NY Jets: Adam Gase’s time is running out, but is Sam Darnold’s too?

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Adam Gase’s time with the NY Jets is running out, but is the same true for Sam Darnold?

After a brutal 0-3 start that has seen the NY Jets be outscored 93-37, rumors have begun to swirl that head coach Adam Gase is on the hot seat.

In fact, some have suggested that change could come as soon as this week if the Jets once again have a disappointing performance against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.

Regardless of when a change is made, it’s become quite evident that one is necessary. Through 19 games as the team’s head coach, Gase has compiled a 7-12 record and the Jets have scored under 20 points in 13 of those 19 games and have lost by double digits in 11 of those 19 games.

Ultimately, he’s done nothing since the moment he was hired to show that he can develop the Jets and prepare the team to be a winner.

Perhaps even worse is the fact that he’s also done little to help the growth of third-year quarterback Sam Darnold, a player who’s supposed to be both the present and the future of the Jets.

The most unfortunate part about the situation, however, is that since drafting Darnold in 2018, the Jets have still yet to learn what exactly they have in him and the situation they’ve built around him is definitely a big reason for that.

The coaching staff, for example, has failed Darnold tremendously. Gase’s predictability, lack of creativity, and inability to adapt have left the 23-yard-old quarterback out to dry on more occasions than one.

And when Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains were hired, their main objective was to develop Darnold into the franchise quarterback the Jets originally thought he could be.

They’ve done anything but that, however, as Darnold is no better now than he was under Jeremy Bates and he may even be worse.

The NY Jets’ front office has failed Sam Darnold as well as the coaching staff.

In addition, ownership and the front office have failed Darnold as well given the extreme lack of talent he’s surrounded with.

And sure, injuries to players like Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims haven’t helped, but the Jets’ wide receiving group was below average at best before the injuries.

And that reality falls on Joe Douglas and the front office. After deciding that Robby Anderson wasn’t worth his asking price, the Jets let him walk and replaced him with Perriman.

Through three games this year, Perriman has five catches for 29 yards and no touchdowns and has missed time due to injury. Anderson, meanwhile, has 20 catches for 278 yards and one touchdown.

Douglas’ draft class was considered to be a strong one overall, but even there, the general manager could’ve done more to help his young quarterback.

For example, Douglas took a third safety in Ashtyn Davis in Round 3 and a backup quarterback in James Morgan in Round 4 as opposed to adding more talent at wide receiver. Both Davis and Morgan were inactive on Sunday.

Given the state of the Jets and the aforementioned issues, it’s not entirely surprising that Darnold hasn’t played well. On the season thus far, he’s completed 59-of-96 passes for 562 yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions.

As usual, he’s been inconsistent, showing the ability to make spectacular plays on occasion, while also often showing extreme lapses in judgment and incredibly questionable decision making.

What makes this scenario difficult to assess is that it’s unclear whether the problem is the coach, the quarterback, or simply the team as a whole. In reality, it’s probably a bit of each. Regardless, however, there’s no denying that Darnold may actually be regressing.

And although it’s unfortunate, his time with the Jets, like Gase’s, may be starting to come into question.

If the Jets continue to perform as they have been, the team will likely be in a position to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence next April. If Darnold doesn’t step it up fast, drafting Lawrence may be an opportunity the Jets simply can’t pass up.

And when you take into account that Douglas didn’t draft Darnold and that a new head coach would be enticed by Lawrence, it could be a real possibility.

Should it go down this way, the Jets would have no one to blame but themselves for what would turn out to be a failed experiment with Darnold.

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At the same time, the team can only continue on like this for so long.