When a team struggles, as the New York Jets have, speculation mounts. In this instance, the chatter persists about the job status of head coach Adam Gase, whose team is 0-3 and has lost the last two games by a combined score of 67-20.
However, heading into tonight’s matchup against the Denver Broncos on the NFL Network, it does not appear Gase’s job hangs in the balance pending the result of the game. According to those informed of the decision-making, the thinking is that firing Gase would not only be counterproductive in general, but also potentially damaging to quarterback Sam Darnold.
In addition, the Jets want to see if the team turns it around.
History has shown that brutal performances for woeful teams on Thursday nights or right before bye weeks can lead to job turnover. But that isn’t slated to happen this time.
To be clear, no one is happy about the brand of football being played. It has been bad. But there is more that goes into it than simply firing the coach and moving on.
The hope is that Gase and the team can do a U-turn, starting tonight, similar to how it finished 6-2 last season. Pulling the plug now may satiate a frustrated fan base, but would it do any good?
The roster is still in need of talent, and the slew of injuries (including to almost the entire receiving corps) has not helped. It’s more than just receivers. The Jets have also been without their top running back, Le’Veon Bell (injured reserve with a hamstring injury) and their best defender C.J. Mosley opted out due to COVID-19 concerns. It’s also a transition year, which the Jamal Adams trade signified, and an influx of talent is necessary. But that’s what Gase and his coaches have had to work with.
Is it fair to judge a coach after four games with so many key pieces injured? Would a coaching change and a lame-duck coaching staff benefit a third-year quarterback attempting to find his footing?
The current thinking is no.
The wish is that this is the low point, and that Darnold shakes off a turnover-filled start and begins to fulfil his considerable potential. The same can be said for the entire team. In addition, neither owner Christopher Johnson, nor any other team executive, has had exploratory conversations about moving on.
The goal is to not have to.