With Miami set to face San Francisco on Sunday, first-year Dolphins head coach Adam Gase revisited the 49ers’ past pursuit of him on Wednesday (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). After the 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh parted ways at the conclusion of the 2014 season, the club replaced him with Jim Tomsula. But it also interviewed a slew of other candidates – Gase included. It turns out Tomsula tried to hire Gase as his offensive coordinator, the latter revealed Wednesday. Gase instead took the same role with the Bears, with whom he fared well, and is now atop a 6-4 Dolphins team. Since passing on Gase, the 49ers have gone 6-20 under the since-fired Tomsula and his replacement, Chip Kelly.
Although they went in a different direction in 2015, Gase harbors no ill will toward the 49ers. “Spending all the time with (general manager) Trent (Baalke) was a really valuable experience for me and it was extremely helpful for me when I went through that next round of interviews,” Gase said. “The dos and don’ts of what to do. Just kind of the expectations. I owe those guys a lot just for the fact that they did give me that second interview … Nobody else gave me that second interview.”
In other NFL news…
- Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was frank in explaining why first-round defensive end Robert Nkemdiche was inactive for the club’s previous two games, telling Darren Urban of the team’s website, “Talent, not an issue. Maturity is. It’s just maturing.” Arians also took a shot at Nkemdiche’s work ethic (or lack thereof), saying that 2015 first-rounder D.J. Humphries – who was inactive his entire rookie season – put in more of an effort last year. Nkemdiche was a highly regarded talent at Ole Miss, but character concerns helped him fall to 29th in the draft, and several scouts opined beforehand that he’d bust in the pros. It’s early, but with just three appearances and one tackle thus far, Nkdemiche certainly hasn’t made those scouts eat their words.
- A disappointing season from Blake Bortles has led to speculation that the Jaguars will decline his fifth-year option for 2018 in the offseason, but team management still believes he’ll be a franchise quarterback, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Bortles is tied for the league lead in interceptions (13), though that isn’t a new problem – he tossed 17 picks in 14 games as a rookie and 18 in 16 contests in 2015. The third overall pick of the 2014 draft otherwise showed promise last year with 37 touchdowns (35 passing, two rushing) and over 4,700 total yards. While Bortles is on pace to throw for a fairly prolific 29 scores this year, his completion percentage (a career-high 60.2), yards per attempt (6.32 – down from 7.31 last season) and passer rating (80.0) rank toward the bottom of the league. Worse, of course, is that the Jags have stumbled to a 2-8 mark after entering the season with playoff aspirations.
- Ravens tight end Nick Boyle practiced Wednesday for the first time since the preseason, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Boyle, whose 10-game suspension ended this week, has now served two bans since he entered the league as a fifth-round pick in 2015. He earned a four-game suspension last year for performance-enhancing drugs, which prematurely ended an 18-catch rookie campaign.
- The Chargers tried to sign wide receiver Paul Turner before the Eagles promoted him to their 53-man roster this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Zach Links contributed to this post.