ENGLEWOOD—Seems like everybody is mad at somebody in the NFL.
Adam Gase was fired by the Denver Broncos one year after he coordinated an offense for Peyton Manning that smashed all the significant NFL single-season records.
He and Manning collaborated for 55 touchdown passes, 606 points and an AFC championship in 2013. After the 2014 season, Gase interviewed for the Broncos’ head coaching job that went to Gary Kubiak.
As Kubiak runs a different offensive system, Gase was left scrambling for a few days in the 2015 offseason trying to find employment before his former head coach John Fox gave him the offensive coordinator position with the Chicago Bears.
Gase is the Miami Dolphins’ head coach now and this week his team goes up against the Broncos in what will be a Sunday contest of fast-falling teams at Hard Rock Stadium.
Feeling any strong emotions about the upcoming game, coach Gase?
“It depends if I’m going to give you a soundbite or not,’’ Gase said in a light-hearted moment during a conference call with the Denver media on Wednesday. “We’ve lost a few games in a row. We’re trying to win one game. Whoever we play, that’s our focus. Our focus just has to be about winning one game. It’s always fun to see a lot of the guys you’ve worked with or coached. After that, it’s pretty much nameless and faceless. You have to focus on doing what you have to do to win a game.”
The Broncos have lost seven in a row and are 3-8. The Dolphins have lost five in a row and are 4-7.
Both teams have switched quarterbacks numerous times this season, if for different reasons: The Dolphins because of injuries to Ryan Tannehill and Jay Cutler; the Broncos because of performance.
Cutler was a Bronco until he was sent to Chicago by mutual choice in 2009 and has no former Broncos teammates or coaches on the 2017 Denver team. He will be countered Sunday by Trevor Siemian, who got his starting job back after getting benched for 3 ½ games.
“When I watch him, I love the way he throws the ball,’’ Gase said of Siemian. “It just seems like he doesn’t put a lot of effort in it, but the ball comes out nice. When he has time in the pocket and guys are running to find some windows in there, he really spins it good. He can really cause some issues because when they run some of the deeper stuff—I just watched him over the last couple years, he puts the ball in some tight windows. When he has time, he can cause a lot of problems.”
Gase’s counterpart Sunday is Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph, who was the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator last year.
Both head coaches were hot in January, not so hot now.
“We’ve know each other since 2008, so we’ve worked together before,’’ Gase said referring to their time as assistants with the San Francisco 49ers. “I think it was being together last year, just seeing how far we both have come and how much we’ve learned. It was great for me to be able to sit with him and we would just talk about football and kind of lean on each other with how teams would attack us and how defenses would attack our offense and vice versa.
“He was always a close friend of mine. It was fun to work with him again for that one year. Him getting a head coaching job just wasn’t very surprising. Just being around him and realizing how sharp he was and how good he was with our players. Our guys loved him and we held those guys accountable. Things didn’t always go perfect for us, but he was such a grinder and battler. He kept those guys in the right frame of mind to help us push through the end of the season last year.”