody will care about all that. We'll be 0-0 when we start the first week of the season and nobody will care what we did the year before."

In fact, Gase is still a little salty about how the season ended -- with lopsided losses to the Patriots in the regular season finale, and then to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round.

"It still stings a little bit," Gase said Thursday. "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."

Gase praised the fight his team showed, considering how shorthanded it was. The Dolphins were without starters at quarterback, center, tight end, linebacker, cornerback and safety in their 30-12 loss to Pittsburgh.

They needed to rely on guys like Bacarri Rambo, who wasn't even in the league in September, to play meaningful snaps. They simply ran out of bodies to compete, particularly on defense.

But the experience banked by a slew of young players will pay dividends going forward, Gase added.

Given Gase's competitive streak, it's no surprise that he wasn't happy with how his team performed at the most critical time.

The Dolphins looked nothing like the squad won nine of the 10 games preceding those last two.

So was that impressive, long run -- which included an eight-game winning streak -- more indicative of how good the team was in 2016 than the closing stumbles?

"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. New England showed us exactly how far away we were and then Pittsburgh showed up in a big moment and we didn't.

"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."

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley