Jamal Adams may no longer be a member of the New York Jets but his comments about head coach Adam Gase might well have a long-term impact. The All-Pro safety and former face of the franchise bashed the Jets late last week, just a day before he was shipped out in a monster deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
The comments by Adams to the New York Daily News painted the picture of a disgruntled locker room and a team that was dead-set against Gase. It was interesting to note that when Adams was traded, there were few congratulatory tweets or well wishes from his former locker room.
When Joe Douglas had a Monday conference call with the media, he completely defended Gase.
“I feel he’s the right coach to lead this team,” Douglas said on the call. “Having watched him work last year, having seen him and his staff overcome a 1-7 start and finish the way they did, I feel really good about where we are with him and his leadership.”
Still, the comments from Adams did nothing to quell fears from Jets’ fans that Gase isn’t the coach to take them to the promised land. If this locker room is fractured, Gase will have to command the respect of the entire team if they are to improve on last year.
“He’s not the easiest guy to work for,” said NFL insider John Clayton to Sports Illustrated's “Jets Country” recently. “Winning cures all, but when you don't win, you have unhappy players and you have a lot of turmoil.”
Gase took over for Todd Bowles and went 7-9 despite losing starting quarterback Sam Darnold to mono for four games early in the season. To replicate the 6-2 second-half record that lead to the Jets’ best record since 2015, he needs to get better execution, and for that, he needs a few breaks to go his way.
Former New York Jets defensive lineman Leger Douzable thinks it is unfair to judge Gase on one season.
“You can't really judge Adam until after this year,” he told SI’s “Jets Country”. “Because of all the things he had to go through with that team last year.”
Gase has worked for six teams throughout 17 NFL seasons. In those years, those teams combined to have just four winning seasons. Three of those four seasons were when Gase was offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was having a career resurgence.
Still, the deck appears stacked against Gase. Simple math shows that the Jets took a step back losing Adams. The schedule in 2020 is quite difficult. If the record isn’t better than 7-9, that could simply be a indicative of the talent.
Yet, Gase has a newly improved offensive line to protect third-year quarterback Sam Darnold, highlighted by top draft pick Mekhi Becton. Le'Veon Bell is believed to be healthy. There are new receivers in Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims to compliment Jamison Crowder.
The best way for Gase to silence these critics and the backpage attacks are to win. If he can show a Jets team headed in the right direction, then it won’t matter all the outside noise. Simply win and the Jets can stop all the outside chatter and focus solely on football.