Adam Gase may be the best young assistant coach in the NFL. He may be the next great head coach in the NFL. But there is one major issue facing his candidacy, illustrated perfectly by a Google image search of his name.
The issue: Gase doesn’t come with #18.
So who is Adam Gase?
- He just switched agents, enlisting the services of Jimmy Sexton. Sexton seems to represent about 75% of the coaches getting hired these days. This isn’t a minor move. This is the move a coordinator makes when he’s ready to take the next step and leave the lounge for the main room.
- From a piece critical of Gase in Mile High Sports: “While everyone talks about the need for balance, Gase’s scheme did not and does not promote it.” Of course the Broncos offense fully committed to the run game over the final quarter of the 2014 season, a somewhat remarkable mid-season philosophical shift that must have been injury-motivated. How much of that shift falls on Gase’s shoulders as opposed to Peyton Manning’s? Once again #18 makes evaluating Gase quite difficult.
- Adam Gase is married to Joe Vitt’s daughter. The story is pretty damn entertaining:
Gase was having dinner with Vitt, Saints coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Matt Sheldon when the other three left the table — leaving Gase alone with Vitt.
“I’m kind of like, ‘What’s going on here?’ ” Gase, a graduate assistant at LSU from 2000-02 under Nick Saban, said laughing. “So he gives me permission to marry Jen. I didn’t even ask him.
“So I’m leaving the Senior Bowl, and I call Jen and say, ‘Hey, your dad gave me permission to marry you,’ and she goes, ‘What … you asked him?’ I told her no. I don’t know if it was too many vinos or what.”
Three months later, Gase proposed to Jennifer Vitt.
“I was like, ‘I don’t think I have a choice now,’ ” Gase said with a smile. “I’m in.”
- Two points on the above point: (1) Had no idea that Gase started under Nick Saban at LSU and (2) One wonders if Sean Payton wouldn’t allow Vitt out of his Saints contract to join his son-in-law in Chicago. Vitt in a consigliere role might be exactly what a first-time, 37 year-old head coach needs. (Vitt has never been a defensive coordinator but I don’t think it could be completely ruled out.)
- If you took the average age of the four remaining head coaches and general managers it would be about 54-55 years old. If the Bears hired Gase they would enter the 2015 season with two 37 year-olds leading the way.
And let’s not forget the real reason I’d be excited about Adam Gase being hired as next Bears head coach: the Pace & Gase tee shirts.