For a franchise that has seemed to botch everything since Joe Namath was quarterback, it appears the Jets have gotten two things right: drafting Sam Darnold and firing Todd Bowles. Now, we have moved into arguably the most important offseason in franchise history. With the Darnold entering year two, the third overall pick in the draft, and $100 million dollars in salary cap space to spend, the first task of finding the right head coach was critical. So, in a time of such emotional turmoil, I am certain that every fan had their thoughts on the eight candidates that we heard connected to the Jets.
As the days passed and other teams made their decisions, it tested our patience as we rode an emotional roller coaster that was the start to the Jets offseason. And as the clock continued to tick, it looked as if every sign pointed to Matt Rhule, and within an instant, they pivoted and hired former Dolphins Coach Adam Gase. As we either begin to rationalize the hire, hate it, love it, or chose not to care, I have attempted to take a look at Adam Gase full resume.
Gase’s coaching career began as an undergrad as an assistant to the coaching staff under Nick Saban at Michigan State. Upon graduation, Gase followed Saban to LSU and worked as a graduate assistant and recruiting assistant. Gase cracked his way into the NFL in 2003 with Steve Mariucci and the Detroit Lions as a scouting assistant. He worked his way up to Quarterbacks Coach in 2007 under OC Mike Martz and HC Rod Marinelli. Following the 2007 season, Gase followed Martz to San Francisco where he became an offensive assistant for the 49ers. He was there for one year before going to Denver to be the Broncos WR Coach, then QB Coach, and eventually Offensive Coordinator in 2013. The Broncos were the NFL’s top offense in 2013. That year, the Broncos set records for points scored (606) and touchdowns in a season (76). Peyton Manning also set records for touchdown passes in a season (55) and yards (5,477). In 2015, Gase followed John Fox to Chicago to be the Bears OC where he coached Jay Cutler to a career best 92.3 QB rating.
In 2016, Gase got his first Head Coaching opportunity with the Miami Dolphins. He went 23-25 in three seasons, with one playoff appearance in 2016 that resulted in a wild card loss to the Steelers. In three seasons, while working with the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler, the Dolphins rated 17th, 28th, and 26th in scoring, respectively. Gase was known and hired for his offensive mind but, struggles the last two seasons and the Dolphins making the decision to clean house led to his firing after the final game of 2018.
In his career, Gase spent most of his time on the offensive side of the ball and has worked with notable coaches and quarterbacks. His first stint as head coach did not go well, but many don’t. Many successful coaches have gotten fired from their first HC gigs: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, and Andy Reid to name a few. I am not saying that Adam Gase will be the next Belichick. What I am saying is that we should look at his hiring objectively and take what we think we know out of it. There are plenty of rumors circulating about Adam Gase’s tenure in Miami. He clashed with veteran players such as Frank Gore and Cameron Wake. Well, even if true he has some well-respected players that have backed him, such as Peyton Manning, Alshon Jefferey and C.J. Anderson. There have also been reports of him getting into a shouting match with upper management and Owner Stephen Ross. We heard Gase say on “The Michael Kay Show” on Monday afternoon that if that happened, he certainly doesn’t remember it. Have you ever disagreed with a superior on a decision or strategy in which you felt strongly? Things like this happen in the workplace.
The Jets made a bold move in hiring Adam Gase. Christopher Johnson stated in his press conference today, Gase is “Coaching to where football is going.” This is a different approach for the Jets, and a different approach was necessary. There is no question that the numbers, overall record, and offensive rankings should have been better. There is more to this hire than numbers. Christopher Johnson and Mike Maccagnan aren’t buying into Adam Gase for what he’s done, they’re buying in for what they believe he can do. So, what do we know about Adam Gase? Well, he is young. He is offensive minded. He is intense (look at those eyes!). He’s worked under coaches like Nick Saban, Mike Martz, and John Fox. And he coached one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
I’ve had five days and an introductory press conference to rationalize this hire to myself. I have certainly come around to the idea more now than I did when the search started. Yet, I am not selling myself on this hire. I am merely taking a simple and objective approach to it. I have separated what I know from what I’ve heard. I am looking at building for the future, and recognize that sometimes in football, just like in life, a fresh situation can yield positive results for all involved (ok, maybe I’ve rationalized a little bit).