New York Jets: Adam Gase did not deserve a free pass into 2020

New York Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase did not deserve a free pass for his shortcomings in 2019, despite the team’s late-season surge.

By now we’re all familiar with the fact that New York Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson has declared that current head coach Adam Gase will be returning to the team in 2020.

While saying that Gase is trusted by the team, general manager Joe Douglas and quarterback Sam Darnold, Johnson touts Gase as a “good man and a good coach.”

This announcement came on the heels of a win that propelled the Jets to improve to a sizzling 2-7 (sarcasm). Additionally, the team ended up picking up momentum and in the second half of the year, finishing 6-2 after a 1-7 start.

Throughout this, Darnold became the youngest player in Jets history to amass four touchdown passes in one game.

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After an arduous few weeks of losing, even at the expense of potential draft position, it is nice to see the Jets show some signs of life and Darnold look like the quarterback we all anticipated.

It is no coincidence that Johnson’s announcement of Gase’s retention into 2020 was announced after a victory, let alone a victory against the team who they share the same stadium with.

Yes, the Jets played a lot better down the final stretch of the year, but they were just completely absent in games they really should not have been (road games versus Miami and Cincinnati stand out).

The 2019 season came off of a power struggle in the offseason which saw the Jets fire Mike Maccagnan amid a power struggle between Maccagnan and Gase. Gase won the power struggle, and Douglas, his friend was hired as general manager.

This is not a rookie head coach who is looking for pieces around him to succeed. Gase started the first half of the season 1-7 in an arguably very comfortable situation.

While Johnson seemingly says Gase “has the trust of this team, he has the trust of Sam, he has [GM] Joe [Douglas]’s trust, he has my trust” and it is understandable not to want to pull the plug on a coach in the first year of his new program, we arguably know what Adam Gase has to offer.

Christopher Johnson pulling the plug on Gase after one season would absolutely be considered tantamount to making a mistake. That being said, the Browns set the precedent when they let go of Freddie Kitchens.

On the January 9th, 2020 edition of “The Lefkoe Show,” Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe said he was surprised the Jets did not fire Gase due to the difference in longevity in contracts between Gase and Douglas.

Lefkoe says Douglas would have wanted his “own guy” in coming off of a six-year deal. Lefkoe cites a “power dynamic as the guy on the six-year deal (if Adam Gase is retained) because if [Douglas] fires [Gase] next year then [Douglas] has extended ‘oh it wasn’t me’ for two years.”

Currently sitting with a 30-35 record overall as a head coach, Gase’s most successful time coaching in any capacity came when he was working in Denver as Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator.

Outside of that, you would be hard-pressed to find any relevant statistic that shows any Gase-led offense not as bottom feeders in the NFL.

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While head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Gase had quarterback issues with Ryan Tannehill staying healthy (which mirrored Sam Darnold’s struggles in early 2019 with mono).

That being said, “Miami’s offense wasn’t a pillar of consistency even when Tannehill was healthy, counting heavily on sporadic, unsustainable big plays to move the ball this season. Miami finished 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game (181.3), fewest by a Dolphins team since 2003.”

Per Manish Mehta, Gase does not want to make any changes to the way he operates.

If what Mehta says is true, Gase “isn’t changing” and “getting a second head coaching contract has emboldened him, a fear that many had when he got another gig so quickly after the Dolphins fired him. He hasn’t been humbled in any way, according to people around him.”

If the Jets ended up moving on from Gase, it would not be the first time high ranking members of the NFL hierarchy did not keep their word.

Additionally, the paying customers would breathe a sigh of relief considering some are paying money to post billboards calling for Gase’s removal as head coach.

More often than not, it is the wrong move to have a coach on the hot seat (or fire them) after one year, but we know what Adam Gase is going to give us at this point. Jets fans should be seriously concerned about the team regressing with Gase at the helm in 2020.

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Jets fans, personnel, and at least one of the Johnson brothers will be picking up the pieces of another lost season while Gase won’t even care that he would be fired at that point because he’s rich as —-.