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New York Jets: Pros and cons to firing Adam Gase immediately

New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase finds himself on the hot seat after just eight games with the team. We break down the pros and cons of firing him immediately.

The New York Jets have reached a tipping point with head coach Adam Gase. After just eight games with the team, it seems pretty apparent that the former Miami Dolphins coach is not long for New York.

Despite an overwhelmingly improved roster headed by a promising second-year quarterback and some big-name free-agent signings, the Jets have regressed in 2019. And they haven’t just regressed, they look like a completely different team.

Given that the 2018 version of this team went 4-12, that’s quite the statement.

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Most weeks the Jets don’t even look competitive among some of the NFL’s most average teams and they narrowly avoided losing by two scores to the league’s second-worst team in the Dolphins this past week.

And they’re only second-worst because the Jets are, indeed, the worst team in the NFL. Not the least talented, but the absolute worst.

Blaming Gase for all of the team’s troubles is short-sighted as a poorly-constructed roster, to begin with, has been decimated by injuries this season. That said, it’s clear that Gase is not the right man for the job.

How soon this will be clear to ownership is uncertain. And while many will call for Gase’s fire immediately, is that the correct move for the franchise?

There are pros and cons to the argument so we take a look and break down both perspectives on the issue.

Next: Pro: Limits damage done to Sam Darnold

New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Pro: Limits damage done to Sam Darnold

There is no greater reason to fire Adam Gase immediately than to protect the future of the Jets’ young quarterback.

Sam Darnold entered this season riding a wave of momentum following a strong finish to his rookie season. But after a month-long battle with mononucleosis and a troublesome stretch of games, concerns are beginning to mount.

Darnold has regressed this season — there’s no doubt about that. His mechanics are all over the place, his decision-making is a mess, and he just doesn’t look like the same confident quarterback he was last season.

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    Firing Gase wouldn’t solve every issue, but it would certainly go a long way towards putting Darnold in a better position to succeed. The offensive line is still a travesty, but perhaps a different offensive coaching staff could help alleviate the issues.

    For as much hate as Jets fans gave Jeremy Bates last season, at least Darnold looked like a competent young quarterback under his guidance. Bates helped fix Darnold’s mechanics but seemingly all the work that was done with the young signal-caller has been erased this year.

    Darnold’s development is being stunted and the longer the Jets wait to make a move to fire Gase, the worse off the franchise will be.

    Generally, it isn’t wise to advocate for the firing of an offensive-minded coach in the middle of the season when you have a young quarterback. But the situation is so extreme and so much damage has already been done that the Jets may be left with no choice.

    If the Jets want to salvage Darnold’s future and avoid any further damage, firing Gase may just be their only option.

    Next: Con: Who would call offensive plays?

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

    Con: Who would call offensive plays?

    Perhaps the biggest issue with firing Gase comes with the question of who exactly would run the offense following his departure? The primary issue with that comes with the poor coaching staff that Gase constructed upon his hire.

    The assumption is that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains would be let go as well if Gase were to be fired. Loggains has experience calling plays during his time with the Chicago Bears — during which ESPN ranked him dead last among all 32 NFL play-callers.

    Not exactly an appealing option or one that is very likely.

    Outside of Loggains, the only other member of the coaching staff who has experience calling offensive plays at the NFL level is running backs coach Jim Bob Cooter.

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    Many may be familiar with Cooter for his time spent as the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions from 2015 to 2018. Apart from his glorious name, Cooter found some success in Detroit but was ultimately let go this past offseason.

    He seems like the most obvious candidate to be promoted to offensive coordinator/offensive play-caller if Gase were to be fired midseason. But with little time to construct a new playbook or offensive scheme, it’s likely we’d see more of the same.

    Firing Gase immediately wouldn’t necessarily solve the issues with the offense. Whether it’s Cooter or someone else, some member of Gase’s coaching staff would assume play-calling responsibilities while running virtually the same offense.

    While it may seem ideal to let Gase go now, the actual impact would likely be significantly less than many realize.

    Simply put, Gase would be gone but the impact of his tenure would be felt for the rest of the season.

    Next: Pro: Eliminates lame-duck status

    Adam Gase New York Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
    Adam Gase New York Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

    Pro: Eliminates lame-duck status

    At this point, it appears pretty clear that Adam Gase is not a viable coaching option for the New York Jets. His performance this season has left a lot to be desired and even though we’re only eight games into the year, it’s already evident that he’s in over his head.

    The hope is that ownership admits their mistake at the end of the season and lets Gase go after just one year. And while that isn’t yet determined, it will be hard not to fire him if the Jets go 2-14.

    So if the team is going to fire him at the end of the season anyway, why not just fire him now?

    There’s nothing worse than having a head coach clearly coaching on borrowed time. If everyone in the locker room knows that he’s going to be fired — including the coach himself — it will begin to show on the gridiron.

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    Players phone it in, fans stop showing up to games, and the coaching staff just goes through the motions. They call that a “lame-duck” coach, and it’s a situation an organization never wants to find itself in.

    Even if Gase isn’t fired at the end of the season — which is a bridge we hopefully don’t have to cross — it’s very evident that he isn’t the man for the job. Retaining Gase would only be a way for the organization to save face and delay admitting their mistakes.

    Gase will be let go sooner rather than later. So the question remains, why wait?

    Next: Con: Only one coach on staff with prior NFL head-coaching experience

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    Con: Only one coach on staff with prior NFL head-coaching experience

    As previously mentioned, the coaching staff that Gase put together upon his hiring is likely one of the least prestigious and accomplished staffs in the NFL.

    And because of that, there isn’t exactly an ideal replacement if Gase is fired midseason. Especially since only one coach on the staff has any prior NFL head-coaching experience.

    That coach is defensive coordinator Gregg Williams whose only taste as a full-time head coach at the NFL level came way back from 2001-2003 when he served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

    The Bills went a disappointing 17-31 during his tenure and he was let go after only three seasons.

    Of course many will remember him for his most recent stint with the Cleveland Browns when he took over for Hue Jackson in the middle of last season. And to his credit, he actually did a respectable job, leading the Browns to a 5-3 record over the second half of the season.

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    But is Williams the long-term solution? Probably not. And even so, giving Darnold his third head coach in under two seasons isn’t exactly ideal for developing a young quarterback.

    The Jets are hampered by a poor head coach and a poor coaching staff chosen by said head coach. Williams is the obvious choice, but ownership may decide that there isn’t a coach fit for the job at the moment and stick with Gase — at least until the end of the season.

    It may not be what Jets fans want to hear, but it might just be the reality of the situation.

    Next: Pro: Could salvage some locker room chemistry

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

    Pro: Could salvage some locker-room chemistry

    Apart from all of the schematic concerns surrounding Adam Gase and apart from all of the issues regarding on-field performance, one thing is also clear about the head coach’s current situation.

    He no longer has a complete grasp of the locker room.

    The Jamal Adams situation has dominated headlines for the past week and even if that problem isn’t exactly Gase’s fault, it’s still telling that Adams refuses to speak with his head coach about the issue.

    Gase has lost the locker room — not entirely, but definitely in part.

    Players are beginning to give less effort on the field and post-game interviews come off as apathetic, dejected, and rehearsed. The players no longer believe in their head coach which generally means that it’s time to move on.

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    If Gase is fired now, there’s a chance that some of the locker-room chemistry could be salvaged. With Gregg Williams at the helm, the players are more likely to be motivated on the field with a change in coaching style.

    Moreover, it shows that accountability is being taken. If players don’t perform well or show adequate effort, they will be replaced. It sets a precedent — one of accountability and responsibility.

    Rather, if the Jets retain Gase through the end of the season, it sets a poor example for the rest of the team. And don’t expect the players to respond too favorably to that.

    The locker room hasn’t been completely lost just yet, but things will only get worse the longer Gase remains with the team.

    Next: Con: Could impact future job attractiveness

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

    Con: Could impact future job attractiveness

    While it may seem like the right move to fire Gase immediately with no questions asked, there’s one primary reason that ownership may not want to do it.

    Unfortunately, every action has its consequences. And if the Jets decided to fire Gase after only eight games with the team, the decision may have long-term ramifications that many are seemingly not aware of.

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    The Jets vacant head coach position was one of the more coveted jobs this past offseason. Despite their lack of recent success, the Jets had a second-year quarterback who was held in high regard around the league. On top of that, they had over $100 million in cap space to toy with in free agency.

    However, don’t expect that type of job attractiveness this offseason if Gase is let go.

    While it’s not unheard of to fire a head coach after just one season with the team, it’s something that front offices try and steer clear of. It sends a bad message to prospective candidates about job security.

    That’s part of the reason why the Browns opted to retain Hue Jackson for as long as they did. They wanted to break the cycle of one-year tenures for their head coaches.

    That said, imagine if the Jets were to fire Gase after only eight games with the team? That would send a message of instability and dysfunction to any future coaches looking for a head coaching job.

    Even if it may seem like the right thing to do, ownership may decide that it’s worth waiting to avoid tarnishing the image of the Jets even further.

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    Sometimes it’s important to cut your losses and admit you’re wrong. But Jets fans must remember that every action has its consequences.

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