New Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase took the podium and met with the media in Indianapolis on Wednesday during the NFL combine. He covered a variety of topics that ranked from veteran players on his roster to the draft process.
Here are several highlights from Gase's session:
Gase says Miami star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is happy and in a good place. This is important because Suh is the team’s best player, and the Dolphins already have had plenty of turnover since he signed a franchise-record $114 million contract a year ago. Gase said Suh has been in the building working out on his own. The team also could ask Suh to restructure his $24.3 million salary to create more cap room in the next few weeks.
Pass protection will be a focal point this offseason for Gase, who is an offensive coach. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked 45 times last season. Tannehill also is the most-sacked quarterback (184 times) in the NFL since entering the league in 2012. Gase believes the Dolphins can find answers among the offensive linemen they have in-house. “That firm pocket is critical,” Gase said. “We want to become a really good passing team, and that’s something we’re looking to improve. I think we have some ideas on how we can help the guys that we have currently on the roster. It’s going to start in our phase 1 strength program.”
Speaking of Tannehill, Gase said his quarterback will have the freedom to call audibles to plays in his system. This was a big topic of debate last year, as Tannehill didn’t have much freedom to get the offense out of bad plays under former coordinator Bill Lazor. Gase says Tannehill will gain more and more audible freedom as time goes on and they get more comfortable with each other.
It is interesting to note that the Chicago Bears were interested in drafting Dolphins rookie receiver DeVante Parker last year. According to Gase, Parker was high on Chicago’s board. The Bears took receiver Kevin White No. 7 overall, and Parker went to Miami at No. 14. Gase now has Parker in the fold and likes his potential. “I love his skill set,” Gase said. “He has great hands, big body, a guy that can up and get the ball down the field. So I’m excited to see what he can do in this offense.”
Gase did not say much to address defensive end Dion Jordan, who missed all of last season to suspension. The team’s contact with Jordan is very limited. Gase said he will cross that bridge with Jordan when it comes.
The NFL combine will continue through next week as prospects will be interviewed and will work out in front of all 32 teams. In case you missed it, here is our combine preview for the Dolphins.