Packers interested in former Dolphins coach Adam Gase for head-coaching vacancy

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Former Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase is a candidate for the Packers job.

GREEN BAY - Sometime before their first round of interviews are complete, Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst are expected to interview former Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase.

League sources said the Packers and Gase would meet, but that a date and place for the meeting either weren’t planned or haven’t been divulged.

Gase was fired Dec. 31 after compiling a 23-25 record with the Dolphins over a three-year period. The Dolphins went 10-6 and made the playoffs in Gase’s first year, but they fell to 6-10 in ’17 and finished 7-9 this year.

Gase would fit the mold of the offensive play-calling head coach who would be able to install a modern system that would benefit quarterback Aaron Rodgers. During Gase’s tenure as an assistant coach in Denver, Peyton Manning had his finest year statistically and the future Hall of Famer has reportedly endorsed Gase for the open head-coaching position in Cleveland.

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A former associate said Gase is gruff and sarcastic but that might not be a bad fit with Rodgers’ personality.

The Packers are going to have to do a lot of research on why the 2018 Dolphins season fell apart. After beating New England 34-33 on Dec. 9, the Dolphins lost their final three games by a margin of 100-41.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed all of the 2017 season with a knee injury and missed five games in the middle of the ’18 season. In the final three games, he threw one touchdown and three interceptions and was sacked 16 times.

Owner Stephon Ross fired Gase, citing differences between the two in philosophy. Ross wanted to build with younger players and Gase was more interested in winning immediately.

“It’s probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve made,” Ross said of firing Gase. “I really like Adam. He’s a great guy; he worked his tail off. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way we all hoped,

“The decision was made, as I looked at it and seeing today we’re no further along than when I bought the team.”

Murphy and Gutekunst were in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Friday interviewing Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel and linebackers coach and defensive play caller Brian Flores. The two will fly to New Orleans on Saturday to interview Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and tight ends coach Dan Campbell.

They are scheduled to interview Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur on Sunday.

The Packers may have some competition for Gase.

The Arizona Cardinals interviewed him Wednesday and the New York Jets interviewed him Friday. He may have other interview opportunities in the coming week as well.

Over his 19 years in coaching, Gase has served under a diverse group of head coaches that includes Nick Saban (LSU), Steve Mariucci (Detroit), Mike Nolan (San Francisco), Josh McDaniels (Denver) and John Fox (Denver and Chicago).

 Gase, 40, coached Manning in Denver for three seasons, serving as quarterbacks coach for one year (2012) and offensive coordinator for two years (’13-14). The Broncos went to the Super Bowl during the ’13 season and Manning set records for touchdown passes (55) and passing yards (5,477).

The following year Manning threw for 39 touchdowns and 4,727 yards.

Fox was fired after the ’14 season and Gase followed him to Chicago, where he served as offensive coordinator for one season.

In ’15, the Bears were decimated by injuries, and the offense made minimal improvement statistically. But the team was far more competitive than it had been the year before and Gase became a hot name for a head-coaching position.

The Dolphins interviewed seven candidates before hiring Gase. Ross gave Gase wide-ranging powers, including control over the 53-man roster, which seemed a questionable decision for someone with no head-coaching experience.

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