The New York Jets held their first press conferences at the NFL Combine since the introduction of new head coach Adam Gase. Here are the top takeaways from Gase and general manager Mike Maccagnan.
It’s been over a month since we’ve heard from the likes of head coach Adam Gase and general manager Mike Maccagnan, but the New York Jets top brass took the stage to deliver their annual press conferences at the NFL Combine.
Typically, these press conferences mean very little and fans shouldn’t always take too much of what is said seriously. That said, these podium questionnaires can serve as a bit of insight into the minds of those making the tough decisions for the organization.
In this case, while nothing necessarily groundbreaking was said, there were still a few interesting tidbits to read into. At the very least, Gase certainly looked much more comfortable in his second formal press conference than he did in his infamous introduction.
With that, let’s take a look at three of the top takeaways from their most recent offseason check-ins.
1. New York Jets will stay in the 3-4
While it had been rumored for a few days now after a report from Brian Costello of the New York Post, Gase confirmed in his press conference that the Jets would, in fact, be sticking with the 3-4 defense.
After the hire of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, many assumed the Jets would be switching to a 4-3 base defensive alignment. After all, the traveled defensive playcaller had coached a 4-3 defense essentially everywhere he had gone to this point.
But the decision was made to stick with the 3-4 as the team feels that the current roster is best suited to play in that scheme — which makes sense given that the roster was constructed with that scheme in mind.
This bodes well for players like Henry Anderson and Jordan Jenkins who may have been outcasts in a 4-3 defense but now will hopefully continue to be important parts of the Jets defense going forward. Jenkins will almost certainly retain his role at edge rusher following a breakout 2018 campaign and Anderson now has a much greater chance of being retained.
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At the end of the day, Williams will run multiple different fronts and, as Gase mentioned, the team will operate a lot out of the nickel. But it is worth noting if only just to end any further speculation.
2. Potential trade with the New York Giants?
During his press conference, Maccagnan didn’t rule out the possibility of trading down with their crosstown rivals, the New York Giants, stating that he’d be open to trading with any team as long as it made sense.
As it turns out, a potential Jets/Giants draft swap could make a ton of sense as the latter could very well look to trade up and acquire a quarterback. Maccagnan was non-committal when talking about the Jets current draft position as he made it clear that they would explore all trade down options that were available.
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The Jets could be in a great position to trade down if the opportunity presents itself. With just six picks and a ton of roster holes to be filled, it could be wise for the Jets to trade back and acquire more draft capital.
While it may be against the unwritten code of sports to trade with a team playing in the same city — let alone the same stadium — it could be in the best interest of both franchises to arrange a draft day trade. Fortunately, it appears that Maccagnan and the Jets are open for business.
3. Building around Darnold is “a focal point”
Aside from draft day movement, Maccagnan was also asked about how the team would go about their offseason.
The former Houston Texans scouting director made it very clear that building an offense around young quarterback Sam Darnold was going to be a top priority for the Jets this offseason. Maccagnan name-dropped the offensive line as an area that needed upgrading and seemed committed to constructing a reliable offense around Darnold.
The Jets offense was a mess in 2018 as the entire unit dragged the rest of the team down. There was no true strength for the unit as the offensive line’s struggles mitigated the running game’s impact which wasn’t much to speak of, to begin with. The team dealt with injuries at receiver and trotted out the likes of Charone Peake and Andre Roberts at point throughout the season.
Despite this, Darnold managed to excel late in the season with one of the worst supporting casts in the league giving Jets fans plenty of hope for the future. Still, the Jets must do everything they can to help out Darnold and give him an offensive unit that he could reach his full potential with.
If this press conference is anything to go off of, it appears that the Jets are willing to do that. Or at least it’s in their plans.