The start of a new season typically brings hope and optimism. It also brings varying degrees pressure to prominent members of each organization. We are examining how much pressure key members of the Jets face this season. We continue the series today with Adam Gase.
The hiring of Adam Gase in January 2019 was somewhere between controversial and unpopular to the Jets fan base. Gase was coming off a failed tenure as head coach of the Miami Dolphins where he failed to build a winner and develop a young franchise quarterback. His job with the Jets was to do those things.
Gase’s first season with the Jets was a lost campaign. A 1-7 start left the Jets out of the Playoff race and playing meaningless games as early as October. The team at least finished the season with a 6-2 second half as the schedule got easier.
Was Gase to blame for the failures of 2019? The answer is nuanced. The Jets had a bottom of the league offensive line and a mediocre group of skill players. He was also forced to play Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk for three games in the early part of the season after Sam Darnold was diagnosed with mono.
Still, Gase was touted by the Jets as an offensive innovator. A coach is either making the situation better, or he isn’t.
Even if he had the worst offensive roster in the NFL, the Jets still finished 32nd in yards per play and 31st in points per game.
What can a coach be asked to do with little talent? One only needs to go back to 2017. Heading into that season the Jets were widely believed to have the worst roster in the NFL. Then-offensive coordinator John Morton worked around the lack of talent to get the Jets tied for 19th in yards per play and 24th in points per game.
These might not look like impressive numbers in general, but considering the context they display a coach getting something extra out of his team. You can’t expect a ton ten offensive with bottom of the league talent, but if the results remain at the bottom of the league it is difficult to see what the coach is bringing to the table.
Like Gase, Morton even had to suffer through three games of starting a sub-replacement level quarterback in Bryce Petty that year.
The Jets’ offensive performance is directly relevant to Gase since it was the central focus of the team’s decision to hire him, but the bigger picture matters as well. The Jets missed the Playoffs last year because of a blown 16 point second half lead, a loss to an 0-7 opponent, and a loss to an 0-11 opponent. It’s difficult to say coaching doesn’t deserve a lot of blame for situations like this.
If Gase is the type of coach who can make a positive difference, it’s time for him to show it. His Miami record was unimpressive. The best part about his first season with the Jets was a series of wins after the season was already lost.
I’m not convinced the Jets have Playoff talent. It’s not realistic to ask Joe Douglas to put a great roster on the field after one year. But the reasons pressure is so low on Douglas are the same reasons it is high on Gase. If the team doesn’t have a Playoff roster, the coaching needs to make the difference to get it there.
Pressure Rate for 2020: High