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The case against Gase

Written by Andrew Heidemann

October 12, 2020

Adam Gase is arguably one of the worst head coaches in the NFL today. As if his current 0-4 record as the New York Jets head coach doesn’t say enough, there are plenty more facts to support this. However, before I delve into them, just go watch some tape! Like, holy shit, just watch. I mean, watch if you can that is. It’s down right painful. His claim to fame is a stellar quarterback season by one of the games all time greats, Peyton Manning. And what a season it was. In 2013 the Broncos had a historical offensive run and Manning one of the best QB seasons to date. 55 touchdowns, 5,477 passing yards and a 68.3% completion. And I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds great!” You’re right, it does sound great. However, this event will haunt the NFL for years to come… The bigger question though, how did we get here?

It all started while Gase was attending Michigan State for college. As he worked towards his undergraduate degree he was an assistant to the coaching staff. He later after graduating went on to work as a scout for LSU until he finally got his shot in the big leagues, the NFL.

In the year 2003, Gase was offered a job as a scouting assistant for the Detroit Lions by Steve Mariucci. After just 2 years he had the chance to advance tp offensive assistant in 2005. His next promotion from the Lions came in 2007 when he was awarded the title; Offensive Quality Control Coach and finally, in 2008, he became their quarterbacks coach.

Gase had a brief stint as an offensive assistant the next season for the San Francisco 49ers, he landed in Denver with the Broncos. And this folks is where shit gets interesting. From 2009-2012 Gas was your average wide receiver coach for the Broncos, nothing special. He was promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2013 and thus, marks the beginning of the end for the National Football League. Remember that awesome season with Peyton Manning I mentioned up above? Yeah, that’s this season. And like we mentioned, it sounded like a dream! Who wouldn’t want Gase calling the plays for their team?

When his time in Denver came to an end, there was a lot of speculation that Gase could be in line to get the next Head Coaching gig, wherever it may be. However, to many peoples surprise, he was hired by Chicago the be their offensive coordinator. A good get for the Bears after seeing what he could do in Denver no doubt. Unfortunately. it wasn’t all first downs and touchdowns for the Bears. That season they finished 18th in total offense and a measly 5-11 record. Odd what happens when you go from Peyton Manning to Jay Cutler. No matter what though, this should have been a massive red flag to the NFL, but they refused to open their eyes.

In 2016 it happened. The Miami Dolphins took the leap and made Gase their 12th Head Coach. And to their credit, it actually… went pretty well. The Dolphins went 10-6 and made the playoffs. Unfortunately in their playoff game against the Steelers, Matt Moore took one of the nastiest shots I’ve ever seen (or heard for that matter) and had to be replaced by the backups backup. They would go on to lose 12-30 and this will be the only playoff appearance as a Head Coach by Adam Gase. It’s all down hill from here.

To really get into why Adam Gase is a bad coach, we must first understand how he should be judged. To me, he is viewed as an offensive mastermind. The reason for the Broncos success and the man who helped Peyton Manning make history. The stats I will be using are very simple and I will explain them each.

OFF = Offensive grade

PASS = Passing grade

RECV = Pass Route grade

RECV being the most important as it signifies the routes run by the wide receivers and the separation they create. To me, this can definitely be a sign of a wide receivers natural ability. However, when looking at all the receivers on a team using this statistic, it paints a large picture of how a Head Coach schemes their offense and creates mismatches. This is something that Gase is apparently very good at. Part of the reason that the Dolphins hired the man. So good news, his first year as head coach the Dolphins RECV grade was 82.8. 4th in the league! Unfortunately for Gase and the Dolphins, this is the highest it will be for them under his supervision. By a lot.

After his first year with the Phins, he never achieved another 4th place finish in RECV. Nor did he achieve a 10th place finish. 15th is the next highest league finish for Adam Gase. In his 5 years as a Head Coach, his teams average RECV grade is 16.6. Strictly average. In that same time span, his teams OFF grade and PASS grade average to be 25.4 and 26.4. Not only are these far below league average in general, I took it upon myself to compare these numbers to the 5 other teams that actually finished with a 16th place ranking in RECV in the same time span that Gase has been a head coach. Their combined average finish in PASS grade? 19th. OFF grade? 17.6th. And these aren’t great by any means, but they are far better than the numbers Gase lead teams produce.

Now I know what you’re thinking. No one even knows what those kind of statistics are or where to find them or if they are even used in modern football analytics. So allow me to break this down in another way, as simply as I can. Wins and losses. The easiest metric to dissect. In his 5 years as a Head Coach his record is a measly 30-39 and 0-1 in the playoffs. And if that’s not enough for you, lets just look at the points. Adam Gase lead teams over his Head Coaching tenure have been outscored by a total of 415 points. On average that is 6 points a game.

With Gase starting off so rocky with the Jets for a 2nd year in a row, it’s hard to believe that he will still be their head coach by Christmas. Hell, it’s hard for me to believe he’s the coach of the Jets right now. Go back to coordinating Gase, you’re not cut out for the big time.

Featured image by SportingNews


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