Adam Gase Effect... overblown?

I’ve really dug into the Adam Gase RB “issues” and I’m beginning to think Drake was a bit of an outlier.

As Offensive Coordinator

2013 Denver: Knowshon Moreno - 19.1 Touches per game
2014 Denver: CJ Anderson - 24.9 Touches per game
2015 Chicago: Matt Forte - 20 Touches per game

As Head Coach

2016 Miami: Jay Ajayi - 21.75 Touches per game

So he has two season of perceived misuse with Drake and it feels like the whole community labeled Gase as a killer of value when it comes to RB, but I’m starting to think that’s a bit short sited.

Looking at that three year run from 13-15, and you get a clear picture of Gase using his backs in the passing game too… all three guys (Moreno, Anderson, and Forte) averaged 4.1 targets per game on top of a healthy number of touches on the ground.

I looked at how his offense operated too in relation to his team defense, and when he has a decent defense, his teams post solid rushing numbers… with a 2nd year QB in Darnold and Gregg Williams taking over an improved defense… I’m starting to think Bell may surprise in 2019…

Am I losing my mind?


To follow up, I dug into the offensive line issues a little bit, and while they were rated REALLY poorly in run blocking last year, they hired Frank Pollak, the O line coach for several of those elite Cowboys O-lines… they added a LT…

Plus, Isaiah Crowell managed nearly 5 yards per carry as the lead back, this despite his mediocre juke and evaded tackles numbers.

The whole reason I got to this point was because I was doing my Jets projections so I dig deep into all phases of the offense as well as the defense (for continuity) and even if I dock Bell slightly for missing the year last year… he’s still only 27 and has the whole backfield to himself potentially.

I ended up with 265 rushes (322 total touches after 57 receptions) for 1631 total yards and 9 total TDs…

He’s still sitting towards the back end of my RB1 list after the projections, but some of my nerves have been mitigated in terms of his ceiling/floor with a Gase offense.

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I think Gase will ultimately go down as a very good OC who was overmatched as a HC because he lacked the communication skills to do it. And that may explain the way the wheels came off the wagon last year.

That said, if he’s enough of a “leader of men” to get his offense on the field, then yeah, you’re right: the tendencies you’ve pointed out should return and LeVeon should see ca. 20 touches per game. And within those touches, there should be a good enough variety to sustain him.

Also, any offense has more options and a better chance to succeed when the defensive unit wearing the same jerseys as them is good. Gregg Williams will no doubt get better production out of that unit than Bowles did. Bowles might be one of the most overrated defensive minds in the game right now, but he does have an eye for talent and left Williams with a pretty good group, augmented by some nice acquisitions this off-season.

So I think LeVeon will succeed.

PS. Just took a brief tour of your blog. Looks good! Bookmarked!

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Thanks! I try not to “advertise” it here, although I have it in my handle on most of these sites for obvious reasons.

I didn’t mention it here, nor in my most recent article, BUT the OC in New York is former Bears QB coach Dowell Loggains who was on the same staff with Gase in Chicago in 2015. I look at how they handled Matt Forte, and while I KNOW Gase seems to be iffy on having a highly paid RB, I see this offense using Bell similarly. And we all know that they had no problem running Forte into the ground… My projections are all modest, since I never draft at a players ceiling, but this research comforted me in terms of Bells FLOOR since that was what I was worried about.

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I have the 9th pick in a ten team standard format re-draft.

So I’m somewhat in tune with trying to figure out Davante, Bell, Mixon, Conner, Julio, and MT, whose ADPs are currently 8 thru 14.

It’s a good problem to have, I suppose, but I’m also worried about his floor (I think everyone is because the Jets have been awful, so has Gase, and Bell hasn’t suited up in over a year, which increases chances for injury).

Not sure I want LeV at 9, but I know he won’t be there for me at 13.

Should be interesting to see how the summer unfolds for this group…

I like late picks in redraft leagues myself… If you can land Adams or Jones as your WR1 and get ANY of those three RBs (I rank them Mixon / Conner / at this very moment) then you’re off to a solid start.

In redraft you’re safer taking a guy like Bell too knowing that guys like Mack and Jones are floating around in the 3/4 round range.

Completely agree.

He is definitely a better OC than HC. I completely agree with that. I am just out on Bell. Personal decision on my part, not because of Gase.

My concern this season is two fold.
One, Gase wasn’t the driving force behind Bell.
When he soured on Ajayi he moved him out fast, so I worry that he could do the same with Bell.
The other thing is the pace of play.
They were close to the bottom of the league last year, and I think they were two years ago too.
Nothing about that Miami offense did anything to inspire confidence, and he brought is OC with him to NY, so I’m nervous.
If I’m in the 9-12 spot, I’m definitely taking a long look at who’s still there and who would be there coming back around.
I almost like the idea of say Adams in the 1st and Cook in the 2nd than Bell in the 1st and someone like Evans or Thielen in the 2nd.

I won’t begrudge ANYONE for taking Adams over Bell regardless of how they feel about Le’Veon… Adams is a 1B at the WR position so there’s way more value there.

That being said, Ajayi was given more chances than he deserved… hell he got 15 rushing attempts his first game back in 2018 after all the missed time, and he even started 3 games before injury forced him out again.

I think this narrative that Gase doesn’t use his backs has gotten entirely overblown because of his use of Drake… He has a much longer history calling plays that benefit his lead back than he does of misusing Drake.

And Loggains only called plays for Miami last year; previously he was in Chicago where he gave Jordan Howard plenty of work (ignoring his pass catching deficiency) and in Tennessee in where he gave Chris Johnson 300+ touches.

Honestly, I think the evidence points purely to Bell being used a TON. Gase and Loggains have a history of running their backs into the ground prior to their involvement in the Miami offense, and between lack of weapons, a carousel of miscreants at the QB position, and the injuries to their PREFERRED lead back in Ajayi, I don’t feel that I’m too far out on a limb to say that we should be weighting the year(s) in Miami a little less than what we’d seen previously for both guys.

He’s got a largely unproven QB with no true WR1.

Anderson is good, but he’s not a true 1.

My concern is that the pace of is just going to drag like it did in Miami to protect Darnold.

I could be completely wrong, but that’s just my feeling.

I also harken back to the fact that he didn’t want to go in as heavily on Bell, so what about Bell didn’t Gase really like knowing NY was gonna make a huge play in free agency.

Plus, I mean, he just looks like he’s kind of crazy. Haha.

I appreciate the discussion… First, I do think there’s inherent danger selecting even a workhorse back on a sub-par offense. The track record is pretty clear over the years…

I won’t argue the lack of proven talent around him, but I do think Robby Anderson has emerged as a true #1 - his biggest knock coming into the league was his “focus” drops and frail body type. After playing in 46 of a possible 48 games over the past three seasons and cutting his drops by 80%, I think he’s ready to emerge as an excellent top option, and he’s supported by three very good complimentary pieces in Crowder, Enunwa, and Herndon.

I take the “wasn’t high on Bell” with a grain of salt, since I feel it was the money and not the player he took issue with… that and the fact that he wasn’t consulted by management during the draft and free agency.

I go back to how he and his current OC used the offense in Chicago years ago and can’t help but see many similarities between personnel. If I was MORE confident, I’d argue that Bell should be higher, but I’m expecting him to regress slightly from his numbers in Pittsburgh, but I’d still be comfortable rolling him out every week if he happened to fall to me (and I maintain that I’d take a top 3 WR over Bell all day long at the end of the first).