Why did NY Jets head coach Adam Gase really fire defensive coordinator Gregg Williams?
NY Jets head coach Adam Gase fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on Monday after the latter’s ill-advised play call at the end of Sunday’s devastating loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Most assume it was simply because Williams cost the Jets a win.
There may be a much more petty reason.
Gase has continually tried to shift blame from himself throughout this painful season. From blaming the players for lack of execution to twisting himself into a pretzel trying to explain who was calling offensive plays against Miami, he’s consistently passed the buck.
Even Gase’s seeming acceptance of responsibility for the lack of progress made by quarterback Sam Darnold was questionable; it almost seemed more like excuses for why he couldn’t get it done than it did an actual admittance of fault.
Additionally, Gase has caught grief about the lack of production by the offense, lack of in-game adjustments, and his penchant for being conservative when the team gets down or makes a mistake.
All of these issues have caused Gase to be the subject of intense media scrutiny. Reporters have begun to challenge his answers during post-game press conferences, which is rare in such situations. To Gase’s credit, he’s handled the pressure as amiably as one could expect.
However, Gase was 13 seconds away from a reprieve from all of that, at least for a week.
The Raiders trailed the Jets 28-24 with the ball at midfield and no timeouts. The Jets had trailed by 11 points earlier in the game and had made adjustments, hung tough, and showed life on offense — all the things they hadn’t done all season long.
All the Jets had to do was prevent the Raiders from getting into the endzone, and Adam Gase would finally get his praise. A break from the weekly firing-squad type press conference. One job.= — and Gregg Williams inexplicably botched it. Badly. No argument there.
Gregg Williams cost his team a game.
NY Jets’ head coach Adam Gase didn’t just fire Gregg Williams because of that play
Adam Gase said afterward that he wishes he would have called a timeout so that he could change the play. This implies that Gase was aware of the play call. Inexplicably, he let Williams run it and then fired him when it didn’t work out.
And it’s clear why — spite.
Spite for ruining his day. Spite for costing Gase his chance at praise for making adjustments, for not getting conservative, and for pulling out the unlikeliest of wins. Spite for not allowing Gase to finally face the media after a positive outcome.
If you are at all familiar with this personality type — the type that shifts blame and won’t accept accountability — you know receiving praise and proper credit is incredibly important. If an opportunity to receive such praise is prevented, the reaction is often petty and spiteful.
Adam Gase had it all lined up. He probably spent the time between those few final plays dreaming of what the press conference would be like after such an unlikely win.
Gregg Williams took that away from him and paid for it with his job.