DAVIE (CBSMiami) — After scoring a touchdown to take a comfortable 33-9 lead over the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter, Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase called for an onside kick, which his team recovered.
This is not a common tactic for the leading team to employ when the game is seemingly decided.
“You guys have seen every game we’ve played,” Gase said Monday. “It’s not like we’ve been dominating. I wanted to make a point to our guys that we’re going to be aggressive every minute.”
By that explanation, Gase is saying the onside kick was about developing aggressive habits. If you ask Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, the onside kick had more to do with “bad blood” between Gase and his former boss, John Elway of the Broncos.
Zack Kelberman of CBS Sports adds another wrinkle to the bad blood angle, which is rumored to date back to 2015.
Gase did, in fact, attempt to run up the score. But his message was being sent to a different recipient: John Elway.
The bad blood between the two men dates back to 2015, when Gase — then Denver’s offensive coordinator — felt Elway “didn’t help his cause” as a head coaching candidate, a source tells Mike Klis of 9News.
Gase was a hot commodity on the market, and he was quickly snatched up by the Dolphins, signing a five-year contract with the organization. However, it appears he hasn’t forgiven Elway nor forgotten what he did — or didn’t do, as it were.
The doubts I have with this conspiracy theory center around Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph. Joseph and Gase are close, with the former serving as Gase’s defensive coordinator in 2016 in Miami. According to Joseph, Gase was instrumental in helping him get his first head coaching job. Even if Gase does indeed possess hard feelings towards John Elway, would he really humiliate his friend and protege by running up the score, just to send a message to his former boss?