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How did Adam Gase Become the Head Coach for the Jets?

January 13, 2019

After firing Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins are still looking for a new head coach. However, Gase himself has already found a new team, and it happens to be one of the Dolphins’ division rivals.

This past Wednesday, Gase agreed to become the next head coach of the New York Jets. Gase was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins less than two weeks ago after a 42-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In his career with the Dolphins, Gase went 23-25 in the regular season and led the Dolphins to a playoff appearance in his first season, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round.

Gase’s time with the Dolphins started off promising, as he led the team to a 10-6 record in 2016 and their first playoff berth since 2008. One of the reasons for the Dolphins’ success that season was the running game, led by multiple 200 yard games by running back Jay Ajayi. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill also had one of his best seasons yet, with a career high 67.1 percent pass completion rate and 19 touchdowns. While Tannehill also threw 12 interceptions, fans were still pleased with his performance that season.

Unfortunately, Tannehill suffered a partially torn ACL in week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals. Backup quarterback Matt Moore performed well in Tannehill’s place, throwing eight touchdowns in four regular season games, but the Dolphins’ season came crashing down in the first round of the playoffs when they suffered a 30-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the season, many fans were excited for the future of the Dolphins with Gase at the helm. However, things quickly took a turn for the worse for the franchise.

Before the 2017 season began, Ryan Tannehill suffered another torn ACL and underwent season-ending surgery. Rather than going with Moore as their quarterback, the Dolphins sought out retired quarterback Jay Cutler, who agreed to a one year deal with the Dolphins. Cutler completed 62 percent of his passes to go with 19 touchdowns, but also threw 14 interceptions. Later in the season, star running back Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2018 fourth round pick (used to pick running back Kalen Ballage), a trade that upset several Fins fans.

At the end of the 2017 season, the Dolphins’ record sunk to 6-10 and did not end up making the playoffs. The following offseason, star receiver Jarvis Landry signed a franchise tag with Miami but was traded to the Cleveland Browns one day later in exchange for a 2018 fourth round pick (used to select tight end Durham Smythe) and 2019 seventh round pick. This trade was also met with frustration by Dolphins fans, who felt that the team could have acquired more from both Ajayi and Landry.

Several fans saw 2018 as a now or never year for both Gase and Tannehill. Fans hoped Tannehill would live up to his status as the eighth pick in the 2012 NFL draft and blossom into a star, while also hoping Gase would bring the team back into the playoffs once again. Though the team made some favorable signings in running back Frank Gore and wide receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson, the 2018 season proved to be underwhelming once again. Tannehill threw for 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions along with a 64.2 percent pass completion rate, but only threw for 1,979 yards. Tannehill was also kept out for five games in the middle of the season due to a shoulder injury.

The Dolphins ended up going 7-9 in 2018, and it was reported before the Dolphins season finale against Buffalo that Miami was possibly planning to move on from Tannehill after the season. After the game, it was also reported that the Dolphins were considering moving on from Gase. One day after the game, Gase was fired. Tannehill currently remains with the Dolphins, but whether or not he will play for them next season remains unclear.

As for who will be the Dolphins’ next coach, they are expected to sign New England Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores to replace Gase once the Patriots’ season ends. The Patriots recently defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs and will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday at 6:40 PM in the AFC Conference Championship.

The Jets share a similar story to the Dolphins in regards to their struggles with their head coach, but their former coach Todd Bowles was not as fortunate as Gase. In his first season, Bowles led the 2015 Jets to a 10-6 record, but the Jets missed out on the playoffs due to losing a tiebreaker against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After that, the Jets dropped to 5-11 in both the 2016 and 2017 season, followed by a 4-12 record in 2018. Bowles was fired following a 38-3 loss to the Patriots in week 17.

Dolphins fans may find it interesting that Gase is the new head coach for the Jets. Since the Jets and Dolphins both play in the AFC East division, they will meet twice next season, one of those games being located in Miami. During his time with the Dolphins, Gase went 5-1 against the Jets in three seasons. If the Jets-Dolphins rivalry was not  already intense enough, this should only add fuel to the fire.

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