DAVIE — After lopsided losses earlier this season, Dolphins coach Adam Gase fumed about missed assignments and poor work habits, threatened to demote starters and even traded his Pro Bowl running back.
This time he’s drawing consolation from other colleagues around the AFC mired in mediocrity or worse.
"It’s not like anyone’s running away with anything," Gase said Tuesday. "It’s a total disaster everywhere. There are about two teams where everybody is all happy. Everywhere else it’s misery."
The Dolphins (4-5), who host the Bucs on Sunday, remain in the playoff picture even though they’ve hardly looked like a playoff team lately, with three straight losses, all in prime time and two by blowout margins. That includes Monday night’s 45-21 humiliation at Carolina, in which the Panthers rolled up a franchise-record 548 yards.
Gase reacted angrily to earlier drubbings by the Jets and Ravens. Now, with the season seemingly on the brink, he’s taking a different approach.
Effort isn’t an issue, Gase said, and blown assignments have been dramatically reduced. The coach said he and the front office didn’t overestimate the level of talent on the roster, and he downplayed the likelihood of another lineup shakeup, such as the surprising trade of running back Jay Ajayi two weeks ago.
"I don’t really see us reaching to just do something to just drop a bomb on everybody," Gase said.
CONCUSSIONS: More than a third of concussion evaluations this season are a result of players indicating they have symptoms, a much higher percentage than last season, the NFL’s chief medical officer said. Allen Sills said that "about 37 percent" of the 379 evaluations during the preseason and regular season have been "initiated by a self-report." Sills said it was about 20 to 22 percent a year ago.
SUPER BOWL: The Dave Matthews Band will perform in St. Paul, Minn., on Feb. 3, the eve of the Super Bowl.
BENGALS: They filled their need for a running back by signing Brian Hill off the Falcons’ practice squad.
BROWNS: Linebacker Jamie Collins went on injured reserve with a right knee injury.
PANTHERS: Rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel will have season-ending surgery on his left ankle and will be placed on injured reserve. … Offensive lineman Matt Kalil is facing criminal charges of selling alcohol to a minor at his Minnesota pizza restaurant, even though he wasn’t present when the transaction occurred.
SEAHAWKS: They signed veteran cornerback Byron Maxwell to help make up for the loss of Richard Sherman to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury.