NY Jets: Adam Gase admits he ‘did a bad job’ with Le’Veon Bell last year

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ head coach Adam Gase admitted that he ‘did a bad job’ with Le’Veon Bell.

NY Jets‘ head coach Adam Gase was criticized for a lot of things in his first season with the organization. But perhaps nothing more than his failure to properly utilize former All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.

Fans and critics alike denounced Gase for his misusage of Bell as the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back looked like a shell of his former self in 2019. Sure, a lot of that wasn’t necessarily Gase’s fault, but he certainly wasn’t without blame.

And it seems as though Gase himself would agree with that notion.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gase discussed Bell and how he feels that he didn’t use him to the best of his ability last season.

“Last year, I did a bad job at the beginning of the season. I was really trying to get him going. At the same time, teams kind of knew what we were doing and they were loading up the box and he was taking some shots. I’m sure that wore on him as the season went on. I just have to do a good job of making sure he’s getting his touches but at the same time, that we’re putting him in the best position possible to give us 16-plus games.”

Gase insisted that he overused Bell earlier in the season in an effort to get him involved and force him touches. As the season went on, Bell was noticeably used a little less frequently and Gase wants to do that from the very beginning this year.

The Jets’ head honcho mentioned an effort to get Bell to play 16-plus games which he’s only done once in his career. Bell missed one game with an illness last year and battled through a knee injury, but was relatively healthy for most of the season.

Le’Veon Bell’s workload may not have been the only thing that contributed to his struggles with the NY Jets.

It’s tough to say just how much Bell’s workload contributed to his struggles last year, but it likely is for the best to use him a little less as a workhorse back.

In reality, the struggles of the offensive line and Gase’s misuse were likely the biggest causes of Bell’s difficult season. Behind a woeful offensive line, Gase insisted on using Bell as a between-the-tackles runner which didn’t exactly work behind a struggling interior.

On top of that, his lack of creativity regarding Bell’s usage in the passing game was puzzling given the Michigan State product’s stellar contributions as a receiver in the past.

Gase also asserted that he would try and get Bell more involved in the passing game stating “We have to make sure he’s the primary guy in some of the passing game stuff.”

To his credit, Bell has remained completely insistent on the fact that his struggles in 2019 were completely his fault. Bell maintains that he could’ve done more stating “there were holes, Coach Gase gave me the ball.”

It’s a noble outlook, but it’s hard to argue that Bell was given a fair shake last season.

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Gase will be under a lot of pressure to improve in 2020. And if he’s to save his job, he better hope that he fulfills his promise and does a better job of utilizing Bell this year.