By HCR Staff | October 16, 2020
It’s a popular word for sportswriters to use when talking about the New York Jets, and just to be sure, we checked Merriam-Webster to make sure it isn’t a synonym for head coach Adam Gase.
It’s not, but if the Jets continue at the rate they’re going with Gase, it may be in the future.
Let’s set aside this week’s release of running back Le’Veon Bell – a disaster of a transaction by the Jets. Nearly $30 million spent on a running back for less than 20 games worth of work is an astonishing failure in the NFL’s current salary cap environment.
What we want to focus on today is Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ public statement that the 32 points being given up by the defense thus far this season, on average, isn’t all on the defense.
To the average football fan, this comment may seem innocuous; after all, it may be, to a large degree, factually accurate.
But to us, Williams’ comment signifies something far greater. This is a defensive coordinator essentially pointing fingers – publicly – and it’s the type of comment that can split a squad.
The fact that Williams felt emboldened to make this comment is clear and unambiguous evidence that Gase has zero discipline in his operation.
In our view, one of the most important jobs of a head coach is to instill discipline throughout the football organization; without it, it is very, very difficult to win, and to win consistently.
Every now and then, head coaches will have to deal with players expressing frustration publicly that amounts to finger pointing. It’s going to happen, even to the very best head coaches. After all, 53 players to supervise each week on an active roster is a lot of players.
But when one of your coordinators is making divisive public comments, that’s a clear indication the football operation may be irreparably broken under the current regime.
For context, could you ever imagine Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels ever making a similar statement? Something along the lines of “well, I only coach offense and I don’t get to choose the players, so if we’re only averaging 14 points a game, it’s not all on the offense.”
Would a coordinator for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick ever say such a thing?
It’s highly, highly doubtful, because Belichick runs a very disciplined operation, and it is something he takes pride in. Winning and losing may be attributable to a lot of things, much of it uncontrollable. But discipline is something that can be controlled, and in our opinion, Belichick is going to control that.
Gase, in our view, has an undisciplined operation. Williams’ comment is direct evidence. Given such an environment, how can Jets players succeed? What is owner Woody Johnson paying Gase for? What are Jets fans paying to watch?
We’re trying to find some evidence of something within Gase’s operation that is functional. We’re having a hard time, and we’re trying to give him every benefit of the doubt. But we don’t see much. Maybe one of our readers can point us to something they see – we’re game. We don’t take any pleasure in criticizing head coaches; we just want to see good football.
“Gase” isn’t an official synonym for Merriam-Webster…yet. But we’ll check back at season’s end, just in case.