ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ahead of Vance Joseph's return to the city where he spent a season as defensive coordinator, his former boss, Adam Gase, spoke glowingly about his time working with the Broncos' head coach.
"Being together last year, just kind of seeing how far we both have come and how much we've learned, it was great for me to be able to sit with him," Gase said, "and we would just talk a lot of football and kind of lean on each other with how teams could attack us or how a defense would attack our offense and vice-versa.
"He was always a close friend of mine, and it was fun to work with him again for that one year. Him getting a head coach job, I guess it just wasn't very surprising — just being around him and just realizing how sharp he was and how good he was with our players. Our guys loved him, and he held those guys accountable."
The two coaches, who have known each other since 2008, helped guide the Dolphins to nine wins in 10 games as Miami recovered from a 1-4 start to make the playoffs.
"Things didn't always go perfect for us," Gase said, "but he was such a grinder and battler and he put those guys in the right frame of mind to help us push through that end of the season last year."
Gase, who spent six seasons in Denver from 2009-2014, including a three-year stint as offensive coordinator, faced Joseph on several occasions during Joseph's previous stops.
It was those meetings that led Gase to hire Joseph as a first-time defensive coordinator when Gase was assembling his staff in 2016.
"I had a lot of trust in him," Gase said. "I'd gone against him multiple times, always felt like he was a problem. I always felt like he knew what we were doing. He just did a great job preparing his guys, and they were always tough games, no matter who we had on offense. It just always seemed like it was a challenge.
"Just knowing his knowledge of football [and] the guys he's worked under and how he came up in this profession, he was just a guy that I trusted and I knew last year that I was going to have to hand it over to somebody who could take it and run with it, because I wasn't going to have enough time. He was somebody that I trusted enough to do that."
Gase also shared some insight into the potential difficulties a first-time head coach like Joseph can face, as he reflected on what he's learned in his second year as a head coach.
"I think the thing you never anticipate is just how much time really you lose to prepare for games, compared to being a coordinator, because of multiple things you have to deal with," Gase said. "Really the whole job becomes time management, and you just have to be very efficient with what you're doing. Your staff has to take a lot off your plate, whether it be game planning, certain areas of game plan and meetings. You always feel like you're doing something. There's never a time when you're just sitting there, just relaxing. It's just constant movement throughout the entire day."