In Adam Gase’s last two years in Denver, the Broncos won 27 games, broke a bunch of NFL records and reached the Super Bowl.
And yet, Gase was out of work following the 2014 season, as Broncos head honcho John Elway canned head coach John Fox and replaced him with Gary Kubiak.
Grudges apparently die hard.
Because there is no other reasonable explanation for Gase’s decision to (successfully) attempt an onside kick, up 24 points with some 10 minutes left in regulation.
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“He’s trying to embarrass us,” Broncos corner Chris Harris Jr. said postgame, according to 9News.
“Bad blood,” Harris said.
Gase’s explanation? A bit more diplomatic.
“Just playing 60 minutes,” he said. “We’re not going to slow down. I don’t care what the score is.”
One could buy that rationale, considering how frustrating this season has been for Gase. But then consider this: He tried to run it up on his good friend (and former defensive coordinator) Vance Joseph.
Joseph, whose Broncos have lost eight in a row, took the high road Sunday.
“That’s his choice,” Joseph said. “I tried one also. That’s his choice.”
Perhaps no one in the Dolphins organization knows the Gase-Broncos dynamic better than Julius Thomas, who played for Gase in Denver.
The onside kick decision did not surprise Thomas because “our head coach likes to score points.”
But when asked if he would be surprised if payback was Gase’s motivation, Thomas responded:
“Nothing surprises me with Goose,” Thomas said, using Gase’s nickname. “He’s pretty consistent.”
▪ Center Mike Pouncey, who has battled a number of injuries in recent years, left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury and did not return. Jake Brendel took his place in the lineup. Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley hurt his shoulder and his ankle, yet returned each time.
▪ Receiver Kenny Stills caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. On the year, Stills is tied with Jarvis Landry for the team lead in touchdown catches (six) and has 34 more receiving yards on 32 fewer catches.
▪ Dolphins inactives Sunday: running back Damien Williams, quarterback Matt Moore, cornerback Torry McTyer, guard Isaac Asiata, guard Jermon Bushrod and tight end A.J. Derby.
▪ With Moore out and the game out of reach late, David Fales got his first snaps of the 2017 season.