New York Jets trade OLB Jordan Willis to the San Francisco 49ers

New York Jets, Jordan Willis

The fire sale continues! The New York Jets have now traded promising edge rusher Jordan Willis to the San Francisco 49ers. The Jets will get back another 2022 6th Round Selection while parting ways with Wllis and a 7th this season.

Willis has only played 42 snaps this season, and was even in active the last three games. Despite that, he has displayed promise. Since being drafted to Cinncinati in 2017, Willis has displayed potential with a total of 52 tackles, 8 TFL’s and 3.0 sacks. This is a move that provides the 49era more depth at a position that has been decimated by injuries this season. As for the Jets, this is only a sign of more to come.

As I previously noted, with some veterans on cheap deals, teams that are willing to part with a mid rounder could entice Joe Douglas. Calling this a full-blown fire sale is still a stretch on my end, but a fire sale would not be an awful idea.

The team would have more draft flexibility and more cap room while also providing some younger players an opportunity to get in game reps. As for the veterans, this lets them out of the awful coaching staff’s grips and gives them a shot to rebuild their stock. With the team continuing to flounder and reportedly, ”Tanking for Trevor”, there is no end in sight to the roster upheaval coming.

BREAKING: Jets’ Steve McLendon traded to Tampa Bay

Steve McLendon has been a quality veteran piece for the New York Jets since 2016. Coming over from Pittsburgh, he had decently high expectations. Ranked by PFF as one of the most efficient nose tackles in the game, the Jets were looking to gain a reliable piece upfront.

Since then, McClendon has provided that and then some on the field, McClendon has been a formidable piece for the squad. With his last season totaling up 36 tackles, seven QB hits, 10 TFL’s, 2.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Not only that, but McClendon has not missed a game since 2017. McClendon is also a vocal leader and someone, the coaching staff, has been immensely complimentary of.

Per Jim Stroud, McLendon has been traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he reunites with former Jets had Coach Todd Bowles. In his last season with Bowles, McClendon had 3.5 sacks, 7TFL’s, a forced fumble, and 28 tackles. McClendon adds a veteran presents upfront to an already stout buccaneer defense.

As for the Jets, this is a sign of full-on rebuild mode. After releasing an offense of leader and playmaker and Le’Veon Bell earlier this week, they now followed it up by trading away a defensive captain in an eye-opening move. With the deadline just a few days away, you’d have to wonder if this is a signal of more to come. With the bulk of the Jets’ top players on short term deals and the team now sitting at 0-6, it would make more sense than not to begin the deconstruction now.

In terms of compensation, the Jets will send a 2023 7th Round selection along with him in order to gain a 2022 6th rounder. At 34 years old, yes, he does provide value, but he was likely not going to fetch anything more than a late rounder. Still, the Jets were able to shed cap, provide young guys opportunities to step up, and earn a role in the future, while also giving McClendon a much-deserved opportunity on a contender.

New York Jets: The rumored favorite to replace Adam Gase

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets have had an awful start and will likely be looking for a new head coach this offseason (0-6). With a team in one of the biggest markets in the country, there were undoubtedly going to be rumors spread early. Now, the team already has it’s first rumored coaching candidate in Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell.

Campbell spent a lot of time throughout in different spots through the college ranks despite his quick rise to a head coaching gig. Campbell was a Grad Assistant at Bowling Green before switching between Mount Union, Bowling Green again, and Toledo.

While at Toledo, he was the offensive coordinator before being named head coach at 32 years old. He then led Toledo to a 35-15 record with two Bowl wins. After getting offered the job at Iowa State, Campbell headed to Iowa State to resurrect their program.

After an 11-14 start over the first two seasons, Campbell has coached the team to an 18-12 record. One reason Campbell has drawn the eye of many NFL execs is because of his squad’s impressive development in the 2018 season. The team managed to pull off two massive upsets against #3 Oklahoma and #4 TCU, and wins of that level of magnitude do not go unrecognized. Those kinds of wins show a coach has built such a strong culture in a locker room that they fail to be bogged down by the weight of facing upper-echelon competition.

The Iowa State team has shown so much growth that Campbell is a 2-time Big 12 Coach of the Year recipient. Campbell was asked to interview for the Jets opening in 2018, but he declined.

Now, things could be different. With a well respected general manager in Joe Douglas and an Albert Breer report that he is going to actively pursue Campbell, the potential of the Iowa State coach heading to Florham Park. Campbell would do a number of things. He would bring a fresh, innovative offensive mind to the team while also instilling a respectable culture. Campbell has had immense success to this point, and at 40 years old, his future is very bright. The same cannot be said for the Jets, but with a coach who is respectable and shares the same fresh perspective that Douglas has, it could just have a flickering light.

Le’Veon Bell: The wrong man to open the purge of the New York Jets

New York Jets, LeVeon Bell

Necessary changes are coming to the New York Jets. Bidding Le’Veon Bell farewell, while merciful, wasn’t the right way to start them.

In the 2001 children’s picture Monsters Inc., a monster armed with the voice of Brooklyn native Steve Buscemi tells a one-eyed green creature voiced by The Bronx-raised Billy Crystal to be wary of “the winds of change“.

Another green monstrosity felt them blow on Tuesday night.

As professional football fans enjoyed a rare excursion on the second day of the week, the Jets opted to end Le’Veon Bell’s New York journey after 17 games, 863 rushing yards, $27 million in guaranteed money, and countless rumored feuds with head coach Adam Gase. Bell joined the Jets on a four-year deal during the 2019 offseason.

The Jets’ perpetual rebuild has somehow fallen into a deep abyss, one that has them at 0-5 (the losses coming by an average margin of over two touchdowns) and on a collision course with NFL infamy. Combine that with a plethora of free agents on the horizon and the mere thought of keeping the status quo would be lunacy. But for Bell’s status as the modern Jets’ first sacrifice to the football gods is a slap in the face to successful gridiron reboots and rebuilds everywhere.

Granted, Bell’s four-year, $52.5 million contract will likely go down in the same sentence as the deals bestowed to expensive, unproductive endeavors like Trumaine Johnson and Neil O’Donnell. Should Bell return to the elite form displayed in Pittsburgh, his image in green can probably be stored in the same folder as photos of Randy Moss in the Oakland Raiders’ colors.

But what the Jets’ latest transaction shows is a dedication to a regime that’s not working.

For as much as Bell floundered in New York, his 17 games in green don’t take away his glory days between 2013 and 2017 in Pittsburgh, ones that saw him finish third in the NFL in rushing yards in that span. But Bell is a rare New York representative that knows about success at the highest level in football. That’s also why Frank Gore, who is set to take over the top rushing duties in the Jets’ backfield, is still valuable at 37 years old. But the Jets now have the audacity to turn down the services of a top player still lingering in his prime while unproven names continue to steer the franchise ship.

Irony was perhaps best defined on Tuesday night by the fact that Gase, careening toward Rich Kotite status, remains employed by the same Jets team that granted Bell his walking papers. Further ironic hijinks also came from a rare sanctioned NFL game on Tuesday as well. As Bell was let go, a former Gase pupil helped move his team to 4-0 by guiding them to four touchdowns. That player, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, was subjected to countless “make-or-break” seasons under Gase’s watch in Miami. He has since established himself as the franchise quarterback for a Titans squad living up to the hype of their AFC title game appearance last season (when they’re not dealing with the ongoing health crisis, that is).

 (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The release of Bell thus sets a troubling precedent: the Jets appear all too willing to commit to a regime that’s only trending downward.

Tannehill isn’t even the only former practitioner of a Gase offense to find success elsewhere. Robby Anderson, for example, only spent a year under him but is on pace for career-best numbers in Carolina. Kenyan Drake has emerged as a security blanket for Kyler Murray in Arizona. If the Jets aren’t careful, more of their fleeting silver linings could venture out for greener pastures (oh, you know what we mean).

Under Gase, the Jets have lost some of their best, most recognizable players. Guys on a team desperate silver linings perhaps look at the Bell news and can’t help but think that they’re next. For example, if the Jets are willing to part ways with a proven, expensive talent like Bell, and allow Gase’s tenure to continue, who’s to say Sam Darnold, whose NFL journey is rife with uncertainty, isn’t next?

It’s not even guys on the current roster that might be most concerning. The Jets are blessed with strong cap space in time for the 2021 offseason. But what big-name free agent in their right mind is going to look at Bell’s tumultuous time in New York and declare “yeah…I want in on that”? It’s the type of move that’s going to have a ripple effect across several years…only this time, the waves could well sink the Jets further into the abyss.

The arrival of Gase and his staff wasn’t going to lead to wins immediately. Even with Tom Brady’s highly-publicized departure from the AFC East and expanded wild card capital, asking the Jets to reach the 2020 playoffs was going to be a tall task. But the 2020 season, one that gets no easier with a rescheduled visit to Miami on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS), has instead become one long vote of confidence to a staff that’s in over their heads and dragging the players down with them.

General manager Joe Douglas has a bit of a longer leash in this process. After all, it wasn’t he who added Bell, that honor instead going to Mike Maccagnan, one the latters final decisions before a most unusual firing after the draft. But Gase and company have to be on thin ice. His offensive ranking are at or near the NFL’s nadir. Promising prospects have regressed while others have been forced to wallow in obscurity. For example, the Jets appeared to have high hopes for fourth-round La’Mical Perine, and an opportunity appeared to open when Bell went down with an injury in Week 1. Carries instead when to the 37-year-old Gore, whose status beyond 2020 was always in question after inking a one-year deal this offseason.

New York Jets, Adam Gase

With the exception of the Jets improbable 6-2 finish to cap off the 2019 season, mostly earned against teams that were either resting players or were somehow more lost than they were, Gase and his staff have instill little hope in building anything successful, other than their case for the top overall draft pick next spring. Fans immediately came to adore the brash Gregg Williams in the defensive coordinator spot, but his unit has been equally guilty, as his unit ranks 25th in total defense this season.

Yet, it feels like the entire Gase era has been one long extension of a vote of confidence. It happened at his introduction, it happened when the Jets started off 1-7 last season, it continues to happen as 2020 continues to present more horrifying surprises.

The playoffs are obviously long removed from any form of New York football conversation. But the last 11-12 weeks of the season may mean everything to the Jets’ on-field representatives. Time will only tell how long the Gase experiment is allowed to continue, but some of these players could be playing for their football livelihoods, whether it’s with the Jets or elsewhere. If anything, it provides meaning to otherwise meaningless contests, starting with the adjusted matchup against the Dolphins on Sunday.

After all, if Le’Veon Bell isn’t safe in this system…how can they be?

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Releasing Le’Veon Bell depicts everything wrong with the Jets’ Organization

New York Jets, Leveon Bell

When the Jets inked Le’Veon Bell to join the team, the consensus was that Gang Green may have just rejuvenated their offense. The team handed a big contract to a former All-Pro running back and expected him to contribute immediately. Now when you add that caliber of a talent to your team, you expect a certain level of production no matter what side of the ball.

Bell had 245 carries for 789 yards and 3 TDs. He also added 461 yards and a score on 66 receptions. Bell put up numbers that look impressive on paper and for other backs, but when looked at in the grand scheme of things. It was an abnormally abysmal year for him.

Looking at his numbers from Pittsburgh in contrast to his little over a season in the green and white, the drop off was eye-opening. With Pittsburgh, Bell had an average of 129.0 scrimmage yards per game in contrast to his 80.2 in New York. The other startling statistic was his 3.2 yards per attempt that stood as the lowest mark of his career. So, why did Bell have such a massive drop off in quality of play?

While the obvious culprit seemed to be Adam Gase.

You can make the case that the team failed to provide quality blockers for Gase, but Bell’s utilization was the biggest issue. Gase was adamant about this in his preseason pressers as he stated that one of his primary focuses of the offseason was on using Bell better. Bell received a high volume of reps, but they were not meaningful ones. With just 19 attempts this season for 74 yards, Bell had bumped his production up to 3.9 yards per attempt, but he had 3 receptions for 39 yards out of the backfield. Now, this was only in two games since he missed time with a shoulder injury, but one thing was different this year than last. Gase DID use Bell slightly more efficiently than last season, but the primary reason he was able to get those reps was because of how Gase used his 37-year-old back, Frank Gore.

It was obvious to even the casual observer that Gase and Bell had a tumultuous relationship, but it was only furthered based on Gore’s usage. Gore was used as the bell cow back in the offense while Bell was out and even given reps that would typically go to Bell when he returned. Here is the cold hard truth, Adam Gase and Le’Veon Bell were never on the same page. The “innovative mind” failed to realize the talent he had in his hands and instead failed to adapt his playbook to his best players. Gase instead remained stubborn and set in his ways by continuing to overuse basic halfback dives and receiver screens. See, the poor utilization of Bell by Gase that led to the rift is the utter depiction of the incompetence that has plagued this organization.

Le’Veon Bell now joins the list of so many other talents who were wasted whilst with an “offensive genius.” Some of those players include Jarvis Landry, Robby Anderson, Kenyan Drake, Ryan Tannehill, and DeVante Parker. All have had rejuvenated careers WITHOUT Adam Gase. If the blind eye could see that is the issue, why can’t the ownership? The fact is the Jets thrive off of their own self-destruction and incompetence beyond just the gridiron. Bell moving on and having success would just be the latest feather in the cap of the embarrassment: the Adam Gase era and the organization as a whole.

New York Jets: Offseason failure presents itself through DeAndre Hopkins

The New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals are each seeking returns to glory. Arizona showed why they have a major head start on Sunday.

New York Jets fans may think they have it back, but supporters of the Arizona Cardinals have about a half-century headstart if the two sides were to engage in comparing struggles of NFL fandom.

Technically speaking, the Cardinals first came to life as “Morgan Athletic Club” on the South Side of Chicago in 1898…14 years before Arizona was admitted to the Union. The organization that came to become Cardinals first partook in professional competition in 1920, though they’ve struggled to stock their trophy case since then. They mustered only two NFL championships prior to the 1970 merger and have appeared in a single Super Bowl through endeavors in Chicago, St. Louis, and The Grand Canyon State. Unlike the Jets, the Cardinals couldn’t come home with a victory in that visit to the Big Game (though it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying).

Thus, both the Cardinals and Jets are used to the concept of a rebuild. A good number of their quadrennial meetings have been played in the backdrop of such. Sunday’s Week 5 get-together was no exception.

Enough has been written in metropolitan circles about the Jets’ playoff drought, one that’s set to graduate from elementary school at this rate. This latest portion of perpetual reconstruction appeared to provide assurances of a reliable franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold and a well-founded offensive mind in Adam Gase. As the first four weeks had proven, both of those expectations have now only been added to the Jets’ endless list of questions. Darnold was held from the Arizona matchup, leading to Joe Flacco taking his place.

Sunday was perhaps meant to be the first professional meeting between Darnold and his fellow Southern California native, college football legend, and 2018 draftee Josh Rosen. Instead, Rosen and head coach Steve Wilks seem like a distant memory, respectively replaced by NFL sophomores Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury (he of two NFL passes, both with the Jets).

While the Cardinals were the strong favorites in Sunday’s meeting…and the 30-10 final decision in their favor did nothing to dispel that notion…it would be fair to say that, from a team standpoint, both sides had little to lose in whatever kind of season the NFL would be able to wrangle out of 2020. The Jets had to deal with an upstart Buffalo team and the eternal contenders from New England in their division. Arizona’s NFC West brethren have represented the conference in five of the past eight Super Bowls. Missing the playoffs at this point in their respective franchise timelines would be nothing to be upset about.

However, one player showcased just how wide the divide is between the modern incarnations of these star-crossed franchises: Arizona receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins is used to restoring football entities back to their former state of glory. A breakout sophomore season at Clemson commenced an unprecedented, ongoing streak of success for the Tigers. Once acquired by the Houston Texans, another breakout second-year saw the NFL’s youngest franchise leap from two wins to nine. He went on to oversee what’s been Houston’s most successful endeavors, earning winning season in five of his six campaigns.

A since-fired head coach/general manager (Bill O’Brien) offered Hopkins’ services to a devouring NFL public this offseason. Each of Houston’s 31 competitors had reason to engage in trade talks, but both New York and Arizona had special cases.

The Jets’ approach to the 2020 offseason was an understandable undertaking: find protection for Darnold. For all their shortcomings, the Jets did manage to somewhat succeed in that regard, mostly through the drafting of Mekhi Becton at No. 11 overall. But Darnold’s weaponry remained a question. The Jets let Robby Anderson abscond to Carolina with little resistance and the selection of Becton came with the sacrificial bypassing of several elite receiving prospects (Henry Ruggs, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy). With Darnold’s sense of on-field continuity mostly gone…tight end Chris Herndon was the only receiver leftover from his rookie season…the Jets opted to sign December wonder Breshad Perriman, who was finally showcasing his first-round potential in Tampa Bay after an injury to Mike Evans.

They also drafted Baylor playmaker Denzel Mims with their first post-Becton selection, but bringing in a talent like Hopkins could’ve worked wonders, provided a heavenly spark of momentum for a team struggling to light a match. They had the cap space to work with as well, partially boosted by the releases of veterans like Trumaine Johnson and Brian Winters. The Jets also had some extra draft capital to work with as well, the most high-profile addition being a day two choice earned through the Leonard Williams trade.

New York Giants, DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It was a day two pick that eventually netted Hopkins, but it was Arizona who pounced. In exchange for rusty former fantasy football hero David Johnson, an immediate second-round choice, and a fourth-rounder reserved for next spring, Hopkins joined a mostly homegrown arsenal featuring Christian Kirk, sophomore projects Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson..and, of course, the eternal Larry Fitzgerald.

Therein lies the difference between the Jets and Cardinals: Arizona surrounded their franchise catalyst with weaponry that can assist in present and future exploits. The Jets opted to focus solely on the future…without trying to prove anything in the present. Arizona (3-2) is thus blessed with a rebuild that’s ahead of schedule. The might Seahawks and Rams (a combined 9-1) present a major problem, but they’re currently tied with Carolina for the last spot in the premature NFC wild-card picture, bolstered by an opening weekend win over defending Big Game finalists in San Francisco. Meanwhile, the Jets wallow in the NFL’s cellar, morbidly counting down the days until a purge that presumably waiting until the offseason.

That was purely on display on Sunday. Hopkins earned a game-best 131 yards on six receptions, his last being a 37-yard scoring hookup between him and Murray that created the final margin and inexplicably led to an unsuccessful two-point conversion after the Jets invaded the neutral zone on the extra point. Hopkins’ performance shows that not even Gregg Williams’ defense can be exempt from the changes ahead, while also giving the Jets (0-5) an all-too-relevant case of what might’ve been. Neither Perriman nor Mims was available for Sunday’s proceedings, each sidelined due to injuries.

Injuries should never be held against NFL players. Football is a violent game, one that can swipe away fortunes and glory in the blink of an eye, as Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott tragically found out the hard way in Sunday’s late window. There’s still time for Perriman to live up to the $8 million the Jets are paying him for what’s currently a single year of service and Mims has a lot of time to show that he can be a day two receiving gem. However, Hopkins’ showing in East Rutherford can serve as a bit of reckoning for general manager Joe Douglas as well.

As a relatively late arrival to the proceedings of the Darnold era, Douglas has a bit of a longer leash than some of his green comrades. Hopkins held not only Douglas’ regime accountable, but that of Mike Maccagnan’s as well. For all the negligence Maccagnan displayed on the offensive line, the receiving corps remained famished as well. The four receivers chosen in Maccagnan drafts (Devin Smith, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen in 2015-19) earned a combined 47 receptions. None of them are currently in the Jets’ organization and only Smith (a second-round choice in 2015) is still on the outskirts of an NFL roster (Houston’s practice squad).

Douglas has built goodwill in green circles by addressing the blocking woes Maccagnan more or less ignored and netting two first-round picks for a certain star safety that napalmed every bridge he had in New York. But the failure to surround Darnold with weapons could well for the downfall for both of them. Watching Hopkins on MetLife Stadium’s treacherous turf forced one to recall that Douglas addressed rumors of Hopkins and Stefon Diggs (who’s off to a tremendous in Buffalo) with claims of “due diligence” and not having “a ton of discussions with the Texans” (per ESPN’s Rich Cimini).

Maybe acquiring Hopkins would’ve cost the Jets a little too much of their offseason capital. 2020 was never meant to be a playoffs-or-bust season (even in these dark modern times, Christopher Johnson has refused to place a postseason mandate on the beleaguered Gase). But the opportunity for the Jets to take a major step forward has come and gone. No one’s entirely sure when, or even if, the next one’s going to come.

There are many unfortunate occasions that could well come to define the 2020 New York Jets. Watching Hopkins tear up a field he could’ve called his own could be one of the many turning points this team in flux and transition is going to work with.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: LeVeon Bell to return in week 5

New York Jets, Leveon Bell

The New York Jets have been without their former All-Star running back since week one of the season. In the Jets’ 27-17 loss to the Bills, Bell seemed to have an awkward fall in the midst of running a route.

It ultimately ended up being  a hamstring injury that sent him to the IR. Now, before the Jets take on the Arizona Cardinals, Bell will be joining them.

What’s This Mean?

This is great news for the Jets organization for multiple reasons. The first that tomorrow marks the first start for Joe Flacco while Darnold sits with a shoulder injury, so adding a playmaker like Bell back into the fold could ease some of the pressure. Especially with a veteran quarterback who is coming off an injury himself, having Bell can open up things more for him.

The next reason this is so important, is because of the impact Bell has when healthy. Without Bell for the past few games, the Jets have accumulated only 263 yards on the ground from running backs.

Sam Darnold is currently the team’s leading rusher with 117 yards, while Frank Gore sits at 74 yards on 55 carries. It’s safe to say the Jets need a boost out of the backfield and Bell could provide that.

The last reason this is crucial is because of a potential trade. With Bell likely out the door after this season, the team could use the next two or so games as a showcase for what Bell can do. If he’s the key cog in the offense for the next couple of games, don’t be surprised because that may be an order from management. A trade of Bell could shed around eight million dollars of cap space for the organization and potentially nab a mid rounder. It may not be the route the team goes, but it’s certainly a possibility.

One thing is for sure though, the Jets need some kind of fire on offense right now. That’s a fire that Bell can bring. Who knows, his return may just make this offense competitive.

BREAKING: Jets have presumptive positive COVID test per Adam Schefter

New York Jets, Adam Gase

Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic during this football season was never going to be an easy task. The NFL has now begun to see a spike in cases that is felt throughout the world. Yet,  the Tennessee Titans outbreak looks to be a little more contained as they had zero new positive cases. Along with the NFL seemingly getting a grip on the game schedule during a pandemic, the New York Jets have thrown a curveball into that premise.

Today, Adam Schefter has reported the New York Jets had a presumptive positive test.

What We Know

What is known is that the Jets had one of their routine tests come back positive today on One Jets Drive. Thus, all players and coaches were sent home, and the player who tested positive is awaiting the results of their retest, per Rich Cimini. The Arizona Cardinals were slated to fly out today for this Sunday’s contest, and that game now hinges on the results of this test. This positive test is considered presumptive as there have been false positives in the last week or so.

Still, the organization must act out of an abundance of caution to prevent a continued spread. One scenario that could come into play is reminiscent of this past Monday’s game between the Patriots and Chiefs. Despite a positive test, the Patriots kept the virus contained between Cam Newton and now All-Pro Corner Stephon Gilmore, and the team were still able to play their scheduled game.

Long Term Outlook

The Jets must now act with the same sense of fluidity that the entire league and country, for that matter, has operated under in order to prevent a larger spread. The players and coaches need to continue to take responsibility in order to finish the season. With that said, if cases continue to become more widespread nationally, the league may have to consider a bubble setup to finish out the season and the playoffs safely.

Hopefully, the Jets get everything in order within the organization, because no matter how critical you are of the team, I wish them nothing but the best in their health and potential COVID-19 recovery.

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

3 storylines to watch in Denver Broncos Vs New York Jets matchup

The New York Jets (0-3) will take on the Denver Broncos (0-3) in tonight’s game. The game was one I was eager to see prior to the season. I hoped the headlines would be all about Drew Lock vs Sam Darnold or about how the Jets improved defense would handle the Broncos young and talented offense. Instead, we have Brett Rypien at the helm of a banged-up Broncos team and the Jets fighting for any shred of respect they could salvage this season. Here are the things I am watching for in the battle of two of the worst AFC teams to this point.

Adam Gase’s Funeral?

After the Jets got embarrassed this past Sunday in Indianapolis, the heat beneath Adam Gase’s seat became flames. Rumors have swirled all week from Colin Cowherd, Chris Mortensen, and many other top insiders that this could be the end of the road for Gase if the team is blown out. The consensus is, the team needs to implode for Gase to be ousted. The Broncos would need to perform similarly to the 49ers in Week 2 for Gase to go. The odds are in Gase’s favor to still be the coach of this team come Friday morning, but the Jets are wearing all black tomorrow night, so maybe this could be Gase’s New York Jet funeral.

Brett Rypien’s First Career Start

Rypien starting tonight brings me back to the game the Jets played when Luke Falk stepped in on Thursday night last year. Rypien was a practice squad fixture until just a week ago, but after going 8/9 for 53 yards and a pick in the end zone, he will get a shot to run the offense, at least to start, tonight. Broncos coach Vic Fangio has said he will see a role where Jeff Driskel gets work as well. Last year the Jets preyed on weak QBs like Dwayne Haskins Jr., Matt Barkley, and Devlin Hodges. Although this Jets defense is a shell of what it was last year, Gregg Williams is still here, and he knows how to make young QBs uncomfortable. The Broncos have also allowed 13 sacks, which stands as the second-most in the league. The Jets could look to make this a really rough debut for the nephew of former NFL vet Mark Rypien.

Sam Darnold Needs To Rebound

The Jets offense floundered last weekend, but particularly so did Sam Darnold. With three interceptions, Sam Played one of his worst pro games. Tonight though, he gets a returning Jamison Crowder along with a budding connection with Braxton Berrios. Darnold needs to come out swinging tonight; Gase needs to let him run around and sling it. He needs to get rid of the receiver screens and take some shots downfield. They need to open up the playbook because win or loss, the most paramount issue is getting Darnold some momentum back.