Few truths are more evident in the NFL world than the “Adam Gase Effect.” Gase, who was the head coach of the New York Jets for the last two years, was with the Miami Dolphins before his stint in the Big Apple, and notoriously wasted talent.
Players that go on to escape the death grip of Gase have often found success in their new homes, from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to running back Kenyan Drake.
With the firing of Gase, the entire Jets organization now gets a fresh start. Tight End Chris Herndon, the athletic tight end prospect that has failed to live up to the hype, now gets a new opportunity with the Minnesota Vikings after being traded to the Twin Cities.
Herndon is the next talent that could revitalize his career away from Gase.
Ryan Tannehill is now a franchise pillar for the Tennessee Titans
Tannehill was the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, and never fully lived up to his potential in South Beach. Gase being named the head coach for the Dolphins in 2016 was supposed to unlock Tannehill and bring his game to new heights.
It didn’t work.
In his first season with Gase, Tannehill’s average passing yards per game dropped from 263.0 to 230.4, and his interception rate jumped from 2.0 to 3.1. The Dolphins went 10-6 in an impressive season, but Tannehill’s season was cut short by a partially torn ACL on December 11, 2016.
He then suffered the same injury again in training camp before the 2017 season, causing him to miss the entire season.
In 2018, Gase’s last season in Miami, Tannehill had the worst statistical season of his career, averaging only 179.9 passing yards per game, and the Dolphins went 5-6 in the 11 games Tannehill played.
Gase was fired after the season, and the Dolphins traded Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans.
After getting a fresh start in Tennessee, Tannehill emerged as a true franchise quarterback, having led the Titans to the playoffs for two straight seasons and made it to the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. He was rewarded with a four-year contract extension.
Herndon has the opportunity to step up with Irv Smith Jr set to miss time
It’s not just Tannehill. In fact, it’s not just quarterbacks to get away from Gase and flourish. Players at every position, from quarterback to running back, wide receiver, and tight end, have all found great success in their new homes.
Now that it’s been reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN that Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. has undergone meniscus surgery and is expected to miss 4-5 months, Herndon’s new opportunity will provide him with a great landing spot to be able to find success.
Herndon was a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and now goes to an offense that has seen longtime starter Kyle Rudolph leave in free agency and now Smith set to likely miss the season to injury.
The Vikings offense features the tight end, particularly in the red zone, which should lead to plenty of opportunities to find paydirt for Herndon.
Herndon isn’t the first tight end that’s escaped Gase
In the same draft as Herndon, the Miami Dolphins, still under Adam Gase, used their second round selection on tight end Mike Gesicki out of Penn State, who only logged 22 receptions for 202 yards and no touchdowns.
Fast forward two seasons post-Gase, and Gesicki was a 2020 breakout player with 703 yards and six touchdown receptions. It was yet another example of the talent black hole that is Gase’s coaching, where skilled players are often wasted.
Herndon is next in line to prove that the Adam Gase Effect is a very real thing. Don’t be surprised when he puts together a breakout campaign as the starting tight end in the offense of Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, son of Gary Kubiak.