When Jets head coach Adam Gase added Gregg Williams to his staff in New York as the defensive coordinator, he trusted the veteran would make the right calls as the leader of his defense.
That faith Gase had in his right-hand man to get the job done on defense was irreparably damaged on Sunday.
By now you've seen the play or heard what happened, but here's the situation one more time. Williams called for Cover 0, an all-out blitz, with 13 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The only way New York could possibly lose, since the Raiders had no timeouts remaining and were down by four, was a touchdown.
Quarterback Derek Carr evaded pressure from a swarm of green jerseys, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a 46-yard dime to rookie wide receiver Henru Ruggs III for the game-winning touchdown.
Looking back on that play, Gase is full of regret.
"I wish I would of [overruled the call]," Gase said in a conference call on Monday. "Sometimes during a game, you are talking through a bunch of situations and that comes up, I wish I would have called timeout, but I didn’t."
Head coaches oversee the entire operation, so Gase could've chimed in to switch the play. He could've also stopped the clock and talked it over with Williams and the defensive unit, as he alluded to, with a timeout. His voice in the moment would have superseded what Williams had declared.
By the time he recognized the play call, leaving all three of New York's defensive backs in one-on-one coverage with no help, it was too late.
"I obviously wasn’t happy about that call, that was a heartbreaking way for our guys to lose the game, for that to happen in that situation, just we can’t have that happen," Gase explained.
The last line of defense were those on the field that have the ability to call for an audible.
Linebacker Neville Hewitt, who ended up being the closest defender to Carr in the pocket as he sidestepped forward to load up for the deep ball, revealed he nearly changed the play call in the moment.
"I thought about checking to something," Hewitt told The Official Jets Podcast on Tuesday. "At the time, I was like, ‘You know what? Let's try to get there.' I was close to getting a sack. I was close to getting him, but he stepped up and threw it up. Most of us would say we should've been ... in a different call, but I don't question [Gregg Williams'] decision on that play. He wanted to get after him and that's what we tried to do and they end up throwing it up for a touchdown."
From the moment Williams' ill-advised call was made, all the way up to his firing the next morning, Gase said he thought deeply about the defensive coordinator. In the end, he made the decision to let Williams go, claiming it was the best decision for the organization.
"[Sunday] night, it was more just me thinking through everything, trying to get some sleep, not make a rushed decision," Gase explained. "And when I came in [Monday] morning, still felt like it was what we needed to do and then circled with the guys I needed to circle with as far as [general manager] Joe [Douglas] and [president] Hymie [Elhai] and [owner, chairman and CEO] Christopher [Johnson] and we were all in agreement."
Speculation as to how much longer Gase will still have a job with the Jets has been swirling long before the franchise began cleaning house on Monday. Gase, for the time being, is focused on the rest of this season and attempting to finish strong over the next four weeks.
If the Jets can't move past Sunday's defensive debacle, washing away New York's best shot yet of securing its first win in 2020, this team will become just the third group in NFL history to go 0-16.
Whether that's what transpires or not, it's safe to expect more changes will be made in the East Rutherford going forward.
"I’ll be reaching out to probably quite a few guys," Gase said. "Anytime changes are made, it’s not easy for players to go through, not easy for coaches to go through, not what you want to do, it’s just, like I said, this is the best thing for our team. We just made this decision as an organization. This is what we felt like was best."