Adam Gase
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase showcased his many influences as Dolphins boss in Week 1 of the 2018 season against the Titans.

Sabo Film Room

Nick Saban, Steve Mariucci, Mike Martz, Josh McDaniels, and Jon Fox—just a handful of esteemed head coaches New York Jets new sideline boss Adam Gase has rubbed elbows with.

From great experience comes great power. With great power comes tremendous responsibility. With an incredible amount of coaching star-power comes a blend of offensive philosophies.

Gase runs an offensive system featuring the zone-running scheme meshing with multiple offensive tags. Some of it is west coast. Some take its cues from the Greatest Show on Turf Martz teams. Much of it has even leaked from the impossibly successful quarterback-running Tim Tebow system and Hall of Fame worthy Peyton Manning genius.

It’s impossible to label what Gase’s offense is in one fell swoop.

Just understand one critical aspect: This is the way he likes it.


New York Jets

It’s his own unique system that prides itself on a chameleon-like gameplan. Unlike the 1980s that featured teams representing and running what they do best, that one true identity, today’s head coaches win based on a new offense each week. Bill Belichick kicked off the age of incredible gameplan alteration (based on opponent) and it’s run wild since.

Today, we take a look at Week 1 of the 2018 season when then-Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase deployed a unique passing attack against the Tennessee Titans.

If Adam Gase finds his offense in a 1st or 2nd-and-long situation, he’ll make sure to specifically target a weapon. In the above case, it’s excellent route-runner Danny Amendola who gets the call.

Four verticals are run in a sandlot style out of an empty set while Amendola runs a shallow drag to find that sweet spot. A decent gain is had to make 2nd-down much more manageable.

When marks the last time a New York Jets offense rushed to the line of scrimmage with the hope of taking advantage of an unready defense? Can you actually think of a specific instance?

In 2019, Sam Darnold will take those first steps in joining the likes of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and the retired Peyton Manning in collecting cheap statistics when the defense isn’t on its readiness game.

On 3rd-down, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense appropriately rushes to the line with at least three Tennessee Titans defenders completely obvious at the time of the snap.

Though the bunch bubble screen fails to gain the necessary yards, the idea that an Adam Gase offense teaches the quarterback to take advantage of this NFL reality holds true.

Speaking of shocking Jets offensive thoughts, did Sam Darnold, once, run a hard cadence at the line of scrimmage at all this past season?

I can’t think of an instance in which it was effective. This is another fine point that’ll help the soon-to-be sophomore quarterback.

Adam Gase loves himself his screens. Moreover, he loves those wide receiver screens.

He’ll implement a wide-range of weapon screens. Whether it comes via the bubble or straight wideout variety, he teaches the offense to take advantage of these plays when the defense is in a zone against a trips look and/or doesn’t match up numbers-wise near the numbers.

In the above example, he also meshes the zone-offensive line movement play action to go along with the quick WR screen. This is a second-level manipulation Gase will carry over to New York.

Speaking of second-level manipulation, check out the Gase zone play action quick out.

It’s not a true play action in the form of the back carrying out the fake. Rather, the entire offensive line moves to the left in an outside zone/stretch action that carries the defense with it.

All the quarterback has to do is take advantage of the lagging corner (Cover 3) while making sure the flat defender (if there is one) doesn’t show face underneath the quick out.

Gase routinely runs these quick, three-step designed passing plays. Unlike a Todd Bowles offense that only works if the rushing attack is on fire, Gase comes equipped with a passing selection that can completely replace the rushing attack in a pinch.

One of the most compelling reasons to hire Gase is that he remains contemporary. In addition to mixing in plenty of jet-sweep concepts that put pressure on the edge, he’ll roll with orbit/over motions that attempt to move the defense one way while looking to throw the other.

Above, the orbit motion attempts to clear the middle of the field for the shallow drag or post. Instead, Tannehill, in desperation, finds the flat for the nice YAC gain.

The hi-low concept is also a nice call out on this play.

The usual slant/flat combo has the flat running underneath the slant. Not in this specific situation.

Notice how the slant is harder and quicker. It actually drives underneath the flat which is more broad (acting like a quick out). What this does is draw in the outside corner to such a degree that he doesn’t remain responsible in his matchup main near the goal line.

It’s an excellent wrinkle from the Jets newest head coach.

Crossing patterns (with the attempt to rub) is a staple of any NFL offense. It’s one of the west coast principles that’s bled into every playbook.

In addition, in this example, a hi-low concept with a running back wheel is mixed in.

First, notice the formation. Yes, it’s an empty set (after the RB travel motion). Don’t hate on the empty set purely due to Jeremy Bates’s usage of it in 2018. If deployed properly (not in 3rd-and-2 situations routinely), it’s an excellent set, especially while used out of 11 personnel (the real base personnel in Gase’s offense).

It’s an empty with the tight end in an iso situation up top, the running back on the other side, and a WR-only bunch formation near the seam. The sit/flat combo is a perfect play call against the telling zone defense (Cover 2).

In addition, the sit is cleared out by the deep dig that’s running right ahead.

Part of what makes Gase an excellent play caller is that he understands today’s NFL. Rubbing elbows with Peyton Manning has helped matters.

Nobody legally cheats better than Bill Belichick. Josh McDaniels’s offense has always led the league in legal picking. Manning finally caught on later in his career, about the same time Gase appeared in Denver.

The above example showcases a tight end fade that legally picks for the underneath slant against man coverage.

Get ready Chris Herndon. Twenty-nineteen will be a big year for you.

Gase is a play caller who thrives on matchups. He’ll place any weapon in any spot in order to isolate and/or take advantage of the matchup.

Here, he places his tight end, rookie Mike Gisecki (New Jersey product) in an iso situation for a fade at the goal line. The route is bad and the throw is even worse, but the idea that Herndon will be a Gase favorite holds true.

Also noteworthy is the idea that Gase will remain in his 11 personnel even at the goal line in a 2nd-and-4 situation. If the defense takes away the run, he has no problem putting the ball in the quarterback’s hands.

Finally, we wrap up Week 1 with another Adam Gase staple: the inside zone split play action.

Feeding off the zone-rushing attack, the zone split play action takes advantage of an aggressive defense while attempting to move the unit in one direction.

On this play, only a two-man route is needed against a Cover 0 to take advantage. Sam Darnold will hit this open man in time as opposed to Tannehill’s poor effort.

Adam Gase Week 1 Offensive Call Outs

  • A contemporary zone-rushing attack.
  • West coast route-running principles (especially shallow crosses and hi-low concepts).
  • Zone play action movement coupled with the three-step designed passing system.
  • A matchup generator not afraid to place tight end and/or running back in iso situations.
  • Wrinkles stemming from normal route-pattern concepts.


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