DAVIE, Fla. -- It was an outstanding season for the Miami Dolphins, who finished with a surprising 10-6 record and earned their first playoff berth since 2008.
Across the board, players credit first-year coach Adam Gase and his coaching staff for the turnaround.
"I think it was great," center Mike Pouncey said of the season. "We started over. We got new coaches in and they did a great job with us this year."
The Dolphins say there's been a significant culture change on and off the field, and say that helps explains why they recovered from a 1-4 start to go on a six-game winning streak and finish the regular season by winning nine of their final 11 games.
As the Dolphins look ahead the future seems bright, especially on offense where players such as Pouncey, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Jay Ajayi and wide receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker return.
Defensively, Miami must rebuild around defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive end Cam Wake and strong safety Reshad Jones. And Miami has to replace defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, rumored to be a favorite for the Denver head coaching job.
Under Gase's leadership and competitive disposition, expect the Dolphins to have lofty goals next season -- beating New England for the AFC East title and making an extended playoff run.
--Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was named head coach of the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, the day he went there to interview. Joseph, 44, also interviewed with Denver two years ago.
Linebackers coach Matt Burke is reportedly the favorite to replace Joseph.
"He's done a great job with our players," coach Adam Gase said of Joseph. "I can speak for that first hand. He took so much off my plate where I never had to worry about anything with the defense. He really did a great job with all those guys in that room.
"He did a great job at directing those guys and he made my life a lot easier then probably what it could have been. There was a big trust factor there with me. Once he was hired, I knew that side of the ball was good to go."
--Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (two sprained ligaments in left knee) might require offseason surgery, according to coach Adam Gase, and doctors have not ruled out reconstructive surgery.
"I don't even know," Gase said. "I can't answer that because it hasn't been a question that really we've dove into quite yet."
Tannehill, who sustained his injury on Dec. 11, practiced on a limited basis last Friday, lending hope to the idea he could have played if Miami made an extended playoff run.
But Gase said they're still waiting to see if Tannehill will need surgery.
"We're still going through that process right now with the trainers, with what our next step is, where his health is, how strong is his knee," Gase said, adding, "we're still collecting information, doctors are still giving us what possibly could be down the road so it's hard for us to really pinpoint anything as of this moment right now."
--Executive Mike Tannenbaum said he is pleased with the way with 2017 season went overall. But he said he recognizes more work must be done to do even better next year.
"Obviously there were some really good things that got done this year in terms of establishing a culture led by Adam (Gase), the coaching staff and the players," Tannenbaum said. "But with that said, in 2017 we're going to start 0-0.
"I've been fortunate enough to be around long enough to know that nothing is guaranteed -- nothing is promised -- and we have a lot of work to do to get better and ... we're committed to doing that."