Peter King, on his MMQB website, regularly puts out a very long post on Monday mornings, his Monday Morning Quarterback. Often this write up is 6, 7 or 8 pages of material looking at the many stories going on around the NFL. During the season this seems much easier with all the games for the 32 teams. In the post season the stories are bigger, with more depth.
Today’s article had zero information about the Cleveland Browns. They were mentioned in relation to Norv Turner’s career movement but that is it. Yet there were some interesting quotes from Peyton Manning that should excite Browns’ fans about the current “favorite” for the head coaching position, Adam Gase.
One thing that’s happened here is the trust he’s built with rookie offensive coordinator Adam Gase this year. “I really like Gase,” Manning said. “It’s a compliment to him. I like playing for guys that are smarter than me and work as hard as me. Gase is there before I get there in the morning.”
For Manning, he of legendary preparation, to see the hard work of Gase says something about his potential. (If this was the Browns I would assume Manning, King and others were just trying to talk the guy up for some nefarious reason). A coach who works as hard as Manning, or harder, would be demanding on his players to do the same, especially the most important position of quarterback.
“That’s what I like about Adam,” Manning said. “He’s always working, always thinking. We email each other at night ideas, and bounce ideas off—‘”
This followed a paragraph noting a play run because Gase made a plan to break tendencies. This was not an example of a team trying to be smarter then the other team or getting cute, instead it was a realization that the team had an opportunity to exploit their own tendency. That type of thinking is a great sign of his ability to think creatively but clearly. The play they put in was “only” a 6 yard run but it broke tendencies and allowed for the Broncos to continue their drive.
Manning liked Gase’s idea. Inside the 5, on an early down, the Patriots were inclined to bring one or more safeties down close to the line. “Not a good look to run the ball,” said Manning. On 1st-and-goal from the 3 midway through the third quarter, Gase called the play—for a run, not a pass. And when Manning got to the line, he saw the safety cheating down, and so Manning changed the play to a pass. “We got the perfect look,” Manning said. Demaryius Thomas pressed cornerback Alfonzo Dennard toward the corner of the end zone, then broke quickly to the post. Wide open. Touchdown.
Being able to communicate, trust and plan for different opportunities is a sign of a smart, capable and team oriented coach. For Manning to continually talk about Gase and his abilities is good enough for us. While Gase may not decide to interview or take the position, and there is no guarantee he will be successful, a Manning recommendation is a great sign. Some may even be willing to go all in on Gase because of it.
What do you think about these quotes from Manning? Does it impact how you think about Gase? Before this coaching search did you even know who Gase was (this writer had not heard his name)? Are you okay waiting 2 more weeks to interview a guy who might not even take the job? Discuss below.