Adam Gase was careful not to question recent head coaches of the Miami Dolphins when asked on Monday about a positive change in the team’s basic culture.
“I can’t speak on the past,” he said. “I just know everybody that has been here since the time I’ve been here has had one goal, and it’s to try to help our players do everything they can to win a game.”
One particular former head coach, however, got a special compliment from Gase.
Addressing the strong pass protection that Dolphins tight end Dion Sims provided in Sunday’s win at Los Angeles, Gase said “any time you have a tight end that basically you feel good enough to where you go one-on-one versus a defensive end, that’s a pretty rare thing to have.
“I don’t know if I’ve had too many tight ends that have been able to do that. The last guy I actually can think of that I felt really comfortable when it was one-on-one was Dan Campbell. That shows you how long ago that was.”
Campbell, the Dolphins’ interim head coach for 12 games last season, spent a decade playing tight end in the NFL with the Giants, Cowboys and Lions. He was with Detroit in 2006 and 2007 when Gase was an offensive assistant to head coach Rod Marinelli, first as a quality control coach and then as the quarterbacks coach.
Campbell went 5-7 in Miami as the replacement for Joe Philbin. These days he is the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints. Wouldn’t be bad to see him back with the Dolphins some day if he doesn’t get another chance as a head coach.
Wouldn’t be a surprise, either.
Gase clearly was impressed with his toughness and attention to detail, and Campbell has come as close as any Dolphins coach ever will to matching Gase’s bold approach to the game.