Dyer: The New York Jets Must Be Resolved To Adam Gase's Vision For This Rebuild
The New York Jets, need to be gung-ho about Adam Gase. If they are committed to this head coach – and it sure seems like they are – then they need to buy whatever he is selling.
This needs to be the offseason of Gase. The Jets head coach says jump, and the Jets ask him how high.
Because, simply, this run of seasons without a playoff appearance is far too long for any franchise, let alone one that made consecutive conference championship games a decade ago. It has been since 2010 that the Jets have been in this wilderness, wandering and looking for answers.
Gase may not be the answer. In fact, history is very much against him. But where Rex Ryan failed towards the end of his stay here and Todd Bowles never got there, the Jets have to be all-in on Gase. Just like they were when everyone wanted him fired.
At the midpoint of the season, the Jets made it clear that no matter the struggles, they were sold on their head coach. Owner Christopher Johnson endorsed Gase, who was 1-7 at the time. So too did general manager Joe Douglas. Despite fan protests and what appeared to be a lock on a top three pick in the NFL Draft, Jets brass showed a steel resolve on Gase as the right man for the sidelines of this rebuilding team.
That faith was certainly rewarded.
After Johnson’s vote of confidence, the Jets went on a bit of a roll and won three straight games. It was all part of an outstanding second half of the season as the Jets closed the door on the decade with a 6-2 record in their final eight games. A 7-9 season isn’t much for most franchises to cheer about, but for the Jets it was their best record since going 10-6 in 2015.
Now with $60 million in salary cap space, what appears to be a stud quarterback and a defense that was seventh in the league despite extended injuries to many of their stars, the Jets suddenly have a bright future.
They won’t if this rebuild is done in a lukewarm fashion, that shine will quickly dim.
The Jets defended Gase this midseason from critics. Now they must support him this offseason.
The same determination that Johnson and Douglas showed in the midst of a terrible season to defend Gase from his critics must be shown this offseason. If they believe Gase is the right man to be head coach, then he must be given what he needs.
This time a year ago, Gase wasn’t even on the radar of most as a candidate or at least a seriously viable one to replace Todd Bowles as head coach. Gase had flamed out in three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and wasn’t seen as someone any team would seriously look towards as a head coach – at least not immediately after his failure in south Florida.
Despite the rocky start here in New York, Gase rode some continuity and a bit of luck to those six wins in the second half of the season. He proved the faith placed in him by management.
Now, they need to have his back.
If Gase targets a certain personnel addition, sees a certain need, wants some extravagance or simply doesn’t value a free agent, then Douglas needs to give him free reign. The Jets took all these shots from the media and their fans by retaining Gase after just a single win in the first half of the season. They didn’t change their horses midstream then when it would have been expedient and now that philosophy must hold true this offseason.
What Gase wants, he needs to get. Obviously he’s done something right to finish the season the way he did, defying the odds in the process. If the Jets don’t fully commit to Gase’s vision this offseason, then they wasted not just 2019 but a season of quarterback Sam Darnold’s development and growth.
Gase’s vision must now be married to the Jets this offseason. His philosophy must be theirs in every meaning. The two must be intricately intertwined.
To not do so would be a waste, something this franchise sadly has grown all too accustomed to doing over the years. Time for that to change now.