De­press­ing. Gase clearly doesn’t have the an­swers

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - Dave Hyde

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. — There’s only one word for what hap­pened again on a na­tional stage Mon­day night if you’re a Dol­phins fan: De­press­ing.

De­press­ing how a Carolina team that couldn’t run the ball ran tread marks over the Dol­phins de­fense in its 45-21 win. De­press­ing that Jay Cut­ler made the one pass he couldn’t make just be­fore half, get­ting in­ter­cepted in a 10-7 game that piv­oted to 17-7 on that play. And then 24-7. And ...

De­press­ing Bal­ti­more’s 40-0 win against the Dol­phins had com­pany as the most de­press­ing game of the year.

De­press­ing that there’s clar­ity to a Dol­phins sea­son that again isn’t go­ing any­where.

Most of all, it’s de­press­ing coach Adam Gase has no an­swers. That’s ob­vi­ous now. He’s pushed but­tons and pulled trades with de­scend­ing re­sults. It’s one thing to lose games. It’s an­other to lose them by such aw­ful scores you can see the dras­tic man­ner he’s dealt with is­sues isn’t work­ing.

A year ago, Gase couldn’t do any wrong as he molded a team’s iden­tity around the avail­able tal­ent in the man­ner smart coaches do and rode that iden­tity of Jay Ajayi’s run­ning all the way to the play­offs.

Now Ajayi is traded. Now this team again has no iden­tity. Now there’s a prob­lem in the locker room, as many play­ers like Jarvis Landry and Ja’Wuan James have known since the off-sea­son they prob­a­bly won’t be get­ting paid here while lesser tal­ents like Kenny Stills, An­dre Branch and even J.T. McDon­ald did while serv­ing a sus­pen­sion.

There’s some­thing about coaches in their sec­ond years. Dave Wannst­edt won a play­off game his first year — and never made the play­offs af­ter that. Tony Sparano went to his play­offs the first year — and, same thing, never did again.

Will that be Gase’s epi­taph, too?

That’s get­ting ahead of the story, of course, be­cause he’s smart and brash and maybe a hum­bling like this sea­son is be­com­ing will do him good in the long run. We’ll see. The only sure thing is it’s hum­bling to lose three straight big-stage games — Thurs­day at Bal­ti­more, Sun­day against the Raiders and now Carolina.

Gase could just stand there Mon­day as Carolina’s top-rated de­fense pushed around his of­fense and the Dol­phins de­fense con­tin­ued to look like it’s col­laps­ing as the year goes on in such a fash­ion all the good work at sea­son’s start will be for­got­ten.

Carolina scored four touch­downs on its first, four sec­ond half pos­ses­sions. It con­verted nine of its first 12. It ran for 213 yards – through three quar­ters. De­press­ing. You hate to keep us­ing that word over and over in an­other Novem­ber with­out any hope. Oh, the Dol­phins will play bet­ter than this.

De­press­ing. You hate to keep us­ing that word over and over in an­other Novem­ber with­out any hope.

They’ll win some more games. They play strug­gling Tampa Bay next week, so they’ll bob up and down to the end, de­pend­ing on the op­po­nent.

But you know who they are. I know who they are. They even know who they are, be­cause when you get pounded like they have been in so many games this year there’s no hid­ing the con­clu­sion. Some strengths don’t even look that way any­more.

It was de­press­ing how Carolina pounded the ball over the heart of the Dol­phins, Ndamukong Suh and the de­fen­sive line. Jonathan Ste­wart av­er­aged 3 yards a carry en­ter­ing Mon­day. He ran 17 times for 110 yards for a 6.5-yard av­er­age Mon­day.

It was de­press­ing how Devante Parker adds to the shop­ping list by an­swer­ing he’s not a No. 1 re­ceiver by be­ing hurt or, on Mon­day, stay­ing in­vis­i­ble for an­other game.

It was de­press­ing how, the play af­ter Kenyan Drake ran 66 yards for a third-quar­ter touch­down to give some­thing to cheer about, Carolina quar­ter­back Cam New­ton ran 69 yards to set up its next touch­down.

“Un­be­liev­able,’’ ESPN’s Jon Gru­den said.

No, it was be­liev­able if you’ve seen this team, game af­ter game. They haven’t de­vel­oped any­where, re­ally. They can’t do much of­fen­sively, are sag­ging de­fen­sively and their coach is out of but­tons to push or trades to make.


Dol­phins head coach Adam Gase looks on dur­ing Mon­day’s loss to the Pan­thers, Mi­ami’s third straight loss.

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