Alex Lewis defends New York Jets head coach Adam Gase: 'I got mad respect for him'
In terms of seniority, Alex Lewis is the leader of the New York Jets offensive line, this despite that he just joined the team last year. In addition, he is assuming that leadership mantle for the whole team by being an outspoken supporter of head coach Adam Gase.
This support comes in the wake of some withering criticism several weeks ago from former teammate Jamal Adams.
“I got mad respect for him,” Lewis said on Thursday in a conference call with the media.
“I’m just here bringing the team together. We got one objective and that's to play football and win football games and all the other stuff is noise. I'm just excited to be back with the team and push forward and start hitting people.”
The need for Lewis to step up and publicly endorse his head coach is part of the lingering fallout from the way Adams left the organization.
Prior to being traded by the Jets to the Seattle Seahawks, Adams made some blistering comments two weeks ago about the Jets organization. Following his public demands for a trade over a contract dispute, Adams then took shots at Jets general manager Joe Douglas and then Gase.
The comments about Gase were particularly stinging, painting the Jets head coach as out of touch and not connecting with his locker room. Lewis took to social media shortly after Adams’ interview aired the dirty laundry about Gase and the Jets guard stood up for his head coach.
On the field, Lewis is the only likely returning starter to an offensive line that will feature three new projected additions from free agency and a rookie, first round pick Mekhi Becton.
The left guard said that the massive overhaul of the offensive line, desperately needed, isn’t unsettling.
“It’s not weird. Since going on my fifth year now, there’s always new guys, new faces coming in and old faces leaving. It is just something you have to adapt to,” Lewis said.
“For me personally, all I can only focus on is my job. I can’t worry about what upstairs does, personnel or anything like that. You start worrying about that stuff, it takes away your focus from what you have to do personally and as a pro.”
The trade of Adams (which netted the Jets a solid starting safety in Bradley McDougald as well as multiple draft picks including two first round picks the next two years) helps the rebuilding Jets acquire more draft capital. It also helps the locker room, which has been a priority stated by Douglas and Gase in terms of building team culture.
Players like Lewis seem to be the building blocks of this revamped Jets team. Not surprising then that Lewis, acquired in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens before the start of last season, seem to have bought into this mentality of the new–look Jets.