New York Jets head coach Adam Gase finds himself on the hot seat, but his job could be salvaged if quarterback Sam Darnold plays well down the stretch.
Entering the 2019 season, New York Jets fans undoubtedly had hopes that the team would be able to improve upon their 4-12 record from a year ago. While the postseason still seemed a bit far-fetched, many presumed that a season hovering around .500 was well in reach.
Unfortunately, most were not prepared for the season that would unfold.
The Jets currently sit at 2-7 and while there is a sense of optimism in the air following a 34-27 victory over the New York Giants, even the most optimism of Jets fans can admit that the season is all but over.
The postseason is a distant prayer and now the focus could turn to developing this team and preparing for next year. And while many hoped for a playoff run this season, the realistic goal was always something more attainable.
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Develop quarterback Sam Darnold.
In reality, there has been no more important aspect of this season than to see the growth and maturation of the team’s young quarterback. And while we’ve seen glimpses, it hasn’t exactly been a season to remember for Darnold.
Much of the blame for his poor performances has fallen on head coach Adam Gase who was brought in with the development of Darnold in mind. Despite a subpar tenure in Miami, Gase was given a second chance and asked to nurture the growth of the Jets hopeful franchise savior.
And it’s safe to say that that just hasn’t happened through nine games.
Darnold has shown flashes in his games against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants but overall has been a mess as a result of an abysmal offensive line, poor play-calling, and a lackluster supporting cast.
As such, Jets fans are ready to run Gase out of town before any more damage could be done to their young QB. Again, it’s clearly not all his fault, but you’d be hard-pressed to say he’s done even an adequate job this season.
That said, there’s still time to right his past wrongs. Gase could salvage his job and set the Jets up for success next season if he can do just one thing. The one thing he was hired to do in the first place.
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Develop Sam Darnold.
Just as it’s been since the start of the season, there is absolutely nothing more important for the Jets this season than the development of Darnold. It doesn’t matter if the Jets finish 2-14 or 9-7, Gase’s job rides on the play of his 22-year-old signal-caller.
It will be difficult as no amount of coaching could fix this offensive line — although improved scheming could mask its deficiencies. And coaches won’t be able to give the Jets a boost at receiver.
But Gase’s job security will depend on how Darnold plays over these final seven games. If he impresses — regardless of the team’s record — Gase will absolutely return for another season.
However, if he regresses and looks the like the quarterback he looked in Weeks 8 and 9, Gase could very well be out of a job after just one season in New York.
Many may be quick to run Gase out of town, but the goal of this season remains what it always has been. Allow your prospective franchise quarterback to flourish and take the next step toward stardom.
Develop Sam Darnold, and Adam Gase could solidify his job status, despite everything that has happened so far this year.
The goal remains simple — but the execution has been anything but.