We take a look at three ways NY Jets’ head coach Adam Gase’s can succeed in 2020.
2019 wasn’t too kind to Adam Gase and the NY Jets. From mononucleosis to carrying a league-high 21 players on injured reserve, Gase and company were given very little leeway for error.
Many analysts and individuals around the NFL project the team to improve this upcoming season, though to do that, the offense must take center stage.
With Gase’s offense ranking close to last in almost every major category this past season, there are surely a few ways to improve upon a not-so-impressive 2019 resume.
Gang Green ranked 31st in offensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
Luke Falk, who probably shouldn’t have been starting in an NFL game, led the team through three hard-to-watch contests. In which by the end of that stretch, the Jets finished 0-3.
Excuses were a-dime-a-dozen for Adam Gase. While his starting QB was out with mono for the first quarter of the season, it was pretty effortless to float by for a few weeks while getting the benefit-of-the-doubt from fans who’ve seen this movie before.
While hoping the Jets don’t see a repeat in major gut-wrenching injuries that potentially tarnish the majority of the season, the team needs to worry about protecting the man up front, Sam Darnold.
Let’s take a look at the three reasons why Jets fans should be optimistic in Adam Gase and his offense heading into year two.
Next: 3. Le'Veon Bell
3. Le’Veon Bell will remind NY Jets what he’s capable of
Le’Veon Bell has been preaching on social media. He wants people to know last year was just a fluke — it wasn’t the real him.
There could be multiple reasons why Bell is as confident as ever heading into his seventh season in the league, but we know one to be true. Bell feels significantly more comfortable in the Gase system heading into year two.
This is obviously normal. Even with Bell’s immense experience playing in Pittsburgh for all those years, he shouldn’t be expected to come in and outperform players who have had familiarity with Gase’s system for a longer period of time.
This should make Jets fans jump out of their chairs. With Le’Veon Bell healthy and as confident as ever, he’ll be able to help elevate this offense to new heights.
Fans have been clamoring to see Bell lined up more as a slot receiver as he’s been able to utilize his skill tree in many different ways since joining the Steelers back in 2013.
While Sam Darnold might steal the headlines from time-to-time as he does seem to be the quarterback that everyone enjoys critiquing, Bell’s handwork and down-to-earth character may be enough to carry the Jets to the promised land.
Next: 2. Sam Darnold
2. Sam Darnold has to take that next step with the NY Jets in 2020
Now, we’re not looking for Darold to make that jump from year one to year two. Darnold doesn’t have to prove he can throw more touchdowns than interceptions.
That, we’ve seen. What’s being referred to is Darnold’s ability to take control of an offense in which he’s now already been exposed to.
Under Todd Bowles, Darnold was mentored by then offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who ran a completely different offense than current head coach Adam Gase.
Bates’ offense was more centered around a West Coast passing scheme and zone blocking running style. While Gase predicates his pre-snap motion’s on naturally getting receivers open from one side of the field to the other, relying heavily on slot pass-catchers to get the job done over the middle.
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It’s no surprise Darnold had struggled a bit in Gase’s first-year installment of the offense, as it’s generally a harder playbook to master.
While we can sit here and discuss what Darnold needs to do to hit his X’s and O’s on posts and fades, the important aspect is Darnold’s ability to lift the potential of the players around him.
Darnold’s still young, he’s got a lot to continuously take in and learn for veterans and coordinators who want to see him succeed.
Many inside the Jets’ facility see Sam Darnold as the franchise quarterback, if Darnold can show at the age of 23 that he can handle Gase’s offense to a tee, this offense should be much improved moving forward.
Next: 1. Offensive Line
1. The offensive line should much better for the NY Jets this upcoming season
The reason the offensive line is listed number one on this countdown is, well, it’s the most important unit on the team.
If the offensive line is in unison, chances are the entire offense will follow. Jets fans have witnessed this headache for far too long.
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The offensive line was a priority heading into the offseason, and general manager Joe Douglas did about everything in his power to get the job started on the right foot.
With key free-agency additions such as offensive tackle George Fant, center Connor McGovern, offensive guard Greg Van Roten, and re-signing guard Alex Lewis, the offensive line looks to be in better shape than it was looking back at the 2019 Week 1 starting depth chart.
Not to mention, the Jets drafted tackle Mekhi Becton in the first-round and guard/tackle Cameron Clark in the fourth round — the team may finally have some security for the future.
While the line is far from finished in terms of renovating talent and chemistry, fans finally don’t have to feel that sense of uncertainty with the offensive line, hopefully, for years to come.
Due to the global pandemic, new units around that league will likely struggle to form that chemistry when it comes to playing together on the field.
With training camp set to get underway, this will be our first taste of what’s to come with the Jets’ front five.