A day after his team was embarrassed 40-0 by the Baltimore Ravens on national television, a disgusted Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Friday he’s fed up with his best players not doing enough studying, said his offense is too predictable because he has had to simplify it excessively to compensate for delinquent player preparation and threatened personnel changes.
“I’m pissed,” he said of an offense that is scoring fewer points per game (13.1) than any other team in the league. “I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the offense being awful. I am going to play the guys that know what to do. The fan base might not like it, but oh well. We’re the worst offense in football. It’s hard to go lower than that.”
Gase, who announced that Jay Cutler would return as starting quarterback in Miami’s next game Nov. 5 against Oakland after missing one game with cracked ribs, blamed both the coaches and players during his angriest rant since being named coach 22 months ago.
“Guys better need to get their heads right,” he said. “Coaching staff needs to do a better job. Obviously, our players not knowing is a direct reflection of them.”
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Asked why his offensive players have trouble retaining information to the point that the offense has had to be repeatedly simplified, Gase said:
“I don’t think it’s retaining information thing. It’s we’re not putting the work in. That’s what it comes down to. If you can’t remember, you shouldn’t be in the NFL. At the end of the day, guys have got to take this stuff home and study it. They’re not going to just learn it all in meetings. We’ve got to find guys to put forth effort and remember this stuff and it starts with our best players.”
How long have there been issues with not studying enough?
“Two years,” he said. “I’ve been addressing this for a while. I’m kind of fed up with it.”
How widespread is the issue of players not studying?
“It’s not on the defense; the defense is fine,” he said. “Special teams we seem to be all right. Maybe it’s easy [on special teams] - just run straight and hit somebody. But offensively, it’s a joke. We got too many guys that don’t want to take it home with them. Until our best players put forth some effort, it will be [expletive].”
Gase admitted the offense is “100 percent” too predictable because he has had to repeatedly simplify it to compensate for players’ lack of diligence with studying.
“We are going to have to figure something out and what’s best for us to do and how we want to approach it, or I guess I have to figure it out,” he said. “I am done compromising with anybody. I will do what I think is best. Those that want to come on board great. Those that don’t, we’ll get rid of them.”
Gase released three offensive linemen after Miami lost to Tennessee to fall to 1-4 last season.
Asked if he was tempted to to do that again, he said: “Who are you going to get? It is what it is. At some point, guys got to realize it takes a little effort outside this building to be actually good.”
Gase did not specifically identify any running backs or receivers or tight ends who weren’t studying enough, but it was clear he expects more from running backs Jay Ajayi and Damien Williams. It was Williams who failed to pick up a blitz on a Ravens sack on Thursday.
And instead of blaming his offensive line for not creating enough holes, Gase put the onus on his backs – clearly Ajayi – to make more of their opportunities. Ajayi is averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
“We’ve got to stop trying to hit home runs all the time,” Gase said. “How about take the four or five yards you’re going to get? It comes down to everybody doing your job. If we start doing that, it might help. That’s on the running back. Do your job. It’s not hard.”
Gase seemed more forgiving of his offensive line, whose run blocking has been subpar for most of the season.
“To me, it comes down to more than just the offensive line,” he said. “The majority of the time the offensive line at least knows who to go to and what to do. You’ve got to get the other guys to know what to do to.
“The running backs, we never blocked the right guy. I don’t even know if we know who we got [to block]. The [offensive lineman] can’t block the [running back’s] guy, too. The [offensive linemen] are trying to do what they can. They’re fighting. At times, I wish they would do things better. But at least I’m getting effort.”