Despite the New York Jets’ opening week loss, team CEO Christopher Johnson extended a vote of confidence to his embattled head coach.
New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson offered reassurance and regret when making a public appearance on Wednesday.
Johnson offered a vote of confidence to embattled head coach Adam Gase, whose career record now stands at 30-35 after the Jets fell by a 27-17 final to the Buffalo Bills in Sunday afternoon’s 2020 opener. The Jets (0-1) began Gase’s debut campaign with a 1-7 mark before recovering to finish 7-9.
Despite the losing mark, Johnson still believes that Gase is the man for the New York job.
“I have full confidence in Adam,” Johnson per Rich Cimini of ESPN. “I think that he has a lot more in him as a head coach than some of our fans are giving him credit for…I understand they want to see success. I think that they will.”
Cimini’s report also indicated that Johnson would not issue a playoff mandate on Gase. The Jets haven’t been to the postseason since back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances under Rex Ryan in 2010 and 2011.
Johnson said that his belief stemmed from Gase’s prior work with quarterbacks.
“I think he can work with and develop quarterbacks,” Gase said per Cimini. “I do continue to think he’s a brilliant offensive mind especially. He has my every confidence.”
Despite Johnson’s belief in Gase, the CEO did admit that the opening loss against Buffalo was “a mess”. Yet, he cited Gase’s rapport with the team as well as their ability to recover from a slow start last season.
“He took a team that did so poorly the first half of the season and held them together,” Johnson said in a quote from Connor Hughes of The Athletic. “They finished well. I think he has a lot more in him as a head coach than some of our fans are giving him credit for.”
Johnson’s statements also featured regret, particularly in the timing of general manager Joe Douglas’ hire. New York brought Douglas in from Philadelphia’s front office during the summer of 2019 after they fired incumbent man Mike Maccagnan. The latter’s firing came four months after Gase’s hire and a month after Maccagnan’s helped with the 2019 NFL Draft process. Not counting his final class (which has already seen the departure of third-round pick Jachai Polite), only six Maccagnan picks remain on the Jets’ roster. Johnson admitted that Maccagnan’s dismissal may have been ill-timed.
“Do I wish I had made that change earlier? Absolutely,” Johnson said in Cimini’s report. “I’ve made mistakes, and that’s one of them.”
In terms of the future, Johnson maintained that he would maintain a strong front office role upon his brother Woody’s return. The Jets’ co-owner continues to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Donald Trump. Christopher also defended Woody from allegations of racist and sexist remarks.
“He’s denied it publicly. He’s denied it to me,” Christopher Johnson said, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I’ve known him my whole life. We’ve spent so much time together. I’ve never heard him utter a racist or sexist word or perform an action that was racist or sexist. I believe him.”
The Jets return to action on Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco 49ers for their home opener at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET, Fox).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags