The New York Jets have decided to hire Adam Gase as their next Head Coach. Yesterday, our man Scott Mason did an excellent overview of him with Travis Wingfield who closely followed and covered him during his time in Miami, I strongly encourage you to give it a listen.
One of the benefits of this site and how I cover the team is that I don’t have to work with Adam Gase going forward or see him all the time. I don’t know anything about him personally or professionally outside of what has been discussed around his Miami tenure and what has happened on the field in his career. This also isn’t a fan site so I am not going to shill for a decision just because the Jets made it, you are just going to get my opinion, backed up by what data I can provide.
My opinion is that I strongly dislike this hire. I would criticize the hire if any other team in the NFL made it and I will criticize the Jets for making it. Now, another good thing about this site, is what do I know? Crazier things have happened in the NFL and maybe an interim owner, a 24-40 GM and a 23-25 Head Coach can make this work. I will be rooting for it as a fan.
Gase is the type of coach with an apparently outsized reputation and media connections to puff up a less than stellar resume. In 2015, he was the Offensive Coordinator for the Chicago Bears 21st ranked offense and Jay Cutler threw 7 less touchdowns than he did the year before. From 2016-2018, he went 23-25 with the Miami Dolphins, getting progressively worse each passing year. The team’s offense ranked below the New York Jets offense in DVOA in 2017 and was barely ahead of it in 2018. Gase also repeatedly clashed with players, trading away multiple key parts of their roster and clashed with the owner/front office on his way out the door.
Gase’s 23-25 record is less impressive when you remember 5 of those wins came against Todd Bowles’ Jets, including The Spencer Long Game and a Bryce Petty start. Miami has been a flat out bad and dysfunctional team the past two years. There is a reason that Gase was not anybody’s top choice when discussing prospective Head Coach options for the Jets over the past few weeks. He was a second or third tier candidate, behind other retreads like Mike McCarthy and Jim Caldwell who have far superior resumes.
It is also concerning that the Jets came to this decision after reportedly wanting Matt Rhule but refusing to let him hire his own staff, an amateurish decision. If you hire a Head Coach and he is your top choice, you let him build his own staff, you don’t dictate it to him as an interim owner and a GM with a 24-40 record. This may also be why Kliff Kingsbury choice the Arizona Cardinals over the Jets and Kris Richard will likely end up in Miami and not here.
Gase is expected to bring Dowell Loggains along as his Offensive Coordinator, fresh off coaching the 26th ranked DVOA unit in the NFL. In 2017, he was the Bears Offensive Coordinator for the league’s 26th ranked unit…a unit that improved substantially when he left. He is expected to potentially bring in Vance Joseph, the recently fired Broncos Head Coach, as his Defensive Coordinator. So, no forward thinking. No input from the college game. Just a collection of retreads and buddies getting back together when they failed elsewhere. Hopefully, Brant Boyer is retained at least.
Part of what pushed this hire over the top was apparently a call from Peyton Manning to Chris Johnson, which is troubling. Gase had success with Manning but he is Peyton Manning. We could all have success with him. Manning also advocated for him before Miami hired him and it is fair to wonder if an interim owner who nobody knew a year ago was a little too starstruck from the call. Also Gase’s success with Manning was 5 years ago, an eternity in the NFL. We also know that Sam Darnold and Gase connected briefly via FaceTime before the hire…but both have the same agent, Jimmy Sexton, so remember that when reading stories about the two.
The Jets hamstrung themselves in this search by not fully cleaning house and are now paying the price with who they needed to hire. Hopefully, Gase will learn from his mistakes in Miami and the Jets can have a massive offseason, although you have to wonder if Gase can get along with a player like Le’Veon Bell.
The mandate should be clear: It is year 5 (!) for Mike Maccagnan and year 4 of Adam Gase as a Head Coach in the AFC East: Make the playoffs or fully clean house.