Adam Gase

Latest On Dolphins, DeVante Parker

Over the weekend, DeVante Parker‘s agent lashed out at the Dolphins and accused coach Adam Gase of lying about his client’s health. Now, the wide receiver is distancing himself from his agent’s comments, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets

Parker claims that he did not know Jimmy Gould would make those remarks, which included accusations of “incompetence.” For his part, Parker says that he has a good relationship with Gase, and doesn’t believe that things will be awkward between them.

With the trade deadline roughly one week away, Parker will be a name to monitor. Before the Cowboys shipped a first-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper, they were reportedly “monitoring” the 25-year-old receiver. The Dolphins are said to be seeking for a third round pick to part with Parker, though Gould’s comments could compel the Fins to lower their asking price.

On the flipside, the Dolphins may have reason to keep Parker in the wake of injuries to Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills. It’s admittedly hard to see the Dolphins eagerly moving forward with Parker, but they might not have much of a choice if Stills and Wilson are in for extended absences.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Who Will Be The First Coach To Get Fired This Season?

It’s a new year for every coach in the NFL, but not every coach will survive the year. Already, there’s speculation about which coaches could be on the hot seat in 2018. Some coaches with shaky job security may include:

  • Hue Jackson, Browns: Jackson is the oddsmaker’s favorite to lose his job first. After compiling a 1-31 record in his two seasons at the helm in Cleveland, it’s hard to argue with the professionals. Jackson certainly has more talent to work with thanks to the arrivals of running back Carlos Hyde, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and a vastly improved secondary, but along with that comes raised expectations. When also considering that Jackson is a holdover from the previous regime and not necessarily the preferred choice of new GM John Dorsey, it’s quite possible that Jackson could be ousted with another bad start.
  • Adam Gase, Dolphins: When Gase was hired in 2016, he was the league’s youngest head coach at the age of 38. He earned a playoff appearance in his first year on the sidelines, but last year turned ugly after quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season and replaced by Jay Cutler. Tannehill’s return should help matters, but it’s fair to wonder whether this team has improved much at all after losing Ndamukong Suh on the other side of the ball. The Dolphins’ early schedule may also hurt Gase as they open against the Titans, Jets, Raiders, and Patriots. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dolphins split those games, like they did in 2017, but it’s also conceivable that they could open the year 0-4. As you can probably guess, an 0-4 start is historically difficult to climb out from. Of the 117 teams that have started 0-4 in the 16-game era, the ’92 Chargers are the ones to have reached the postseason with with an 11-win campaign. The 2004 Bills and the 2017 Chargers both rallied to win nine games, but neither club reached the playoffs.
  • Marvin Lewis, Bengals: The Lewis saga took some weird twists and turns last season. In the midst of a second-straight season without a playoff appearance, there was speculation about Lewis’ job security. Then, in December, we started hearing rumblings that Lewis might leave the Bengals to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Ultimately, Lewis was signed to a two-year extension to, theoretically, keep him under contract for his 16th and 17th seasons in Cincinnati. Lewis has avoided lame duck status for 2018, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll survive the year if the Bengals falter.
  • Vance Joseph, Broncos: Joseph was nearly axed after the 2017 season before John Elway ultimately decided to retain him. The Broncos’ defense is still jam-packed with talent and they have a capable quarterback in Case Keenum, so anything short of a playoff appearance will be a disappointment in Denver. This will be Joseph’s second season at the helm in Denver, but it’s clear that he is under pressure it win.
  • Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers: Koetter was already believed to be on the hot seat but he was placed squarely behind the 8-ball last week when quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the first three games of the season. Even if the Bucs come out of September unscathed, they’ll be up against an overall schedule that is the fourth-toughest in the NFL, based on the combined win percentage of opponents in 2017.

The list goes on from there. Jay Gruden (Redskins), Todd Bowles (Jets), Bill O’Brien (Texans), Jason Garrett (Cowboys), John Harbaugh (Ravens), and Ron Rivera (Panthers) could also be in varying degrees of jeopardy with disappointing seasons. We’d be surprised to see a quick hook for Garrett, Harbaugh, or Rivera no matter what happens, but you may feel differently.

Click below to make your pick for who will be the first to get the axe. Then, you can head to the comment section to back up your choice.

[RELATED: The Average Age Of NFL Head Coaches In 2018]

Broncos Won’t Make In-Season Coaching Change

Although the Broncos are currently last in the AFC West with a 3-9 record, the club doesn’t plan to make any in-season changes to its front office or coaching staff, sources tell Mike Klis of 9News. However, alterations to Denver’s leadership are expected to take place in the coming months, per Klis.John Elway (Vertical)

Changes almost certainly won’t affect the status of executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway, who inked a new five-year contract in July. That contract reportedly made Elway the NFL’s highest-paid GM, and his position atop the Broncos’ decision-making hierarchy is unquestionable. However, Elway could certainly add new blood to Denver’s personnel ranks, especially given that the team’s past few drafts have been uninspiring.

The Broncos’ coaching staff has already been modified this season, as the club parted ways with first-year offensive coordinator Mike McCoy last month, replacing him with incumbent quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. Head coach Vance Joseph — a longtime target of Elway’s — hasn’t delivered results during his rookie campaign, and it’s possible Denver will make a change after only a single season. Before hiring Joseph, the Broncos interviewed only two other candidates: Kyle Shanahan and Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub.

Denver’s offensive staff is the most obvious area that could see new voices emerge, perhaps with a new quarterback in tow. But the club’s defense could also see changes: the Broncos rank 11th in defensive DVOA, but that’s a sharp decline from 2015-16, when the unit ranked first in both seasons. First-year defensive coordinator Joe Woods could conceivably be a candidate for dismissal, or Joseph (a former DC) could take a more active role in game-calling.

Speaking of (former) Broncos coaches, the Dolphins’ decision to onside kick while leading 33-9 against Denver on Sunday was motivated by Elway’s apparent “bad-mouthing” of ex-Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase during the 2015 hiring cycle, sources tell Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. While the item is more interesting than relevant, the note speaks not only to the depths of Denvers’s struggles this season, but a possible reputation problem Elway might need to fight this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Rosen, Darnold, McDermott, Bills QB’s, Kizer, Broncos Offense

The Dolphins dropped their fourth game in a row when the Bucs broke away in the fourth quarter of today’s contest, which has James Walker of ESPN.com saying that the team will start have to turn their attention to 2018. While Walker does note that the coaches and players will say that they’re still in the wild card hunt, the reality is that the team is showing no signs of making a run during the remaining weeks of the regular season. It’s a sobering thought for second-year head coach Adam Gase, who led Miami to a playoff birth during his first season as the Dolphins leader.

In addition to the defeat, the team also lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a concussion during today’s game. Cutler has already missed time earlier in the season, but the Dolphins continue to have an identity problem at the position, according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald. Although Matt Moore was effective in relief of Cutler in Week 11, the team did not signal what they intend to do at the quarterback position a week from now.

Gase told Beasley after the game that, “I want to get to tomorrow first, see how [Cutler is] feeling.” These situations usually get more light shed on them as the practice week goes on, however the Dolphins find themselves stuck in an unassuming gray area of the league with two veteran signal callers that can’t be relied on to deliver in the future. Miami still has Ryan Tannehill signed to a long-term deal when he fully recovers from his season-ending knee injury, but he hasn’t truly grabbed the reigns of the franchise since the team took the quarterback in the first round back in 2012.

  • Another team definitely looking ahead in regards to the QB position is the Jets, who had their general manager Mike Maccagnan, vice president of personnel Brian Heimerdinger and area scout Brian Shields on hand for the USC-UCLA game on Saturday to watch two of the best 2018 NFL Draft QB prospects in Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold square off, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini notes the interesting behavior of Maccagnan in particular, who he saw writing a “copious” amount of notes and decided to watch the game from behind the sidelines instead of in the press box, where most of the NFL scouts were sitting. The Jets are likely to cast a wide net in their search for their next franchise signal, but it would seem that the front office has a significant amount of interest in two of the best college quarterbacks in the country.
  • The Bills have produced themselves a tremendous QB controversy when they shockingly decided to bench starter Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman. However, after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of today’s loss at the hands of the Chargers, head coach Sean McDermott is confident and says that he is not second guessing his decision, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. The head coach didn’t reveal his intentions for who will start next week, even though Taylor did finish out the game today. The coach just said, “I’m going to evaluate.” when asked about his QB questions in his postgame media session, reports Vic Carruci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
  • On the other hand, Browns head coach Hue Jackson committed to his rookie signal caller for the rest of the season after today’s game, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Jackson has turned to both Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler throughout the season, but he seemed very set on DeShone Kizer after his team suffered their 10th straight loss of the 2017 season. “Where we are right now, I need to continue to see him,” said Jackson. “Let’s let him play. Let’s let him play this thing out. As long as he’s healthy, let’s keep putting him out there. I want to walk away from this season knowing exactly what DeShone Kizer is top to bottom. He deserves that. I know this is all tough for him. Week in and week out, it’s the consistency he has to keep chasing. He just has to keep working at it.” While seeing how Kizer reacts to this adversity seems like the franchise’s main priority, they’re quickly running out of chances to not fall into the same breadth as the 2008 Lions, who were the first team in league history to go 0-16 in a season.
  • The Broncos suffered their sixth straight loss at the hands of the Bengals after starting out 3-1 to start the season. The team has shifted to backup Brock Osweiler and could be looking to implement second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch at some point in the remaining six weeks of the season. However, apart from the QB problems, the team is apparently dealing with pushback from players regarding their current offensive scheme, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Sources tell the reporter that players are starting to show frustration with the way the offense is running. The team does have two very good receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but there are a ton of holes throughout the unit that schemes won’t hide. We’ll see how first-year head coach Vance Joseph reacts to the losing streak, but it’s turning out that this is a lost season for the Super Bowl 50 champions.

Extra Points: Manning, Fins, Carr, Cousins

In the wake of quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s season-ending knee injury last December, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase reached out to the retired Peyton Manning about a possible comeback. “It started with Gase,” Peyton’s father, Archie Manning, told Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. “He said, ‘Hey 18, Tannehill went down.’ He said, ‘I think he’s going to miss some time. The first question I’m going to get at the press conference in the morning is if I’m going to try to bring you to Miami. What do you want me to tell them?” Peyton Manning was resoundingly successful under Gase when he was Denver’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2012-14, but neither a reunion with Gase nor joining a playoff-bound club late in the season could entice the future Hall of Famer to return. Continued Archie Manning: “The text message came back from Peyton, ‘You tell them I could probably come play, but there’s no way I can miss carpool the next two weeks.’ So, he was done.” With Peyton Manning unwilling to come out of retirement, the Dolphins turned to backup QB Matt Moore toward the end of the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs, in which Pittsburgh soundly defeated them.

A few more notes from around the NFL…

  • At $25MM per year, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr‘s newly signed contract is a record deal in terms of average annual value, but it still doesn’t match up to Colts signal-caller Andrew Luck‘s pact, writes Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com. While Luck is collecting less per season (just over $23MM) on the six-year, $139.1MM extension he inked last summer, he outpaces Carr in terms of both three-year value ($75MM to $67.6MM) and four-year value ($96.125MM to $87.7MM). Those are better gauges than the overall value of a contract, suggests Barnwell, who argues that the last year of a quarterback’s deal is essentially irrelevant. By then, the QB will have either landed a raise, thereby eliminating what was left on the previous contract, or gotten cut.
  • Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins isn’t going to sign a long-term deal worth less than $52MM over the first two years, contends JP Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com. That figure represents the combined totals of the $24MM franchise tag for 2017, which Cousins is slated to play under, and the $28MM transition tag for next year. Even that might not be enough for the Redskins to lock up Cousins by the July 17 deadline, observes Finlay, who’s not particularly optimistic that a deal will come together.
  • Fourth-year Steelers defensive tackle Daniel McCullers is facing a make-or-break summer, notes Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The 352-pound McCullers is coming off his first 16-game season, but he only played 17.4 percent of defensive snaps, and the Steelers opted against giving him first-team reps in minicamp while starter Javon Hargrave dealt with an injury. When speaking with the team’s official website about McCullers’ status, Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell didn’t mince words, saying: “Dan McCullers, he’s got to grow up. It’s time to make a move right now. This is going to be his fourth year. And usually in this league, after about four years, you have got to make a move. Or, either, you move somewhere else.”

Coaching/GM Notes, Pt. 2: Arians, Gase, Wolf

Here is Part 2 of our coaching/GM rumors post. Part 1 can be found here.

  • Despite his health concerns, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians expects to return in 2017, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Schefter tweets that one of Arians’ top assistants, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, is expected to interview for a head coaching job with the Rams, Jaguars, and Bills.
  • As the 49ers get prepared to search for a new head coach and GM, a ghost from the past has reared its ugly head. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Twitter), San Francisco was prepared to hire current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase two years ago. The team informed Gase that he was the choice, but GM Trent Baalke intervened at the last moment and convinced ownership not to hire Gase. The 49ers chose Jim Tomsula instead, and it has been all downhill from there.
  • The Packers are not expected to make major coaching changes–although offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett could get head coaching interviews–but GM Ted Thompson could step aside and become a senior scouting adviser, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. One reason, according to Rapoport, is that Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf is a highly-coveted football mind, and if he’s not promoted soon, Green Bay could lose him.
  • The Bengals are not expected to fire Marvin Lewis, who is signed through 2017, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. However, Lewis is not expected to get another one-year extension this offseason, which means that another disappointing campaign in 2017 could spell the end of his tenure as Cincinnati’s head coach.
  • Jets head coach Todd Bowles will likely be back for a third season, but offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is expected to be fired, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
  • The Ravens are expected to part ways with OC Marty Mornhinweg, and assuming they do, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Greg Roman is someone to “keep an eye on.”
  • Browns coaches have “deep concerns” with the direction of the team’s personnel department and are expected to push owner Jimmy Haslam for changes in that regard, according to La Canfora. While head coach Hue Jackson is not planning to request the removal of top football man Sashi Brown, the coaching staff would like a proven, old-school talent evaluator involved in player selection to provide something of a checks-and-balance system to Brown’s analytics-based approach.
  • La Canfora suggests that, if the Lions miss the playoffs this season, GM Bob Quinn could at least think about a coaching change, and his Patriots ties could lead him to consider Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, with whom he established strong relationships during his time in New England. While I personally could imagine Quinn’s being interested in McDaniels, I cannot see Patricia as a legitimate head coaching candidate at this point.

Extra Points: Dolphins, Cards, Jags, 49ers

The 7-4 Dolphins have won six straight and are on pace to make their first playoff trip since 2008, and the team’s players insist that rookie head coach Adam Gase has a lot to do with it. Many members of the team “love” playing for Gase, they told Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post. “He’s different. He’s … different,” backup quarterback Matt Moore said of Gase, 38, the youngest head coach in the NFL. “I think when he does talk to guys, both offensively and defensively, he’s got something working for him that resonates within guys.” Gase referred to the culture that existed in recent Dolphins regimes as “nonsense,” while longtime Miami defensive end Cameron Wake revealed that observing some past teammates’ commitment issues was “100 percent” difficult to digest. “He gives you the leash, gives you the rope,” stated left tackle Branden Albert. “If you mess it up, then he pulls it, and I think that’s how it should be. For the most part, guys have been good about not messing up.”

More from around the NFL:

  • Even though he relishes working under Bruce Arians, Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin‘s “end all” goal is to become a head coach, he informed Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “I think B.A. has groomed me, kind of like he groomed Todd (Bowles),” said Goodwin. “Every year he’s given me more and more responsibilities. Obviously I get to see him work every day, how he handles the team, the administrative part of it. I think it’s helped me grow a lot.” Goodwin interviewed with the Buccaneers for their head coaching vacancy last winter, and the Cardinals’ status as an elite offensive team likely helped him earn consideration. Arizona has fallen off this year, though it remains to be seen if that will hurt Goodwin’s chances of landing a promotion during the upcoming offseason. Notably, Arians – not Goodwin – calls the Cardinals’ offensive plays.
  • Sunday’s matchup between Jacksonville and Denver might seem relatively uninteresting, but not to Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall. The Jaguars chose Marshall in the fifth round of the 2012 draft and ended up cutting him three different times before he joined the Broncos in September 2013. Marshall hasn’t forgotten about his inability to stick with the Jags. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” he told Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. “The scouts, the executives, some coaches, some players, there’s a lot of people still back there from my time. That gives me a little extra push, a little extra umph. It puts a little extra sauce on this game.” Latching on with Denver has worked out wonderfully for Marshall, who signed a sizable extension with the Broncos over the summer on the heels of a strong couple of years – including a Super Bowl-winning campaign last season. He ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 16th-best linebacker out of 85 qualifiers this year.
  • Of the 49ers’ 17 players scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in the offseason, the team should try to re-sign six – defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, tight end Vance McDonald, linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, and quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Thaddeus Lewis – opines Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Armstrong has a fan in defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, who gives the 25-year-old “two thumbs up,” but the coach’s uncertain future could affect whether the defender returns, writes Barrows.

Extra Points: Gase, 49ers, Cards, Bortles

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.

Extra Points: Romo, Gase, House

Let’s round up a few notes from around the league as the early Week 11 rage on:

  • We heard earlier today that retirement was a real possibility for Tony Romo at the end of the season, but Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys‘ newest backup quarterback fully plans to play in 2017 (Twitter link). If Romo did retire, Dallas could recoup $19.6MM from him, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry (via Twitter), which further supports the belief that Romo will not hang it up just yet.
  • The Dolphins have turned their season around in a big way, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports observes that first-year head coach Adam Gase is getting a great deal of credit both inside and outside the locker room. The players have responded to Gase’s no-nonsense, meritocratic approach, highlighted by his decision to release starting offensive linemen Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, and his decision to leave Jay Ajayi home during the team’s Week 1 trip to Seattle (Ajayi’s subsequent breakout performance, of course, has been a big reason for Miami’s success). Gase has also stood steadfastly by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, which has done wonders for Tannehill’s confidence.
  • The Jaguars‘ signing of Davon House in 2015 was widely regarded as a shrewd move that added a young and ascending player to Jacksonville’s secondary. During the first half of this season, though, opponents were 16-of-19 passing for 204 yards and three touchdowns against House in man coverage, and as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union observes, House has been fully phased out of the team’s game plan. It seems likely that the Jags will part ways with House in the offseason, as they could save $6MM against the cap without absorbing any dead money.
  • 49ers wideout Torrey Smith is unlikely to play today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). If Smith does not suit up, his streak of 89 consecutive regular season games played, which dates back to the first game of his rookie year in Baltimore, would come to an end.
  • Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at two collegiate prospects who are generating a great deal of buzz: USC’s Adoree’ Jackson and South Alabama’s Gerald Everett. Brooks writes that Jackson could be one of the top prospects in the 2017 or 2018 class, and Everett could become the best tight end in the 2017 class, which is especially impressive considering that this year’s crop of tight ends is quite strong.

AFC Notes: Fins, Ben, Bills, Broncos, Erving

The Dolphins have defeated winning teams in each of their past two games and are responding to the Adam Gase-led coaching staff more than their group of leaders last season, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes.

Miami’s roster has been more receptive to coaching from this staff after many resisted instruction from the Joe Philbin– and Dan Campbell-led staffs last season, per Salguero, who adds the team’s highest-paid player has fallen in line more in his second season in south Florida.

During his first, “very few people in the building” liked Ndamukong Suh, writes Salguero, who characterizes the standout defensive tackle as not buying into Philbin or Kevin Coyle in leadership positions. This season, Suh’s been living up to his $19MM-AAV price tag, with 3.5 sacks through seven games, rating as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 interior defender. The Dolphins remain 3-4, though, with a No. 20-ranked defense. They have an uphill battle if they’re going to contend for a playoff spot in Gase’s first season, even if they’ve created some rare momentum.

Here’s more from the AFC, beginning with a team whose momentum the Dolphins stunted.

  • Fantasy owners of Ben Roethlisberger or the Steelers‘ Big Ben-dependent skill-position contingent will need to stay on top of his status going into Week 9, with Adam Schefter reporting (via Twitter) the Steelers haven’t decided if Roethlisberger or Landry Jones will get the call against the Ravens. The 34-year-old passer is less than three weeks removed from meniscus surgery, and another Roethlisberger absence could sink the Steelers to .500 after they looked like one of the league’s most dangerous teams prior to his injury.
  • The Bills remain confident LeSean McCoy and Percy Harvin will play against the Seahawks on Monday night. However, Marcell Dareus will miss the game due to the groin injury he suffered against the Patriots, the team announced. Dareus has played in just one game for the Bills this season.
  • Harvin’s unretirement will net him $825K for the rest of the season, Tom Pelissero reports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old slot target will also earn $22.5K in game-day roster bonuses. Harvin made $6MM for the Bills last season.
  • In addition to Aqib Talib being set to miss Sunday night’s Broncos-Raiders tilt, Denver dime back Kayvon Webster will be out as well, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. Functioning as the No. 4 corner for a third straight season, Webster injured his hamstring against the Chargers, leaving the Broncos with three healthy corners on their active roster who have played in a game this season. The defending champions did add Taurean Nixon from their practice squad earlier today.
  • Free to use this year as an observational campaign now that they’re 0-8, the Browns are considering moving Cameron Erving from center to tackle, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. PFF rates Erving as its worst center among the 34 qualifying as full-time snappers. Hue Jackson intends to keep trying the 2015 first-rounder at center but acknowledged a position change could be in the cards, with Ulrich noting tackle would be the move. The 6-foot-6 Erving started at left tackle for two full seasons at Florida State before moving to center during his senior year in 2014. Cleveland obviously has Joe Thomas at left tackle and opted not to trade him again, but Thomas turns 32 this offseason and will continue to see his trade value diminish as he ages. The Browns have Austin Pasztor at right tackle.
  • Although he sees the Jets making a big move this coming offseason regardless of what transpires down the stretch (Twitter link), ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini does not see the team pulling an about-face and rekindling Muhammad Wilkerson trade talks. Cimini agrees with Sheldon Richardson, who categorized himself as the defensive line’s “odd man out” earlier this week.