This was a win we were not supposed to get. The Dolphins were playing a talented opponent on the road. That opponent was essentially in an elimination game. And the referees were partial, in my view, bailing out the Chargers on numerous third and longs on questionable calls (yet somehow missing the PI against Parker?)
This was a game the old Dolphins would have lost, leaving all of us to complain and fret. But this team showed something today that we haven't seen in a long while: character in the face of adversity. They were able to do so because our coach handled his first piece of real business: resetting a dysfunctional locker room,
Our team's attitude and energy hasn't been right since Jonathan Martin was lumbering around, mouth agape, and Joe Philbin was busily running all passion out of our building. When Gase inherited this team, he had a group of underachievers on hand who were ready to mail it in and collect a check. He also had some fine football players who wanted to work. More crucially, he had a group of players who could break either way. So he did three necessary things.
1) He gave all of the existing players a shot. How frustrated were we all watching Billy, Dallas, and Jamil stink up the joint in the preseason? But Gase let his incumbents have the respect they likely felt they were due. He gave them an honest shot- and this must have had a positive effect on the professionals in his locker room.
2) He then ruthlessly cut dead weight. He let the team know that he was the only man guaranteed to be on the team in three years, and he ran the weaklings off before they could make his position rooms soft. Goodbye Billy, Dallas, and Jamil. Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya. And in their absence, players who know how to work felt validated.
3) He then smashed some egos in order to salvage talent. Rather than running off a Vontae Davis, one gets the impression that Gase would have taught him how to be a pro. Look at what he did with Byron Maxwell, who played today like his hair was on fire and his ass was catching.
So rest easy, Dolphins nation. We have a leader in place who understands how to build a football culture. We haven't had that since Johnson. The wins will come- and they will be sweet. Like it was today.
Home » Unlabelled » Job One Complete: Gase has Gotten the Locker Room Right.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Posted by Jay Lopez