School’s Back in Session: The Miami Dolphins & Coach Manning?

By Nicolis Freeman

Twitter: @NixMix89

Peyton Manning couldn’t stay away from the game long enough after winning his second Lombardi trophy with the Denver Broncos just this past February. Hooking up with his old offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, now the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Manning had a few words of wisdom for fifth-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The two reportedly spent about an hour down in Davie, Florida dissecting Gase and how the quarterback position works under him.

Adam Gase (left) reviewing the offense during Manning’s (right) return to Indianapolis in 2014. (USA Today)

Adam Gase (left) reviewing the offense during Manning’s (right) return to Indianapolis in 2014. (USA Today)

Remember, Gase was Manning’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and they bonded immediately. In an interview, Gase stated that he had to implement a “no-texting” rule on Friday nights because Manning reportedly blew up his phone about plays, schemes and other football related questions.

According to multiple reports, this was all Manning’s idea to go visit Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. Yes, it’s great that he’s spending some time with Tannehill, and hopefully his play and understanding of Gase’s playbook will rub off. But is this story about the Dolphins or about Manning?  As a Dolphins fan, you’re totally saying it’s all about the Dolphins and Tannehill gaining some crazy insight that’s going to allow them to dominate. Slow your roll. The visit was about an hour. This was all about Manning.

In my opinion, he’s doing this to see how he likes coaching. Coach Manning has a nice little ring to it, doesn’t it? He also is reportedly set to visit the Denver Broncos within the next couple of days. Maybe to teach someone how to run Gary Kubiak’s bootleg plays? Manning doesn’t want to do TV; Papa John’s keeps him busy enough with commercials. He wants back in the game and he wants it bad. Players like him can’t stay away from the game they’ve always loved and made a living off of. Same goes for Kobe Bryant, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers; it’s only a matter of time before competitors of that nature are back at it again. This is the cliché, “getting your feet wet” stage for Manning and what he wants to do post NFL playing days.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill (center) could really use some All-Pro advice on how to advance in the NFL. (Palm Beach Post)

Sure, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins reap the rewards. So now let’s take a look at how this benefits the Dolphins.

It provides Gase automatic credibility and a lot of respect in the locker room to see one of his former players come back and spread some knowledge. It also helps arguably the most important person on the offense (quarterback) learn from one of the greatest to ever play the position. Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on that wall? Questions about calling audibles at the line, how to scan through a defense and what plays Gase likes to use in certain situations. All plusses for the Dolphins. Tannehill loved every minute of it saying:

“It was really cool. A guy that had his career, the living legend he is, coming off a Super Bowl winning season — it was really cool just to be able to sit and pick his brain about things he’s done in this offense and football things in general: snap counts, things you like, the way you want guys to run routes, little details about the game. We really just got to talk the game, which is something we both love.”

No surprise that this visit comes only days after the Dolphins decided to change things up a little at practice.

Adam Gase

Adam Gase wants the rookies to “learn the system” before taking the field. (Palm Beach Post)

For the first time in Dolphins history the rookies won’t be doing contact drills to start their NFL career. Smart move. The organization took a different approach to the newcomers. They addressed the playbook through classes, film and simple walkthroughs of how the offense works. They brought in specialists on how to handle the media. I think Leremy Tunsil could use a pointer or two after his draft night. The team brought in social media specialists to educate them on how it’s different now that they’ve made it big time. It’s like the freshman orientation that we’ve all experienced at one point or another. This shows that the organization actually cares about their players on and off the field, how the organization is run and how to improve their own image with respect to the rest of the league. Pretty much saying were a lot more than sunny weather, cool beaches and bright lights. We are here to win and become a winning culture in the NFL.

If you ask me, the team is finally starting to build a positive culture and become serious about winning. Oh and by the way, guess who decided to implement a “school” like plan for their rookies…Peyton Manning’s former team, the Denver Broncos.

Hopefully the Dolphins learn a thing or two from the culture Head Coach Adam Gase built in Denver and adopt it in Miami. A lot of positives coming from Dolphins camp, so stay tuned for more!

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