NY Jets: 5 reasons why Adam Gase can survive another losing season

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
NY Jets (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

After a productive offseason by NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas. The pressure is now on Adam Gase to make the Jets a winner in 2020, but we take a look at the five reasons why Gase can survive another losing season.

A good portion of the NY Jets fanbase wanted Adam Gase fired when the team started last season 1-7. There were plenty of legitimate reasons to fire Gase at that point.

The franchise was in complete shambles. From day one, Gase made a horrible first impression, and it only got worse as the season progressed.

Despite all this, the excuses were plenty to retain Gase moving forward. Chief among them was Sam Darnold’s bout with mononucleosis that sent the Jets into a downward spiral.

The case for Gase getting a pass in 2019 was the roster left for him by the previous general manager Mike Maccagnan and the myriad of injuries that plagued the entire Jets roster and season.

The fact that the Jets finished the second half of 2019 with a 6-2 record to get to 7-9, also helped Gase’s cause to return.

The feeling amongst many is that the excuses are now over for Gase. In 2020, the Jets fanbase wants results. On paper, the Jets improved themselves, and now the onus is on Adam Gase to make it work.

However, there is reason and evidence that suggests that the Jets franchise is committed to Gase beyond 2020, regardless of whether the team contends for a playoff spot or not in the coming season.

With that, let’s take a look at the five reasons why Adam Gase can survive a losing campaign in 2020.

Next: 5. Frank Gore

NY Jets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

5. Frank Gore

The Jets have made several moves this offseason, but none of them provide more evidence that the team is being put together in the vision of Gase than the recent signing of future Hall-of-Famer Frank Gore.

Transactions speak louder than words, and the move for Gore suggests that Gase got precisely what he wants on his team.

It’s no secret that Gase clashed with former GM Mike Maccagnan on the Jets’ financial commitment to running back Le’Veon Bell. The debate wasn’t so much on the player’s talent but more so on the philosophy of roster construction and the position’s value in his offensive scheme.

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In years past, Jets regimes have proved their long-term commitment to their head coaches by bringing in “their players.” It happened with Rex Ryan, who brought along several of his Baltimore Ravens defensive players.

It also occurred when Bill Parcells was in charge of the Jets. ‘Tuna’ shaped the roster in his image by bringing on board his soldiers from teams he coached in the past. Typically, when a front office bends over backward to cater a roster to a coach’s specifications, it symbolizes trust and faith.

General manager Joe Douglas had the following to say about Gore reuniting with his former head coach.

“It’s exciting to add a player of his caliber and a person of his caliber to our team and I know the relationship that he had with Coach Gase at Miami was a big reason that he decided to come here, so we’re very excited to add him to the room.”

Frank Gore is an Adam Gase soldier, on the field, in practice, and the locker room. The signing of Gore suggests that the Jets’ front office is committed to Gase’s long term vision. Lame-duck head coaches do not get this type of say on the roster.

Next: 4. Pandemic Restrictions

NY Jets (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

4. Pandemic Restrictions

Jets fans do not want any part of this discussion. Admittedly, this is a controversial topic to cover.  Some fanbases will see this as more of an excuse than a reason for not having success.

The pandemic is interfering with the offseason preparations of all teams. The NFL is opening up team facilities this coming week with some restrictions in place.

Provided that state guidelines allow organizations to resume normal work activities at their facilities. Unfortunately for the Jets and other tri-state area teams, the timetable for getting back to normal is an extended one.

New York and New Jersey figure to be the last states in the country to open fully. The Jets face a challenging situation in terms of getting the entire operation adequately prepared for the coming season.

The current climate created by the coronavirus pandemic is not exclusive to the Jets. It extends to all the teams in the National Football League. Every franchise must deal with the lack of traditional offseason programs, practices, and perhaps the elimination of a full preseason schedule.

As of press time, it’s unclear when or where practices will be held. At some point, regular-season games will happen, but the hindrance of team building and standard preparation will be a factor for some franchises.

For established coaching staffs like the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and several others. The restrictions due to the coronavirus won’t be as challenging, as it will be for a new staff or rebuilding programs.

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The Jets resemble the latter.

Gase and his staff may be entering their second season together, but in many ways, the 2020 season is an organizational reset. The Jets roster has so many new players, particularly on offense, that will need practice and prep time to perform at a high level.

While all the teams are in the same boat, you could argue that the coaches of NFL teams will be encountering the most challenging task they have ever faced in their professions.

There’s no telling if the virus itself will impact team rosters during the season. For this reason, many franchises may decide to maintain the status quo when the 2020 season ends.

Next: 3. Sam Darnold

NY Jets (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /

3. Sam Darnold

The entire aim of the Jets franchise is to build the team for Sam Darnold. One of the saving graces for Adam Gase’s future with the Jets is his strong relationship with the young signal-caller.

For better or for worse, the development of Darnold is in Gase’s hands. Tearing down that working relationship in mid-stream could stunt Darnold’s growth as a quarterback.

Doing so would essentially put Darnold in a position where he would have to start all over again in an entirely new system. A new head coach in 2021 would be Darnold’s third in his first four NFL seasons.

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A change at head coach and in the offensive scheme would send Sam Darnold back to square one. It would also come at a time where Darnold is entering the latter stages of his rookie contract.

There is no guarantee that a new head coach would be on board with inheriting Darnold as their project. A new head coach or offensive coordinator may decide to go in a different direction at the position. Darnold, himself, may also feel the same way.

Typically, wins and losses dictate the direction of a franchise. However, if Darnold has a good season in 2020 and evolves in his third-year at the controls, the Jets will feel inclined to stay the course, regardless of the team’s record next season.

Darnold’s performance this coming season will help decide or seal Gase’s fate.

Next: 2. Jets Ownership

NY Jets (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

2. Jets Ownership

The future of the Jets may be tied to the 2020 presidential election. A new president could mean the return of Woody Johnson to the Jets as the primary owner and decision-maker of the franchise.

Even still, the work that Woody’s brother Christopher has done in his place won’t easily be torn down.

The Jets’ current power structure is Christopher Johnson’s model. Even if Woody retakes control of the franchise, the entire Jets franchise would have to be in disarray for him to blow things up and start all over again.

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Christopher Johnson wants to see this thing through. He hired Adam Gase and then hired Joe Douglas to work together as a team. The latter was appointed specifically for the head coach.

The Gase/Douglas regime started before the 2019 season, but in many ways, 2020 is genuinely year-one of the program, Christopher Johnson put together.

The ultimate decision to pull the plug on Gase will not be easy for ownership to make. It will mean starting over again with an entirely new vision and staff.

Christopher Johnson will push to give Douglas and Gase the time to turn the franchise around. This could buy Gase another year.

Next: 1. Joe Douglas

NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

1. Joe Douglas

It stands to reason that Joe Douglas would be given the opportunity to select his own head coach. Especially if things go awry in 2020.

Under normal circumstances, the GM is hired and given the task of selecting the head football coach of his franchise. Nothing about the Jets power structure can be classified as normal.

Maybe that’s because Adam Gase hired Joe Douglas to be his general manager. It’s no secret that Douglas was Gase’s No. 1 choice for the position.

As the acting GM when Maccagnan was abruptly fired last May. It was clear from day one that Gase led the search directly to the doorstep of Joe Douglas. No person was happier about the arrival of Douglas than Adam Gase.

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Jets fans may not want to hear this, but the fate of the franchise is tied to the marriage of Douglas and Gase. On the surface, it may appear as another one of the Jets forced marriages doomed to end in divorce (see John Idzik/Rex Ryan, Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles).

The truth is that Douglas and Gase are in lockstep with one another. All the Jets moves this offseason are indicators of it. With that being stated, there’s no denying that relationships dissolve all the time in sports.

So it’s possible that as an act of self-preservation, Douglas could fire Gase to buy himself more time. However, Douglas doesn’t need to fire Gase to save himself, at least not for 2021.

You could argue that no one in the Jets organization is in a safer position moving forward than Joe Douglas. He is in a honeymoon period with the franchise and its fanbase. Any failures by the Jets to be a playoff team in 2020, will not fall directly on the shoulders of Douglas.

The Jets GM will be given an opportunity to continue building the franchise. Douglas is going to get more than one draft and offseason to turn the Jets into a contender.

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If Joe Douglas is truly untouchable, then he can be the No. 1 reason why Adam Gase is as well.