New York Jets: Something has to change as layoff looms large

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets are reportedly retaining Adam Gase. That shouldn’t stop them from making changes to prevent further embarrassment.

Providing a watchable primetime game for the football-loving masses doesn’t earn you any postseason real estate in the National Football League, but it apparently allows you to keep a tenuous grasp on a head coaching position.

Thursday night entertainment and competency wasn’t enough for the New York Jets to earn a victory, as they fell 37-28 to the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. The Jets (0-4) did tally a season-high in scoring and even led for the first time in 2020. But when the endgame remains defeat at the hands of a Denver squad trotting out a third-string quarterback and missing its playmakers, it’s hard to glean out any positives.

Despite this, the overseer of this winless operation, Adam Gase, isn’t going anywhere. Connor Hughes of The Athletic has revealed that Gase is not only secure through the upcoming ten-day layoff the Jets before an October 11 tilt against Arizona (1 p.m. ET, Fox) but that “the plan is for (Gase) to remain the team’s coach throughout the season, barring any dramatic circumstances that would make a change unavoidable”.

New York may have already reached such a point, but there’s no use arguing it. Gase’s seat has been warm since he opened his green office. Only a phantom 6-2 stretch, mostly earned against hopeless or resting teams, has lowered the temperature, and that might as well have happened a decade ago. The Jets, though, have appeared to hitch their wagon to the Gase truck and there’s no turning back. Star-crossed as their history may be, the Jets are a team that has mostly avoided the in-season firing. Charley Winner was the last example all the way back in 1974.

But if Gase isn’t going, someone has to respond for this.

When one looks at the modern Jets, there’s certainly room for potential. But, should that potential be recognized, has anyone earned the right to stick around for those hypothetical (for now) glory days? Can there even be glory days with this unit and this core? Other than Jamison Crowder and Sam Ficken, which veterans on this team can accurately say they’re in a better situation than they were in last season?

Be it a coach, be it a player, someone has to be held accountable in this early going.

The likely, more efficient, spot to make a change in the coaching staff. A macabre gift offered to the Jets in their de facto state of early elimination is that players have a dozen consequence-free opportunities to play for their jobs. Good, strong efforts on the field can be the difference between playing in the NFL…be it in New York or elsewhere…and waiting for an opportunity in Dwayne Johnson’s XFL in 2022…be it in New York or elsewhere.

But this coaching staff is not granting the Jets’ representatives the opportunity to do so. It’s one thing to post losing records but to look respectable doing it…that’s what the 2017 squad was doing under Josh McCown (5-8 as a starter with all but two losses by a single digit). But to repeatedly make no adjustments and constantly chalk deficiencies up to execution isn’t working.

Improvisation from Sam Darnold contributed to a good portion of the offensive output, including the 46-yard run to glory that dropped the jaws of football fans everywhere. With Le’Veon Bell out, Gase and his offensive staff have opted to leave a majority of his duties…and others…into the 37-year-old legs of Frank Gore, rather than testing the mettle of fourth-round pick La’Mical Perine. With the outcome decided after a Melvin Gordon-induced dagger, the Jets nonetheless engaged in unnecessary, dangerous extracurriculars, (the last of six personal foul penalties worth 15 yards each) ones that certainly look suspect when one looks like a Gregg Williams’ past (namely the New Orleans chapters). Gase has been lauded as an “offensive genius” by team CEO Christopher Johnson, but one view of Ryan Tannehill’s highlights from Tennessee, free from the Miami-induced purgatory of Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains serves as a visual aid against description.

Even in defeat, the Jets aren’t being set up for success. There’s such a thing as a “good loss”…rebuilding teams thrive on such moral victories…but the Jets can’t even get those.

The next ten days could change the course of several careers. Wins in a brutal stretch (the Chargers, Bills, and Super Bowl champion Chiefs and Patriots immediately loom after the upstart Cardinals) are probably going to very hard to come by, but development can still be made. Personal growth can be attained. Wins, proverbial and personal, is there for the taking.

But that’s not going to come if the MetLife Stadium sidelines ten days from now is a duplicate of Thursday night.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags