The cryptic comments made by New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams late last week apparently upset head coach Adam Gase. While Gase believes it's behind them, players hearing it for the first time are trying to figure out how coaches and players alike can get out of this awful losing streak.
“This is my first time hearing about it,” Jets safety Marcus Maye said after the Jets lost their sixth straight game to start the season 24-0 to the Miami Dolphins. “But I mean it's a team game. It's three sides of the ball: offense, it's special teams. We all got to find a way to win. I mean it's not just on one side of the ball or anything like that. It's a team effort. It's a collective effort from everybody in this building.”
The whole issue started on Friday when Williams was meeting with reporters. He was asked about the fact that the Jets were giving up a staggering 32 points per game through their first five games of the season. Williams then replied with the statement, "It's not a very good number -- and a lot of it's not all defensively." When asked what he meant, Williams replied with, “You'd have to figure it out."
The implication was strong that Williams was pinning some of the blame on the defense’s poor showing on the equally poor play of the offense through a season where the Jets are winless heading into Week 7.
Gase addressed the comment publicly for the first time after the Jets’ 24-0 loss in Miami on Sunday.
“I wasn’t happy about it,” Gase said Sunday. “We talked about it. Right now, I feel like our players are doing such a good job as far as trying to get things righted. Everything we say, it matters. He understood that we gotta set the right example.”
According to the CBS broadcast of the Jets-Dolphins game, play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon said that Gase addressed it with them during a Saturday night preparation meeting. According to Catalon, Gase told them, “That’s not what we need. No one is pointing fingers. We all need to pull in the same direction.”
“I think he was trying to talk about complementary football, three phases playing together,” Gase said after the game. “Me and Gregg talk so much and we talk through a lot of things, not just football. We talk through things and the majority of the time, we’re exactly thinking the same thing and we’ll have discussions if we’re not. At that moment, we’re just trying to get guys focused on doing things better. Us as coaches, we gotta do the same thing.”
Whether things were ironed out or not between the two sides is almost irrelevant as both the offense and defense continued to struggle. The Jets were shut out for the first time since last October when they lost at home on Monday Night Football to the Patriots in the infamous game where Sam Darnold was heard saying he was seeing ghosts. The defense gave up 302 yards and had an addition personal foul for unnecessary roughness
“We can play as hard as we want and be as tough as we want and have the right guys, but if we don’t play well we’re not going to get it done,” quarterback Joe Flacco addressed the losing streak. “It still starts with keeping your head held high and sticking together as a unit.”