Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is sick of losing and according to the Palm Beach Post, he made that pretty clear during his speech at the Palm Beach Civic Association when he described his expectations for the team under new head coach Adam Gase:
“After three years, if we haven’t made the playoffs, we’re looking for a new coach. That’s just the way it is. The fans want it.”
In recent years, the short windows for success given to NFL head coaches have created the common joke and the reality of “NFL: Not For Long.” More than ever, NFL coaches are seeing less and less patience from owners, as the demand for success in the NFL is higher than ever. Right now the NFL is all about winning and making money and if your team does not win, it becomes more difficult to sell merchandise and fill your stadium on a given Sunday (losing the owners money). That is why so many NFL coaches such as Lovie Smith (1 year with Tampa), Mike Pettine (2 years in Cleveland), and Chip Kelly (4 years in Philly) were all given such short windows for success in recent years. In 2015, the Miami Dolphins entered the season with a lot of hype after landing stud free agent pass rusher Ndomakung Suh. The team seemed to be stacked on paper with Olivier Vernon, Cameron Wake, Suh, Brent Grimes, and multiple weapons on offense such as Jarvis Landry, Lamar Miller, and Jordan Cameron. However, right out of the gate, the Dolphins struggled both on the field and in the locker room, inevitably leading to Joe Philbin being ousted after a 1-4 start.
Every head coach in the current NFL knows that the pressure for success in today’s league is high and the window of time to improve their team once being given the reigns is short. Adam Gase certainly knows what he is getting himself into, but Ross’s comments of Gase being given just three years to get his team back to the postseason for the first time since 2008 creates even more pressure for the first-time head coach.
Gase, 37, has served as the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos (2013-2014) and the Chicago Bears (2015) under head coach John Fox, before being hired as the new man in charge in Miami this past January. Along with the comments of giving Gase just three seasons to make the postseason, Ross also compared Gase to Bill Belichick and Bill Parcels, who began their head coaching careers at similar ages as Gase. It may not be wise to compare a rookie head coach to two of the all-time winningest coaches in NFL history, but if you are going to throw Gase to the wolves and give him just three seasons to improve the team you may as well try and boost his confidence as well, but this may not be the right approach.