Barring a dramatic and drastic turnaround of their season, speculation about Adam Gase’s future with the New York Jets is likely to continue. NFL insider John Clayton says the blame surrounding this awful start goes way beyond Gase. It goes all the way to Jets’ CEO Christopher Johnson.
In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated's Jets Country, the former ESPN NFL insider explains the decision that Christopher Johnson made, and how it impacted the fate of the franchise.
“How much of the blame is at Adam Gase?” Clayton said. “How much of the blame is on Gregg Williams? And how much is on the Johnson family? Because remember a couple of years ago when they hired Adam Gase, the guy that they were also interested in was Matt Rhule. And they asked him, 'Who do you want to have as a defensive coordinator?' They said well, it’s got to be Gregg Williams. So [Johnson] says, I'm not going with Rhule on that. I'll wait. Now he's down in Carolina and it looks like he's going to be a pretty good coach.”
The Jets are 0-4, having lost to the previously winless Denver Broncos on Thursday night. An organization that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, the Jets seem to be in a perpetual cycle of rebuilding, fired head coaches and a shuffling of general managers.
“The simple thing is number one, don't keep changing coaches. Don't keep changing general managers,” Clayton said. “Have people on the same page and give them time. But that hasn't happened with the Jets.”
When the Jets hired Gase, Rhule was coaching at Baylor with eyes on the NFL. After he withdrew his candidacy for the Jets’ head coaching position, he spoke to ESPN 1160 AM in Dallas.
"I don't want to say anything about that job," Rhule said in January 2019. "At the end of the day, I'm never going to be in an arranged marriage. I'm never going to sub-contract out jobs for offense and defense. I'm always going to hire people I believe in —and are going to do things our way, that are going to believe in the process, that are going to be part of a program. I truly believe that programs win.”
Rhule is now in his first season a head coach of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers defeated the Jets’ next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, 31-21 on Sunday.
Clayton is one of the preeminent national personalities covering the NFL. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, he was with ESPN from 1995-2017.
Gase is in his second full season as Jets head coach. Last year, he was 7-9 with the Jets, winning six of his final eight games to close out the season strong.