DAVIE, Fla. -- By most measures, new Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase had a successful introductory media conference on Saturday. He was bright and answered most of the tough questions.
But there was one awkward moment when Gase was asked about the status of his predecessor: former Miami interim head coach Dan Campbell. Gase turned his head towards owner Stephen Ross to answer the question, as though he wanted nothing to do with it at that moment.
"I mean, that's really up to Adam," Ross said. "I mean, I love Dan Campbell. He's done a great job. I'd love to see him in the organization but Adam has really the free hand to hire his assistants."
Campbell's future remains in limbo with the Dolphins, and his status is a tricky one for Gase.
Campbell went 5-7 as interim head coach and interviewed for the same head-coaching job that Gase just earned. Campbell also is immensely popular in the locker room and many players had publicly campaigned for him to keep the job.
Would keeping Campbell around be an asset or a link to the past that Gase is trying to move away from? This is an important question Gase must determine as he begins to implement his program.
According to Ross, the Dolphins would like to keep Campbell, a former tight end's coach, on staff. But it will be up to Gase to determine if he is comfortable with such a decision.
"He'll probably meet with Dan ... but I don't think any conclusion (has been made)," Ross said. "But I think, the way we feel about Dan, as an organization, is fantastic."