TOJ New York Jets Film Review – Adam Gase 2018 Offense

Joe Blewett with a full film breakdown of Adam Gase’s offense

First we will start with the article/wrap up of Gase and his offense with the film review to follow below. Prior to the Adam Gase hire I personally really, REALLY didn’t like the idea of him being the head coach of the Jets. My opinion on the subject was largely based on negative things I had heard about Gase’s offense as well as numerous the “off the field” issues that I’ll touch on later.

But as somebody who has been reviewing film for a few years now, I should have known better than to rely on someone else’s opinion and break down the film for myself.

And to that end, I have to say that after watching the film for myself, I was pleasantly surprised that Gase seems to have a strong mind for offense.


Gase uses every formation under the sun: pistol, empty, shotgun, wing sets, wildcat, gun splits, y-iso, singeback, I-formation etc but he undoubtedly favors shotgun.

Just like every offense, he uses every personnel grouping as well empty, 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 22 but favors 11 personnel.

Gase does not utilize the fullback much, so I don’t see that as a need for the Jets this offseason.

Similar to what Belichick (not comparing coaching talent) does in NE, Gase frequently likes to put his offensive weapons in bunch and stack sets.

Then he uses picks and clearouts to open up the wide receivers with room to run (getting speedy YAC guys will be important).

Along with the rubs/clearouts you’re going to see plenty of screens from slips, bubbles, smokes, isolating running backs vs linebackers and on, again giving his weapons YAC opportunities.

With that being said I do believe that Gase will be running fewer screens with the Jets as I feel he did this so much in Miami because of his limitations at QB (Tannehill, Moore, Osweiler and Cutler).

But there is much more than screens to Gase’s offense: You see rubs and clearouts, too, as he ran a TON of different concepts (deep breath…might want to skip this) including isolation routes, inns, mesh, mesh hi-lo, flat 2-9, y-iso, play-action (see this a lot), y-cross, throwbacks, China, double China, stick, spot (loves out of i formation 22 personnel), post-wheels, pick-wheels, spin, cab, streak-seam, verticals, cab, pole, jet sweep pop passes, hoss, hawk,  scissors, switches, divides, switch-divides,Texas, switch-smash and this doesn’t even cover it all.

As for the run game, I won’t get into that as much, because the Dolphins had a “run game coordinator” in Eric Studesville (hoping to grab him from Miami) last year and he was mostly responsible.

That said, the run game was the first thing that really stood out to me in a positive way.

The system was primarily 65-70% inside zone but they also ran a ton of other concepts from jet sweeps, read options, weak and strong runs, reverses, power, counter, zone splits, pitches etc.

Gase is very good at scheming guys open as there were NUMEROUS players open on a wide variety plays throughout the Dolphins season.

Gase doesn’t have many tendencies that he sticks to (actually one of his detriments) which helps his offense be unpredictable and therefore, hard to defend.

He will take shots on 2nd and short, and he will even THROW on first down (Jets fans don’t even know what that is by now).

At this point you may be asking “what the hell, why is he so low in offensive rankings then?”

A LARGE part of that was on Tannehill, who was consistently flustered in the pocket, missed reads, couldn’t read pre or post snap, missed throws, and locked onto wide receivers when others were open.

Even with that, Tannehill was the Dolphins best option at QB but he missed 24 of 48 games which is 24 too many games that Gase had to deal with Jay Cutler, Brock Osweiler or Matt Moore as his starting QB.

Gase also ran a lot of screens (as i mentioned before) but the receivers were poor at blocking to the point they would both run to the same defensive back and still not be able to effectively block him.

The Dolphins didn’t have a bunch of offensive studs on the roster whether it be at skill positions or on the offensive line.

These are just some of the reasons that the Dolphins struggled over Gase’s 3 year tenure.

Think I’m making excuses for him?

I’m not, film never lies.

Are there negatives in his X’s and O’s?

Hell yeah there are, and I will address some of them below.


First, Gase’s reliance on screens was something that bugged me at times, especially in 2nd/3rd and long, knowing that his blocking out wide wasn’t consistent at all.

Also, Gase had certain concepts that would kill some teams, like the fake pitch sweep into an end around throw that went long TD’s early in the season but I NEVER saw it again which is an issue.

It seems as though Gase tries to outsmart himself and drown opposing teams with concepts.

Where good offensive minds will kill you over and over with the same concept until you stop it, Gase does not operate that way.

I’m not saying he should run the same concept 20 times a game, but if it’s working, then he should run it 5-10 times a game until the defense stops it.

When that happens the next week you show that look and the defense will be ready for it.

Now that CB jumps that out, but wait, it was an out-n-up and the CB is dusted before he realizes what has just happened (very simple example).

THAT is something I would have definitely liked to see much more of.

In addition, I definitely would have liked to see more of was Drake and Wilson, who were big weapons but felt underutilized in his offense (again, his is Gase outsmarting himself).

Last big issue – and it again relates to being too smart for his own good – on 3rd and short yardage situations, Gase ran complex schemes, either down the field or schemes very reliant on one or two factors.

For example. Running bootlegs and hoping that the unblocked playside DE/OLB doesn’t realize the play and attack the QB before he has time to turn around and dump it off to the drag crossing the field (that he also had rely on to get over quickly to hit if there was pressure).


Even with these issues I’m still very pleased with the X’s and O’s that I saw over the 2018 season.

That said, most of the major questions surrounding Gase go far beyond X’s and O’s.


  • How will how will the locker room be under Gase?
  • How will Gase and Greg Williams get along?
  • Will Gase jettison his best players in New York like he did with Ajayi and Landry?
  • Why did so many players reportedly complain to Dolphins’ ownership?
  • Will Gase be too focused on the offense alienating the defensive players?
  • How will he handle the media in New York if they don’t start off fast?

These are all fair questions to ask, and I wish Jets fans didn’t have to worry about them.

But when it comes to the ability to be creative on offense, based on the film I have watched, I am confident that is one thing Jets fans absolutely DO NOT have to worry about.

Time for the Gase review. Note that there is some run plays but a lot more pass plays (Because he didn’t coordinate his run game, Eric Studesville did). At the end will list tendencies, strengths, weaknesses and an overview if your more interested in just the wrap up. Here we go!

21 personnel 2 back weak pistol set. Fake handoff inside holds the linebackers inside giving the RB more room to operate to the open side of the field towards the twins WR’s who are blocking. Get ready for a lot of misdirection and screen passes with Gase.

21 personnel, I strong right with the TE flexed (#21 wide). Tannehill fakes the pitch to the WR (expect WR’s in backfield next year) which holds the Mike and Sam for just a split second. Then runs a sweep to #21. Only about a 10 yard gain but shows the creativity.

11 personnel single back. Again showing creativity in the run game with a double trap against the play side 3 tech and the backside 1 tech. 15+ yard gain.

Dolphins run duo out of an 11 personnel weak gun set. Again diversity in the run game.

2×2 strong gun set with the closed WR tight against cover 1. The Y-TE runs a seam/flag route which sets a natural rub against the outside CB, opening up #80 on the drag across the middle. Lots of rubs/picks in his paling game as well.

11 personnel 2×2 weak gun set vs cover 1. Play action roll out with frontside #1 running a corner, levels read over the middle and a backside post from the closed side. Tannehill hits the over from the Y but the backside post is open for a TD.

11 personnel single back 3×1 Y-off trips vs cover 1. Dolphins run a play action sail to the open side. Running back leaks into the flat for the short read after PA. #2 WR runs a over from the closed side and is open. Tannehill hit him but the WR drops it (poor catching form).

12 personnel singleback inverted wing slot right vs cover 6. Yankee concept x-post. Two deep DBs take the post from the #2 on the open side. Leaving the outside corner on the bottom isolated vs the post playing with outside leverage = open wr and the deep over is WIDE open.

10 personnel gun set trips left RB weak on 3rd and 8. Tannehill dumps it off to the RB with a clean pocket depending on the RB to break a few tackles to get the first down. The drag from the boundary side comes open, but no first down because Tannehill dumped it too early.

21 personnel singleback ace pair. Two isolation routes run vs cover 3 after the OZ play action with a sifter to block the backside. Tannehill reads his boundary WR once but never comes back to him as he gets wide open, sack taken.

Dolphins run a wildcat inside zone read option with a lead blocker and the WR on a crack block from the right side of the screen on Adams. Another wrinkle for teams to prepare for.

Just another wrinkle to prepare for on this inside zone read option from 11 personnel. Something that Darnold will be able to do (hopefully just not a lot).

11 personnel gun set, stack left RB weak and run a post wheel concept on 3rd and 4 vs cover 1 hole(notice Jets Dbs running into one another). Drag comes open immediately even though it would have been a quick set and fire.

11 personnel gun set, trips right. Dolphins run double china vs cover 1 funnel, both the #2 and #3 are open.

Dolphins go empty 3×2 set with a stack and run a switch-divide concept to the boundary side (good call vs cover 3). Ball in incomplete because of a bad pass and a should be catch.

11 personnel singleback set with a naked bootleg into a flood concept to the boundary. The TE coming on the drag gets held up on the drag not allowing Tannehill with a short outlet if the frontside EMOL reacts well. Sack/fumble, don’t generally like naked bootlegs.

2×2 gun set rb weak and Jets in cover 1.Dolphins run a play action and The WR runs a stop on bottom of the screen (which T. Johnson can’t really play any worse). Tannehill misses the throw with pressure in his face.

Gun set trips right RB strong out of 11 personnel. Pass game is an extension of the run game. RB is lined up (bottom of screen) as the #1 WR and Miami runs a screen. Having fast, pass catching running back with YAC ability is going to be big for Gase.

13 personnel singleback wing. Dolphins run play action and double post on the field side vs cover 6. The nod-post from the #1 is open and Tannehill misses the throw.

10 personnel gun set trips left RB weak. 3rd down and the Dolphins run a drag and follow concept to the boundary side. The drag occupies the LB in his hook/seam zone, freeing up the angle route behind it for the first down.

Dolphins go empty gun in a 3×2 with dual stacks to the field side. The stacked receivers on the field side run a switch-crease and drive concept all in one working as a 3 level read over the middle. The switch-crease from the stack works as a clear out for the inn underneath

Dolphins have multiple ways off running Jet sweeps (this is technically a pass). Here out of a 11 personnel y-off gun set RB strong. They leave the play side 4i and 7 tech unblock which makes the runner alter his path but leads to huge blocks down the field.

This was built off a play earlier in the year. Fake pitch to a sweep to the near RB which is where the play ended last time they ran this look. But now the near RB pitches it to the WR coming into the backfield from the boundary who then throws it to the RB on the wheel. TD

Jet sweep pop pass. Good job by a lot of Dolphins here, RG on the turn out, both TE’s in the wing kicking out, the LT getting to the second level and blocking to create an alley and the RB hitting the holes. 74 yard TD. Only problem is Gase never went back to these last few plays

Dolphins in 20 personnel, gun split backs, slot right. The #1 boundary runs a deep over and the slot from the field side runs a post (Yankee concept) vs cover 3. The #1 (top) runs a post occupies 2 deep zones. PA holds LBS for a second. Flat from RB in flat pulls hook/curl.

3rd n 10, 11 personnel trey left RB weak and run a hawk concept to the field side. #2 runs a deep out which comes open but Tannehill misses the pass behind (possible that Tannehill didn’t expect him to cut it flat but seems more like mechanics) RB is also open for a potential 1st

Dolphins in a 2×2 gun set with the TE flexed out as the #1 (top of screen). TE doesn’t have a great release but does a good job “holding his line” as he stacks the DB opening up a window for Tannehill to hit him. But he overthrows him by about 4-5 yards.

11 personnel with a stack right. Bengals in cover 1. Game likes to use stacks/ bunches for rubs. Amendola runs a drag releasing under the point man (which is nearly impossible for a man defender to cover) and is open. Tanne stares down the left side and throws it to a mugged WR

Gase likes to isolate Rb’s vs LBs in man coverage. 11 personnel 2×2 gun stack left and tight flex right. Both of the bottom WR’s run in breaking routes, RB comes out on a wheel and has the LB beat. Ball gets batted at the line but would have went for a big gain.

One of my issues with Gase’s offense is that he gets a little too fancy on 3rd and short (this being 3rd and 1). Here runs a sail concept out of a tight 21 personnel shingleback. The #1 Wr on top works as the sifter into a flat which gets blown up (great play by the 5 tech).

3rd & 5 11 personnel gun set, trips left RB weak. This first down comes from film study. Fuller (bottom CB) is a CB who usually plays off and jumps routes or backpedals then jumps. They isolate him and run a double move for the first. Snag/stick from the #2 was wide open as well

Gun set, 20 personnel stack left. Dolphins run a swing screen to the offset RB. One issue with Miami’s offense that I picked up on is that their WR’s were terrible at blocking (obviously limiting effectiveness of screens) and here we see another example. Good job by the DB.

Liked the balls of Gase here on the 1 yard line. 22 personnel, twin TE. Play action spot concept to the boundary side, FB leaks out into the flat while the RB picks up the unblocked 5 tech. FB gets wide open for the 10 yard gain.

3rd and 5. Dolphins in 11 personnel gun trey right RB strong vs cover 3. Dolphins run a cab-levels type read with a post of the middle giving Tannehill a 3 level read. The post carries the hook LB out of his zone opening up the middle for the inn.

21 pers gun set, wing, slot left RB weak. Dolphins run a crash concept to the left and to the top run a post-wheel which is great vs cover 2. Wheel challenges the middle (weak spot vs cover 2) if that S carries inside the wheel is open. Is the curl-flat carries the flat is open.

When screens should be called (when there are obvious number advantages). 11 personnel trey RB strong swing screen. 4 blockers up top with the RT leaking out late vs 4 defenders. TD even with some poor blocking.

21 personnel, split gun set, slot left y flex. Dolphins run another post-wheel (staple of offense) vs cover 3. The wheel from the slot is open as the defenders in the curl-flat takes the flat. Wheel is open as the CB carries the post. Tannehill has to make this throw.

21 personnel. Y-off-trips stack right RB weak 🤔. At the bottom they run a switch streak-seam with a double move vs cover 1. If Tannehill has better pocket awareness/movement he hits (or should) the out n up easily and it most likely goes for a 55 yard TD.

10 personnel 2×2 gun, flex left slot right. Dolphins run another post-wheel to the bottom. The wheel is open initially, RB in the flat and so is the over from the #2 up top. Tannehill makes crazy throw to the post for a TD.

One of my issues with the O is that Gase gets a little fancy on 3rd/short at times. Here 3rd and 3 in a 3×2 empty gun set. They run mirrored switch-smash concepts with a snag over the middle. The WR/TE is open on the bottom (looks like OPI) but would have like a different call.

12 personnel singleback 3×1 wing left tight x vs cover 1. Spin concept to the bottom. The WR gets open on the dig route but Tannehill misses the throw high (maybe he didn’t expect him to cut it so flat).

3rd and 9, 11 personnel. Y-off-trips-stack right RB weak. Dolphins run the Texas concept to the boundary side. The #1 WR cuts to the open part of the field and Tannehill hits him for the TD. Just showing the variety of concepts.

Another 11 personnel gun set, Trips left RB weak. Gase isolating Res vs LBs in man again as the Bills show a “corners over” look indicating man coverage (cover 1). The #1 on the bottom runs a pick route. The RB gets vertical separation but Tannehill puts too much air under it.

12 personnel y-off tight singleback. Bills in cover 3 and Dolphins run play action to suck the LBs up. The bottom WR runs a slice and the top wr runs a deep curl/snag. Forcing communication between the 3 safeties on who takes which route which causes confusion.

11 personnel y-off-trips left RB weak. Tannehill pre detainees his throw to the #1 on the nod-corner. The pick route/wheel works perfectly on the top of the screen but Tannehill never looks that way for the TD.

11 personnel, Y-off-trips-tight stack left RB weak. Dolphins run another Texas concept on 3rd and 7 vs the cover 2 the bills are playing. The seam route from the #1 up top pulls the underneath coverage and the angle route is open for the first down.

11 personnel singleback, tight slot left y-off. Dolphins run a cross concept as Tannehill is on the play action rollout to the right. As he stops rolling and hinges upfield he either needs to decide to throw the over as both have windows to be hit.

1st and 10, 11 personnel, trips right Y iso. Dolphins run a drive concept with the #2/3 on the top. The drag route is wide open as the #2 CB and the FS both jump on the dig but because Tannehill stared down the TE he never saw the open drag.

11 personnel, tight bunch left RB strong. RB crosses behind the QB on the swing route. All 3 WRs in the bunch run routes at different levels to act as rubs on the LB as the Bills are showing man. The drag from the #3 gets in the LBs way (who reacts late) and the RB has an easy TD

11 personnel, trips right y-iso left vs cover 1 hole. The #1/2 up top run a pick and the #2 gets open heading vertical towards the end zone for a TD. The free safety plays it poorly but Tannehill makes a difficult throw to the deep over.

One of Gase’s favorite plays out off 22 personnel i form strong wing right. FB leaks out into the flat of the 3 route triangle read concept (spot) as the RB picks up the unblocked edge. FB gets hit for a 10 yard gain.

I just don’t think Tannehill is a good QB. Phins go empty gun with a stack left and a wide bunch right. 5 blockers up front vs Pats showing pressure with 6 guys (even though 2 peel off). Needs to read the defense pre and post snap. If he does he most likely hits the slant up top.

Ending the review on a negative. 11 personnel singleback, trips left. Don’t like the idea of leaving an unblocked defender (up top) on a rollout to that side with only two routes working short to that side. Gase needs to be more simple and just get the 1 yard on 3rd and 1.