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Adam Gase said his onside kick wasn’t about John Elway

Adam Gase

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Dolphins coach Adam Gase said his decision to go for an onside kick while up 33-9 on the Broncos was about sending a message to his own team, not to Broncos executive John Elway.

Presumably, he said it with a straight face.

While Broncos cornerback Chris Harris acknowledged the “bad blood,” Gase denied that Monday.

“You guys have seen every game we’ve played,” Gase said, via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It’s not like we’ve been dominating, and we haven’t had big leads. And I think the whole point of that was for our guys to understand we have to play 60 minutes every week and you have to play that game like it’s 0-0 for 60 minutes.

“That was the biggest point that I wanted to make to our guys, that we’re going to be aggressive the entire time and that’s the mentality I want our guys to have. That’s why those guys on the other sideline, those offensive players, they know where my mind’s at for an entire game. They’ve been through it with me before.”

Not everyone buys that, and there is enough circumstantial and anecdotal evidence to draw that conclusion.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald lays out the reasons he might have wanted to stick it to his old boss, citing sources close to Gase that said Elway did not offer support for his candidacy for previous head coaching opportunities.

Specifically, he thinks Elway bad-mouthed him to then-49ers General Manager Trent Baalke, who would go on to hire Jim Tomsula and get them both fired (Good call, Trent). Elway was conducting his own search at the moment, and interviewed Gase, but ultimately hired longtime friend Gary Kubiak to coach the Broncos. Perhaps feeling double-crossed, Gase left to spend a year as offensive coordinator for the Bears, before getting the Dolphins job.

So while Gase has his own problems to worry about (he was able to break a five-game losing streak thanks to the Broncos being even worse), it’s also reasonable to think it was hard for Gase to divorce his context from his actions.

But he said that’s not it, leaving it for you to decide whether to buy it or not.