Adam Gase has a vision for how he wants to use new tight end Julius Thomas, believes Lawrence Timmons will add speed to the Dolphins’ linebacker group and heard good things from other coaches about new guard Ted Larsen.
Here’s what Gase had to say about each of Miami’s veteran additions during a conversation with reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday in Arizona:
• On Thomas, who caught 24 touchdown passes in 28 games over two seasons when Gase was his offensive coordinator and Peyton Manning his quarterback in Denver:
“Spring is going to be a little experimental for me. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been with Julius. I have a good idea what we want to do on offense with him. It’s going to make a little bit of difference for us. We were seeing a lot of base defense to our 11 personnel. Having him out there, if teams want to play base against us, there’s a good chance a linebacker is going to be on Julius. If they want to do that, he’ll be getting a lot of throws.”
• On backup tight end Anthony Fasano: “I’m not sure I’ve evaluated a guy that is as good of a run and pass protector as he is over the last few years. Route-tree wise, I’m going to have to see where he’s at at this point in his career. I have to figure out what he does best.”
• On Timmons: “He’s another guy that has speed to that linebacker level. When you play that team that keeps winning our division, it’s hard to get those guys down. Those guys are making tons of money off of run after catch. We’ve got to do a great job of being able to wrap those guys up and get them down. If we can’t do that, that’s what’s creating explosive plays around some of these shorter throws.
“Balls are coming out so quick in the NFL, we need to get guys that can tackle at the safety and linebacker level. He really adds that dimension. His leadership is something I’m excited about. When I told him he was probably going to be the fourth oldest guy in our locker-room, and he’s only 30. We need more guys that have had that experience of being in Super Bowls, being in playoff games, being in big games.”
• On Larsen: “When we started looking at him playing in Chicago, he’s played in this offense before. We’re mirror images of each other. They started doing some more outside zone schemes and we were able to see what he lookedlike doing that. We had some guys who have coached him with other teams who said a lot of good things about him. We felt he fit what we were looking for. I‘m interested to see. You don’t know a guy until you get into training camp. I heard he’s our type of guy.”
Gase expects Jermon Bushrod to remain at right guard, with Larsen at left guard. (Both might have competition, likely from a draft pick.)
When asked if Miami is done putting together an offensive line, Gase said: “We’re always going to look to add, whether it be the draft or somebody shakes free. Our No. 1 guy [Mike Pouncey] only played a few games.”
• On William Hayes: “Adding William will help us. A defensive end that can really do a good job stopping the run will be helpful.”
• On Nate Allen: “I like our safeties. Getting Reshad back, if he’s not the best safety in the league, he’s one of them. Having him back on the field is going to be huge for us. Adding Nate is going to really help us as well and see if any of these young guys can do something. We have two guys [Jones and Allen] that can play down in the box and in the middle of the field.”
Please click here for my post on why Dolphins moved on from Branden Albert and Gase’s thoughts on Laremy Tunsil, Jordan Phillips and others.