Adam Gase: 'a lot of things that I’m excited about that are pointing us in the right direction'
Even with a strong close to last season, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said he thinks that there was a lot left on the field in his first year with the organization. Now after an offseason where a pretty poor offense was rebuilt in free agency and the NFL Draft, Gase is optimistic that the Jets can continue on the momentum from the second half of 2019.
Gase, not a pompom type of coach, thinks that the Jets can turn a corner in 2020. Most of that optimism focuses on quarterback Sam Darnold, who just spent his second offseason in Gase’s system.
“We both just talked about kind of last year, how we felt like we could have been so much better than what we were,” Gase said on Wednesday about his conversations with Darnold on last year.
“And I get it, mono kind of threw some things off for us. We were battling some changes and injuries and it was like nothing was smooth. I think we got to a point where it was different, we had some consistency. We had a lot of the same guys out there. I feel like everyone was picking up on what we were doing and how we wanted to attack, week-in, week-out. Where we’re at right now as far as our communication, we’re excited to get going. We’re excited to get this group heading in the right direction. Find ways to improve each week.”
After a 1-7 start to the year where Darnold missed time due to mononucleosis, the Jets rebounded. They went 6-2 in the second half of the season as Darnold significantly cut back on turnovers and looked highly comfortable in the offense.
Now in his third season in the league and the organization set to enter Gase’s second year with the Jets, Darnold has shown a comfort and understanding this offseason that projects to further development in 2020. The third season in the NFL is a pivotal one for any quarterback in terms of maturing and development.
Especially so for one who is just 23-years old heading into this season.
“My expectations and his expectations were always going to be extremely high. That’s why we do this,” Gase said. “We might not talk about it publicly but me and him, when we get together, our expectations are probably going to be a lot higher then everyone else’s.”
This offseason, the majority of general manager Joe Douglas’ moves were on the offensive side of the ball. There’s a reason for that as the Jets were second-worst in the NFL last year in total offense.
Four new starters on the offensive line and a couple more pieces at wide receiver and running back should help the Jets – and Darnold – be able to take a step forward as a unit and individually.
Gase, who usually doesn’t play-up his own team but remains painfully grounded, couldn’t help but rattle off why a Jets offense that was underwhelming a season ago might be set to at least whelm in 2020.
“I do think the chemistry that we have up front is key. Obviously Sam, another year in the offense. I like our running back situation. I feel like we got a lot of variety there,” Gase said before talking about his playmaker at tight end and wide receiver.
“Having [tight end] Chris Herndon back. Adding multiple receivers that can create explosive plays. [Jamison] Crowder being in year two is a big deal then you add [Braxton] Berrios in there, [Denzel] Mims is going to be able to practice. There are a lot of things that I’m excited about that are pointing us in the right direction.”