The Dolphins made it to the playoffs in their first year under coach Adam Gase. As the second year approaches, Gase senses a change in his players.
“There’s a little different swagger about what our guys have right now in a positive way,” Gase told reporters on Friday. “There’s no indecision as far as what they’re supposed to do, how they’re supposed to do it, what they’re responsible for. I mean guys are really . . . kind of can get from point A to point B really quick and there’s no issues with any kind of gray in our building right now. Guys are really wired in on what we want to do. . . . There’s a different feel with what we’ve got going on right now with our day-in and day-out.”
He was asked whether this means they’ll be better this year.
“I think it does because you know what you’re supposed to do,” Gase said. “You know your responsibility. You know how things are supposed to be done around here. It allows you . . . I look at it as it’s going to allow us to play faster [and] make less mistakes. We had a lot of guys get so much experience last year that you never really thought would get experience. When you look at our depth chart right now, you start seeing a lot of guys played last year. That’s a good thing for us.”
Last year, the Dolphins made it to the wild-card round of the playoffs. Although they lost to the Steelers, Gase was encouraged by how the players reacted to the defeat.
“I think what hit me more than anything was after that last game, just seeing the emotion our guys had,” Gase said. “You could tell it meant something to them and they were all disappointed that we didn’t play as well as we thought we would and that it was over. So. really, it’s going to come down to how does that transfer over once we hit OTAs and then training camp and then the preseason, to see if we have that, ‘Oh, I’ve got it attitude,’ or if it’s a legitimately one day at a time, get better type of team. Right now, our main focus has been one day at a time again, and hopefully we stay that way.”
Given that they’re chasing the Patriots in the AFC East, they have a long way to go to do what only the 2008 Dolphins have done since 2003: Keep the Patriots from winning the division. If any other team of the bunch can do that, it’s the Dolphins.