MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase has been fired and executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum has been demoted after the team missed the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years.
General manager Chris Grier, who has been with the team in various capacities for 19 seasons, was given more authority and will oversee football operations while reporting directly to owner Stephen Ross. The team said it will immediately conduct a search for a new coach who will report to Grier.
Ross made the moves Monday following a 7-9 season.
Gase went 23-26 with the Dolphins, and a 42-17 loss Sunday at Buffalo sealed his fate. Tannenbaum, who held his job for four years and was involved with several disappointing drafts, was reassigned within the organization.
After beating New England on the play of the season — a pass and double lateral for a touchdown as time ran out — the Dolphins were outscored 100-41 in their final three games by other also-ran teams, including Buffalo 42-17 on Sunday.
The next coach will be the Dolphins’ 10th since 2004, including three interim coaches. Stuck on a treadmill of mediocrity, they’ve finished with six to eight wins in nine of the past 10 seasons, and haven’t won a playoff game since 2000.
Most preseason prognosticators predicted the Dolphins would finish with a losing record, and a wave of injuries complicated Gase’s task. The Dolphins lost 13 key players to season-ending injuries, including two top offensive linemen, their best run stopper, top cornerback Xavien Howard and dynamic receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games.
There’s already speculation Gase, 40, will be coaching another team in 2019, and his supporters argued he overachieved given the quality of the Dolphins’ roster.
They were outgained by 1,619 yards, worst in franchise history, and outscored by 114 points. They ranked 31st in the NFL in offense, also a franchise worst, and 29th in defense, allowing a franchise-record 6,257 yards.
Gase went 7-1 this season in one-score games, and 20-6 in three seasons. But his record in games decided by more than one score was 3-20, including 0-8 this season. His teams struggled especially on the road, losing their final seven away games this year while being outscored 248-117.
Gase was seen as a rising young star coach when the Dolphins hired him, and even more so after they went 10-6 in his first season and made the playoffs for the only time since 2008.
But they regressed to 6-10 in 2017, when Tannehill missed the entire season following knee surgery. Tannehill failed to show much improvement and is widely expected to be traded or released because of an escalating salary.