Sunday, November 13, 2016

Job One Complete: Gase has Gotten the Locker Room Right.

    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.

Jay Lopez
 
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10 comments

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His assistant was catching?

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His assistant was catching?

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Gotta love Gase, Jay.

Having our O Line in place is huge. The running game has picked up.

Tanne-Hype is playing so much better, I am willing to drop the Hype. He looks great and he has been getting clobbered the last two games. On that 38 yard pass to Parker in the 4th, which was called back due to James holding, he got creamed and threw a dart. He made some difficult touch passes too. You gotta give him props.

The Rush Defense has been incredible the last few games.

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so nice to read all these positive posts I'm seeing. We have beaten 4 tough teams in a row, 1 on the road and not collapsing late which had become almost a part of our playbook. One concern I have that Gase needs to deal with is penalties. WE've had a slew of them and I also believe McCain is a liability almost like Terrell Buckley was back in the day; he seems to commit so many untimely penalties; ones that keep a stuffed drive going. That and other penalties, some of them just mental errors need to get much better but as a 45 year Fin Fan I'm so happy to see us play with passion and never quit. RT is finally able to show us what he's capable of. He's no Marino but he's learning how to carry the team to a win which many of us thought he was not capable of. WE must keep the OL healthy. Considering the Chargers were largely keyed in on Ajayi, the film should produce a twist on our run strategy so Jay can keep pounding. A bad game he has and ran for 77 yds. I'll take that. Go Fins!!

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Nice team game. I agree with the premise of this article, Gase has changed the culture. He's young and learning too, and hopefully he keeps this going for years to come.

GO PHINS~!

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Carl, don't throw away the -hype tag on Tannehill just yet. Defense snatched the victory out of the jaws of defeat yesterday.

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Tannehill was a top five quarterback this weekend- and needed to be. Only a blown call on Parker PI in end zone denied Dolphins go-ahead touchdown.

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Great post, I couldn't agree more on the culture of the locker room. you can see it on the field. probably the Gase's biggest accomplishment so far