Dolphins culture change is a winning one

When Adam Gase was hired last January, with him he brought a pedigree akin to the success of Nick Saban.

Adam Gase cut his teeth with Nick Saban at Michigan State (as a film-watcher/stats guy) and then later at LSU as a GA and later as a recruiting assistant.

Adam Gase nearly had to sell insurance until his big break came at LSU.

However, when the Dolphins hired Gase, they went all-in.  They went all-in for the young, energetic coach, who saved quarterbacks careers such as Manning, Cutler, and now Tannehill.

They went for that “young Shula” that owner Stephen Ross has consistently been hammered for in the press for saying.

The Dolphins found themselves a winner who was willing to prove he could win.

With the vision of Mike Tannenbaum and the unlimited resources of Stephen Ross, they had something other teams looking for coaches didn’t have: a proven quarterback in Tannehill.  Tannehill was the wild card, whoever the Dolphins hired must work with him and improve his game.

Gase molded Tannehill and requested of him anything and everything to get better. He placed his full confidence in him and chastised him when the going got tough and not afraid to call him out in front of the team, something that has been synonymous with Bill Belichick of Tom Brady, even to this day.

Gase has held everyone on this team accountable from Jay Ajayi being left at home to becoming a top rusher in the NFL to benching cornerback Byron Maxwell because he couldn’t cover nor tackle.  The benching has lit a fire under Maxwell who is playing better and making plays and doing something he should be doing as a veteran player-leading by example.  Under his wing is Tony Lippett, the young inexperienced corner who is learning to stay with the receiver and make plays.

Accountability has it’s perks when it works.

Case and point, by defending the crap out of Tannehill with the press and praising his heroics in recent weeks it lead to this exchange with the Miami media:

“Between him being able to play in the fourth quarter and the deep balls, I kind of question your guys’ evaluation skills right now. I’m glad you’re not in personnel.”-Adam Gase

While fans might revel in close wins, Gase goes into the next game with the expectation that the team must play better.

It’s more of a “process” that is all too familiar with Saban coached teams.  Saban coached teams don’t look at the score, but rather do all the little things to earn wins in all phases of the game for 60 minutes.

With recent reports just last week of players keeping each other in check as far as being on time for meetings in Southern California to not getting crazy at night all over Hollywood, it’s no wonder that there is a major buy in by the same players who couldn’t lead nor follow the lead of then coach Joe Philbin.

It’s as if Gase is a player’s coach, but the first to call you out on your antics and in front of the team no less.

Back in 2012, when the Dolphins were on Hard Knocks on HBO and then offensive coach Mike Sherman yelled the crap out of rookie Michael Egnew in meetings, we saw nothing resembling support and we saw the team play him continually at tight end, which he wasn’t because of the lack of blocking skills and better served as a big wideout.

I’d argue that if Egnew had found himself on this year’s roster, he would’ve put into position of succeed instead of fail.

Bottom line, what we’re seeing with Gase is this: real change, but with quick results.

At 6-4 riding the wave of a five game winning streak, the Dolphins are for real.

Perhaps this level of change is the way of the future for these Dolphins who are 5 wins shy of being in the playoffs.

Photo credit: CBS Sports

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