MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — About an hour before kickoff Sunday afternoon, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase sauntered to the Broncos’ side of the field to meet his former bosses who passed on him for the top gig in Denver back in 2015. The meeting appeared cordial, as general manager John Elway, director of player personnel Matt Russell and chief commercial officer Mac Freeman chatted, shook hands and they went their seperate ways. Gase later trotted back out for a friendly visit with Broncos CEO Joe Ellis.
Like old times. Just a meeting among former colleagues.
Or maybe there was something left over from their parting, when Gase, the team’s former offensive coordinator, was interviewed to be the Broncos’ head coach and ultimately got turned down in favor of Gary Kubiak.
Either way, Gase got the better of his former team Sunday.
“I know this was a big game for Coach Gase and a lot of other guys that play over there,” Dolphins safety Reshad Jones said. “We just wanted to go out and play our style of football and I think it showed today.”
But Gase, long after the Dolphins threw the dagger, twisted it a bit in the fourth quarter when he called for an onside kick, which was converted, with his team holding a 33-9 lead.
“Just playing 60 minutes. We’re not going to slow down,” Gase said of his decision. “I don’t care what the score is.”
At least one Bronco player did care, though.
“I don’t know if there was any bad blood. But apparently there was because he was trying to embarrass us,” cornerback Chris Harris said.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph brushed it off, saying “that’s his choice” and pointed out that the Broncos attempted an onside kick as well, though theirs failed.
Broncos linebacker Von Miller refused to get upset about it.
“I was ready to go back out there. I was still trying to get a sack — a sack for a fumble,” he said. “That’s the game. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and say, ‘Man, why is he kicking an onside kick? Just give us the ball.’ That’s loser football. If they want to kick onside, they can do it. We got to cover and we got to get the ball back and … we got to play. It’s the pros. If it was Little League, yeah, we can be upset. But it’s the pros.”