Highlights from Adam Gase’s Friday news conference, a day after his Dolphins were dominated, 22-7, by Cincinnati:
• I asked Gase if transforming this into an above average offense has been more difficult than he envisioned.
“No. I think you always put your expectations really, really high and sometimes, like right now, we haven’t met what we were expecting to happen. We’ve got a lot of time to fix things, make adjustments, make sure we are using guys right, putting guys in good position to make plays. One good thing about playing a Thursday night game is you have an opportunity to see where you’re making missteps, where you can improve in a lot of areas.”
• Is he surprised by the amount of offensive mistakes?
“No. Same thing as last year [in Chicago], same thing as 2012 [in Denver]. The way that this offense goes, the longer you’re in it, the easier it gets, the faster you can play, the easier the checks are. We’re struggling. We’re trying to get into the right deal. Somebody makes a mistake. We make the wrong read, we mess up the protection. It’s part of the learning process. It’s no fun going through this part of it. We’ll have three good plays and two bad plays. We’ve got to keep eliminating the mistakes, make the corrections on film. Everybody wants to just [say] the sky is falling and fall apart. You’ve got to keep working. Good teams keep working.”
• More lineup changes coming? “Right now, it would be hard for me to say yes or no. I don’t really foresee anything but obviously things could change in the next three days.”
• How far off course is this team?
“I don’t think we’re off course. There’s a lot of things we would like to clean up.... We didn’t give our defense a chance [Thursday]. We didn’t help our defense at all on offense. They did about as good a job as you could ask them to do with the amount of time they were on the field. Seattle game, we were right there at the end. New England game, we figured out a way to get back in it to throw in the end zone to tie the game. We found a way to win Cleveland. This last game was the one game we really didn’t do well and it was really on one side of the ball.”
• Why has the no huddle or the illusion of no huddle not worked?
“We’ve gone through this before twice. 2012 we sputtered around, went 2-3, we looked terrible, and then it clicked and we rattled off the last 11 straight. Last year in Chicago, it was the same thing. We struggled early and the more comfortable I got with the quarterback and he got with me, it make things easier. He made less mistakes. We gave ourselves a chance.”
• On the running game: “We did a better job. [Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator] was daring me to run it and I did it a couple times. He knew the chances of me running it two times in a row, taking a chance to be 3rd and 8 or 9, he knew that was very unlikely. He was smart. Played middle of the field open. Daring me to run it.”
• On the rush defense: “Guys were flying to the ball. Guys were doing a better job of doing what they were asked to do. Vance Joseph called a really good game. He was on it yesterday.”
• On how Tony Lippett played as Byron Maxwell’s replacement: “I felt like he looked comfortable to me. Obviously, he would like that missed tackle back [on AJ Green’s touchdown]. He was in good position, too.... Anytime you go against AJ Green, it’s not easy. He’s going to get yards. It’s can we get it to where he doesn’t completely take over the game.”
• So is Lippett the starter now? “He is right now. We will keep evaluating, keep practicing, see what happens. I know Maxwell will compete and try to get better. You just never know in this league. One day you’re in a spot where you hate your life because you’re not starting or not playing. Then you flip it around and you’re the guy.”
• Why no snaps for Maxwell Thursday? “A lot of times you keep those guys out there and let them role. We didn’t have any packages we were going to go to because they were so much base offense.”
• On Laremy Tunsil playing left tackle against Cincinnati: “He did a good job. We had a couple of mistakes. For the most part, he did a good job. Just those couple mental errors I’m sure he’s wishing he could have back. There were a couple that hurt us.”
• Gase says he has no idea when any of the injured players will return but sounded optimistic about center Mike Pouncey, who wants to play in Miami’s next game Oct. 9 against Tennessee. Gase said Pouncey likely will practice Monday.
“I thought Pouncey was going choke me on the plane on the way home last night [saying] he’s playing. He didn’t play this week because he didn’t have any real practices.”
• Gase was asked if pocket presence can be taught.
“Yeah, absolutely. Did it last year [with Chicago’s Jay Cutler].”
Does Gase believe Tannehill needs to get better at that? “Yeah, I do. We need to do a better job of actually blocking guys too. Everybody wants him to step up. Where?”
• Miami has four straight home games now - the Titans, Steelers, Bills (then a bye week), then the Jets.
“Anytime you play a home game, it’s to your advantage,” Gase said. “We have to take advantage; we have four in a row, a bye week after three of them. Lot of days, 44 days we’re here. Take advantage of that. See where we’re at when we make that West Coast swing.”
• Do any of the four running backs warrant additional playing time when Arian Foster returns?
“That’s something I am going to evaluate this weekend, see if I can maybe narrow it down a little bit to get one of these guys in rhythm. I have a pretty good idea what some of these guys showed me the last two games. I want to see where we’re at with Arian. It’s hard on the offensive line, it’s hard on the backs, hard on me as a play caller as far as who’s in the game, what runs are best to run in those situations. It would be easier if we had more than 47 plays. We’ve got some time this weekend to evaluate.”
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