Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com comments upon the decision of former Bears offensive coordinator and new Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to keep much of the previous Dolphins staff hired by Joe Philbin:
“On one hand, the move can be viewed as more evidence that Gase won’t have the same juice that other coaches enjoy, since he wasn’t able to come in and clean house and hire his own guys. On the other hand, the development can be viewed as further evidence that Gase is different from the typical megalomaniac coach, willing to work with anyone and everyone and not determined to do it his way simply in order to say, ‘I’m doing it my way.'”
This is an awful decision. Other organizations fire coaches of under-performing units. For a just few examples we offensive line coaches as here and here and most of the defensive staff, the offensive coordinator, the quarterbacks coach and, yes, the offensive line coach here). Meanwhile the Dolphins, who under-performed all over the field this year, keep nine of their coaches.
The question has to be asked: How do you hold the players accountable when the coaches aren’t held accountable as well?
Reports from the Senior Bowl at nfl.com support previous indications that the defensive linemen are going to be a strength in this year’s NFL draft. Here’s a cross section of the comments from the first day of practice:
“We knew going in the deepest positional group was defensive tackle, and boy did that hold true. I thought Matt Ioannidis from Temple had a great day. I thought the kid from Louisiana Tech, Vernon Butler, had a phenomenal day. But the topper was Adolphus Washington from Ohio State. He was all over the field in one-on-one drills; he was too quick, too stout. He was great in team drills. I thought he put on a show.”
“[Clemson DT D.J.] Reader‘s 340-pound frame was often too much for many of the linemen he faced on Tuesday. Keep an eye on this late addition because Reader could make himself some money this week.
“Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins showed off his ‘karate’ hands by defeating blockers with astounding quickness at times. While Rankins is undersized, his compact frame, outstanding balance, and next-level hand usage should make him one of the most consistent performers on the South squad this week.”
All this is great news for teams like the Bears who need defensive line help. It looks like they’re going to have a great selection to choose from.
But much of the rest of the league might not be too pleased. This dominant performance by the defensive tackles in these practices can’t speak well for the offensive linemen that are getting beat on a consistent basis. Judging by what I saw during the regular season, I’d be very surprised if less than three-quarters of the league is in need of offensive line help. That includes most of the playoff teams, as was graphically demonstrated by the beating that New England quarterback Tom Brady took on Sunday. In the NFC North, Minnesota, Detroit, Green Bay and Chicago all need help in one form or another along the offensive front.
The Bears might be able to find multiple defensive linemen in this draft. But the indications are growing that offensive linemen are going be at a premium.