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Dolphins coach Adam Gase addresses issues; Pat Riley addresses open roster spots; UM football item

Beyond saying he’s happy with the tight ends,  Dolphins coach Adam Gase shed light on a few other issues today at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis:

He said he has spoken with Brent Grimes but during that discussion, Gase never mentioned Grimes' wife, who sharply criticized Ryan Tannehill on Twitter, on the radio and elsewhere. “We just had general conversations; that never came up.”

Is Grimes wife a divisive issue? “I wasn’t here. That’s not something I’m concerned with.”

Offensively,  Gase said he’s happy with the group at tight end and receiver: “We have some holes we have to fill. It starts with what happens at the running back position [with Lamar Miller a free agent]. We have to clean up the offensive line a little bit."

He cited guard as an area the team wants to “improve” and “we have some ideas on how we can help the guys currently on the roster…. When you have good guard play, it’s easier for the quarterback to step up.”

Regarding tight ends Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims: “I really see a great fit as far as what we do. We've made a living off the tight end in this offense the last three years so expect [Cameron] to be a big part of it.”

On DeVante Parker: “I love his skill set. Has great hands. Big body. Excited to see what he can do in this offense.”

First priority for him? “For us it will be teaching the offense. We’ve got to figure out what’s best for us. We have a different group than what we had in Chicago.”

He said he has spoken to Ryan Tannehill but “you can’t do anything football wise” yet, per league rules.

Will Tannehill have the ability to audible? “The quarterback in this system does have the ability to move in and out of plays. It’s how much can this group handle. Earlier, it’s probably not going to be as much as later. ….One good thing about his offense is it’s really on the players.”

On Dion Jordan: “Right now, all I know is he’s suspended.”

On new offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen:  “I told him we stole your offense [from Indianapolis]. [He’s] walking into a situation where he already knows everything. He has a really good feel for what I’m looking for."

On new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph: “I’ve worked with Vance before. He was a guy that always drove me nuts. I always felt he knew way too much of what was going on our side of the ball…. We felt with the personnel we have, sticking with the 4-3 is going to be critical for us.”

He said Ndamukong Suh "is in a good place. We've had discussions. He has been around the building quite a bit, as far as working out on his own."

He said Jay Ajayi "looked like a different player to me" last year. "I'm very excited to see what we can do with him." He said he likes all three running backs (free agent Lamar Miller and Damien Williams as well).

He is "excited" about Kenny Stills. "That vertical speed. Guys like that are hard to find. Interested in seeing what we can do with him."

He said "there are a few spots on defense we're looking to clean up. We're so far away from this thing being an end product. We have some needs we need to fill."

RILEY'S THOUGHTS 

Some comments from Pat Riley, for those who missed his interview on Fox Sports Sun tonight:

Regarding the luxury tax: "Getting to 13 players was important. It gives us the opportunity to sign somebody after March 10 and gives us the opportunity to add another player down the line. By the end of the season, we'll have 15 players on our roster."

(By waiting until that range of March 9 or 10, the Heat can sign one player to the minimum without going back over the tax threshold, then can sign another player to the minimum with a day or two left in the regular season.)

On the trade deadline: "We had some hard decisions to make but not one decision we made was ever at the true expense of being competitive. We want to get in the playoffs, see what this team can do there. Not one move we made compromised our competitiveness to get into the playoffs."

Why the Heat is opposed to being a repeat taxpayer: "The most important aspect of it is you've got to really see the big picture where you are. We started to look at 2016 and 2017. We want tremendous flexibility. We don't want to be restrained by any repeater tax. We want to have the opportunity to do really something significant.... I've always thought big. I am more willing to take a risk at times. There are a number of options and directions you can go."

COUPLE OTHER NOTES

You seldom hear a coach call out another organization, but Arizona coach Bruce Arians did that today at the Scouting Combine when he said the Dolphins should have hired Todd Bowles as head coach after he went 2-1 as Miami’s interim coach in 2011.

"Miami screwed up a long time ago, Arians said. "He should have been head coach there when he was interim coach,” Arians said.

Bowles is now the Jets' coach.

### If UM gets a commitment this week from Texas backup safety Adrian Colbert but can’t lure JC Jackson (they’re interested) or another corner who’s immediately eligible to play, the Hurricanes could use safety Jaquan Johnson more at corner. Safeties coach Ephraim Banda and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph both said he’s capable of playing cornerback.

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