DENVER – John Fox has now made nine coordinator hires for his soon-to-be-12 seasons as an NFL head coach. Six of them had never been play-callers on a full-time basis in the NFL — including Adam Gase, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator Thursday.
The move mimics the changes made in Indianapolis with quarterback Peyton Manning after longtime offensive coordinator Tom Moore stepped aside from full-time duties after the 2009 season. At that time, Clyde Christensen moved from receivers coach to offensive coordinator, while quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell assumed head coaching duties after Tony Dungy’s retirement from the sideline.
As was the case in Indianapolis, keeping continuity for Manning and the offense was paramount.
“You’re not starting over, and in April we’ll be ready right from the get-go,” Gase said Thursday.
Tempo will be paramount, Gase noted.
“I don’t think it ever can be maxed out. You’re always looking to kind of tweak things here and there. So we’re going to try to play faster,” he said.
Other notes from Gase’s conference call with local media:
… He called plays on multiple series in some late games, but wouldn’t reveal which ones they were or whether they resulted in touchdowns. “I’m not telling,” he said.
… Gase was impressed with the progress of quarterback Brock Osweiler. “He just grew up so fast,” Gase said. “He really prepared as though he was going in the next snap and he really went out of his way to make sure that when we talked about things, his release point, the way he dropped, his balance as a passer, his progressions, he really pushed himself to do those things right and he can come back and tell you, ‘I screwed that up, I should have done this.’ Just to see that guy grow as fast as he did, I really enjoyed watching that.”
… Gase will hand off quarterback-coaching duties to a new hire and will not assume a dual role.
… He hasn’t decided whether he will call plays from the sideline or the booth.
… The notion that Manning was a de facto offensive coordinator was dismissed. “Peyton Manning wants to be coached,” Gase said, adding that Manning would tweak calls. “When you give him a play, if it needs to be better, he does a great job of putting you in that play. It’s the best situation possible for a guy calling plays. If you call something and it’s not good, he fixes it and puts you in a better play.”
… Gase defended the kneeldown decision at the end of regulation Saturday. “As Fox said, it was best for our guys to regroup at the time, get to overtime & try to win it,” Gase said.