Adam Gase and Josh McDaniels: Similar In Many Ways


Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels come from a similar background and have grown up in the NFL in almost identical fashion. And if Adam Gase isn't careful he may be falling down the same rabbit hole that Josh McDaniels found himself in with the Denver Broncos a few years back. 

Both Gase and McDaniels got there start in coaching at Michigan St under then Head Coach Nick Saban. Gase as an undergrad assistant and McDaniels was a senior graduate assistant coach.  They both were brought into the coaching world and learned at the foot of Nick Saban, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In his first two years as a head coach you see a lot of Saban in Gase in how Adam Gase treats and talks to the media, how he interacts with his players, blatantly disregards the fans in every way possible, and how he has extremely high expectations for his assistant coaches and players. Stubborn to a fault is one way to put it nicely when talking about Adam Gase.

Back in January of 2009 Josh McDaniels was named the new head coach of the Denver Broncos. At the time McDaniels was one of the youngest head coaches in NFL history at  32 years of age. When he took over the Broncos McDaniels was young, cocky, very arrogant, and thought he was the most important person in the entire organization and more important than any one player. People inside the organization felt he was acting like a “mini Bill Belichick.” Since he didn’t have the track record of Belichick, this ended up backfiring on him. Oh yeah by the way, one of the first hires McDaniels made was to bring Adam Gase on as his wide receivers coach.

McDaniels run as the Broncos head coach was not smooth and it was marred in controversy from the very beginning. There was word of a trade between the Broncos and Patriots which would have then sent Broncos starting quarterback Jay Cutler to New England for Matt Cassel and draft picks. Remind you in 2008 Tom Brady blew out his knee and there were questions on if he would return to form and be at 100%. Plus, in New England in 2008, McDaniels was the Patriots offensive coordinator and he helped lead the Patriots offense to much success with Matt Cassel under center. The team won 11 games and Cassel had a terrific year as the team’s starting quarterback.

The trade didn’t end up happening but what McDaniels did in the process was upset Cutler to the point Cutler demanded a trade out of Denver. Remind you in 2009 Jay Cutler was a young, big armed, hot prospect quarterback most teams around the league would have cut off their left arm for. By upsetting his superstar quarterback McDaniels put the whole Broncos organization in a tailspin. There was a conference call between McDaniels, Cutler, and owner Pat Bowlen in which the bad blood and issues couldn’t be resolved, and Cutler stated he didn’t trust McDaniels or the organization anymore and demanded a trade. He was traded to the Chicago Bears a month later.

Later that same season McDaniels had a run in with superstar wide receiver Brandon Marshall. McDaniels couldn’t control Marshall and was pulling him out of games and even had to suspended him from a game once. Marshall would show up to practice with the Broncos in his pajamas and be very disruptive. McDaniels had lost control of the team.  After the 2009 season Marshall was traded and run out of Denver by McDaniels.

Josh McDaniels was fired the following year by the Broncos  after just 12 games with the Broncos then at 3-9. His time in Denver was an utter failure to say the least.

So, you are probably asking how does this tie in to Adam Gase? Well the comparison is very similar. Adam Gase when he was hired by Miami as the head coach was also one of the youngest coaches in the league at the time and not even 40 years old yet. Gase has total power and at times has been very cocky and arrogant as the Dolphins head coach.

The biggest comparison though is just how McDaniels came in and feuded with his two superstar players (Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall,) Adam Gase has also feuded with the superstar players who were in Miami when he got here in Jay Ajayi and now Jarvis Landry.


The feud with Ajayi we all know about and it has been very public. After an amazing 2016 season by Ajayi, Gase was unable to get on the same page with Ajayi in 2017. Gase felt Ajayi didn’t take the game seriously, wasn’t putting in the necessary work, and then per reports Gase was the man who called for Ajayi to be traded away. Ajayi as we all know was traded to Philadelphia where he won the Super Bowl last weekend. Then as a bit of payback Ajayi found it necessary to take a cheap shot at Gase after the game via social media.

With Jarvis Landry, after the final game of the 2017 season, a game in which Landry was ejected from, Gase in a press conference said the incident was embarrassing.

 "I don't think I've ever seen it get to a level where it was extremely bad. But the last game was about as embarrassing as I've seen in a long time. It was something we can't have happen."

With Landry about to hit free agency a lot of negative stories have been leaked to the media about Landry and his work ethic and behavior behind the scenes. The same type of stories that were leaked out about Jay Ajayi before Jay was traded. One must wonder if Gase is behind these Landry stories. And while it is not certain Landry will leave Miami this offseason, if he does one has to think Adam Gase would have a big hand in that. Gase isn’t the General Manager but if Gase wants someone to stay around I think that person will stay around no matter what their contract demands are. So far it doesn’t seem like Miami is bending over backwards to do whatever is necessary to keep Landry in South Florida.

The parallels of these two coaches is very scary and their careers are playing out in similar fashion. Young under 40 offensive guru coaches who get power and becomes the head coach of an NFL team. They come in to an organization thinking they are the smartest person in the room and above everyone else whether players, general managers, or assistant coaches. They run off superstar players who have performed on the field for their teams. And when all is said and done they are the only one calling the shots for an entire organization.

As fans of the Miami Dolphins we all hope Adam Gase’s fate in Miami isn’t like the fate that Josh McDaniels had in Denver. But as their careers have mirrored each other in so many ways, one must wonder if it is inevitable.

Comments

  1. Excellent points you bring up here. Kind of scary how Gase's time in Miami is shadowing the time McDaniels had in Denver. WOW.

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  2. His days are numbered with the Dolphins. he will be fired by the middle of 2019 season.

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  3. This article isn't really fair to Gase. You are mischaracterizing him a bit. Yes he has a strong ego but he has shown that he can take criticism and advice which is far different than McDaniels. He also has not lost control of the players or the locker room. I think there are many personality differences too that make Gase a better fit here than McDaniels was in Denver.

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