Seven weeks into the NFL season and we’ve already had some crazy storylines. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears have surprised fans with their impressive starts, while the entirety of the NFC East looks like they’d be better off in the AFL. And more often than not, barring injuries to star players (Sorry Cowboys fans), a team’s struggles can usually be boiled down to the coaching staff. In today’s roundtable, the DC Sports Section will be dishing out and potentially ranting about who they believe to be the worst coach in the NFL. Keep it PG, New York fans, and let’s dive in:
I wasn’t expecting to lay into Adam Gase today, but here I am. Actually, what am I lying for? I knew this was coming. I’ve been planning for it all week. Also, prepare for this to be all over the place because I’m just typing everything that goes through my head when I watch the Jets every week. 100-150 word limit? Better add an extra zero. Here. We. Go.
Adam Gase might be the worst head coach I have ever seen. He’s undoubtedly the worst head coach to ever coach the Jets in my lifetime, and I’m qualifying that because I just can’t speak on any coach from before the turn of the millennium. But you know what, no, Gase is so bad I’m 10000% confident that he is the absolute worst head coach ever in the Jets organization. The head coaches I really remember? Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles. Mangini wasn’t the absolute worst, Rex was Rex (that’s really the only way to put it, iykyk) and Bowles was just bad. I cannot express to you how much I wish ’ole Rex Ryan was back in town, foot fetish and all.
Gase has single-handedly ruined Sam Darnold. When you watch him play, he looks like he’s regressed since his rookie season. He only lets Sam throw check-downs and if you compare his mechanics to his rookie season, they’ve gotten worse. Gase was supposed to be a quarterback whisperer, an offensive genius. His offense this season is ranked No. 32 out of 32 teams in the NFL. I didn’t even check; this is just a known fact.
Jorge Eckardt (again)
This next paragraph is addressed specifically to Peyton Manning. Um, hey, Mr. Manning, huge fan. Um, just one quick question for you, um … WHY??? WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO US??? WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO YOU??? WAS AN 8-4 CAREER RECORD AGAINST THE JETS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU??? Is it because we beat you 41-0 in the playoffs in 2003. And then 17-16 in 2011? You got us in 2010, though, 30-17, so those two should cancel out. But okay, I’m sorry. I would like to formally apologize to you, on behalf of Jets fans everywhere, for 2003. We didn’t mean it. I’m sorry. Now take it back. Why’d you have to sic Adam Gase on us like the old man with his dog in “Stand By Me”? That’s cruel and unusual punishment. Why did you have to go and make this man’s career, Peyton, why? You’ve brought us all so much pain. Why? Why? Why?
Alright, back to Gase. He was handed the best running back of the last decade on a silver platter, but he never wanted him in the first place (for whatever convoluted reason). Instead of just sucking it up and using arguably the most talented ball carrier to ever put on a Jets uniform (I’m saying most talented, Jets fans, not who had the best Jets career; Curtis is still king). Look at the numbers Le’Veon Bell put up in Pittsburgh; he was on a historic pace. He was literally the all-time leader in scrimmage yards per game, with a 50-game minimum. Sure, small sample size relative to other all-time greats, but that’s why it was a historic pace. But Gase never wanted him. He never wanted the guy who, at that point in his career, gained more scrimmage yards than anyone in the history of the game. So he threw a hissy fit and never used him properly. It’s okay though, let’s just use THIRTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Frank Gore. Who cares that we drafted a running back in the fourth round? What’s the point in playing him? The 37-year-old is clearly the future of the team, not the 22-year-old. Oh, you don’t want to “stunt his growth” by playing him? Makes sense. It’s like they say: The best way for a player to develop is to sit on the bench.
Bell wasn’t just the only player Gase alienated, though. Remember Jamal Adams? The 2017 No. 6 overall pick, the one who turned into probably the best safety in the entire NFL by his third season? That guy? Yeah, why do you think he wanted to get out of town so badly? Gase. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the trade was a huge success for the Jets; Joe Douglas pulled off some serious wizardry, but my God, he was the most talented player to come through this organization in years! Probably since Revis. You know what Adam Gase has to do whenever he sees talent? Alienate the hell out of it! Make them hate playing for the Jets! I mean, under Gase, who wouldn’t?
Bell wasn’t the only player Gase misused either. Let me introduce you all to Chris Herndon. The third-year tight end really hit it off with Sam Darnold back when they were both rookies, catching 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns — very respectable numbers for a rookie. His 2019 was a wash, essentially missing the entire season due to a mix of injuries and a suspension. But he’s back this year, and the Darnold to Herndon connection was hopefully going to pick up right where it left off. Boy, were Jets fans wrong. This season, through seven games, Herndon has 13 receptions for 98 yards. That’s it. Yes, he has also played poorly, but the fact is that Gase’s game plan is just not set up for tight ends to succeed. Remember Ryan Griffin? He was on the UConn team that beat Notre Dame! Well, after a very solid 2019 in relief of Herndon, the Jets rewarded Griffin with a three-year, about $11 million contract. He has eight targets this season. EIGHT. He’s only been on the field 39% of offensive snaps! Darnold showed in his first two years he liked throwing to tight ends, so naturally, Gase wipes them from the playbook.
Ben Berg (finally someone else)
It’s hard to pick anyone but Adam Gase, but given that our resident Jets fan Jorge has already brutalized him, I’ll take the next worst thing: Mike McCarthy. Didn’t the Cowboys just fire their head coach because going 8-8 was drastically “underachieving” for a team with so much talent? Now they’re 2-6. I know they’re missing Dak Prescott but so far this year they’re 1-3 with him and 1-3 without him. McCarthy has turned Zeke Elliott into a practice squad level guy and their defense couldn’t stop me from throwing a beach ball from end zone to end zone. Now there’s reports that anonymous players on the team are saying this guy doesn’t know how to do his job. I know it’s year one of a long-term contract, but Jerry Jones should fire this guy tomorrow. As a Giants fan, though, I hope he stays in Dallas for a long, long time.
Cole Stefan (The Gase slander continues from someone new)
There are several options for this painful, to say the least, award. Options range from Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys to Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions. The true winner here has to be the man in charge of the Jets, Adam Gase. In addition to having the worst record in the entire NFL, Gase has overseen disappointing losses from losing to the Bengals to getting shut out by former Jet Ryan Fitzpatrick. As is the case with most bad coaches, his awful coaching has been called out by players on the Jets. The situation has gotten so bad that Gase could not even trade Le’Veon Bell away, so he cut him and now owes him $15 million in dead cap. People have wanted out of the Jets, whether it is Jamal Adams hightailing to Seattle or Trevor Lawrence outright refusing to play for the Jets. The Jets are a few losses and bad choices away from having their chant be “G-A-S-E, Leave, Leave, Leave!”
Oh God Jorge is back
Hey, I wasn’t done. Don’t even get me started on how Gase handles injuries. Before a Week 4 game this season, offensive tackle and No. 11 overall pick Mekhi Becton was not expected to play. He had hurt his shoulder the previous week, and the Jets had the Thursday night game, so it didn’t make any sense for him to play considering he was injured and on short rest. But the Jets had him suit up anyway. They didn’t start him, but they had him suit up just in case they needed him. Well, guess what? They needed him, so they put him in the game. Adam Gase just blatantly disregarded the health of his star player, the franchise cornerstone. He just didn’t care. Makes me sick.
Last season he also got into multiple public disagreements with players over their injury situations. Before the season, they traded for veteran offensive guard Kelechi Osemele. He injured his shoulder during a game, and knew he couldn’t play. However, Gase and the Jets didn’t believe him. So do you know what he did? Per an SI article, He fined Osemele the maximum amount he could as many times as he could for missing practice. Then, when Osemele got surgery, one he informed the Jets he was getting, he was cut. The Jets said the surgery wasn’t approved.
Another such instance came with wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who was fined over $27,000 for missing treatments. Enunwa posted on Twitter why he missed those treatments, and here it is: “I missed those two days, because I took my VETERAN wife out for Veterans Day lunch and because I had to handle an emergency in my house. I let the team know this after the fact, and yes, I should have told them beforehand, but I feel like this was excessive.” Want to know how he found out about the fines? He wasn’t told in person. He wasn’t called into Gase’s office so they could talk about why he missed the treatments. He wasn’t communicated with. He just saw his fine posted on a big announcements TV in the facility. Therein lies maybe the biggest problem with Gase — communication, or lack thereof.
Whatever Jorge, just close it out
Whenever watching him, Gase just looks like he has no sense of how to communicate with his team. He doesn’t go over to reassure his young quarterback after a bad play or drive. He doesn’t show any fire or will to win the game. He just doesn’t do anything. He stands on the sidelines, or in some cases just sits on the bench, all alone, with his head buried in his playbook. I don’t know what he could possibly be looking for in there; it’s certainly not wins.
I don’t think I’ve even mentioned yet that the Jets are 0-7. That’s how bad Gase is. The overall team record is the least of their worries. This Jets team is probably the worst team I have ever witnessed. They’re clearly significantly worse than the 0-16 Browns from a few years ago, and I’d argue they’re also worse than the 0-16 Lions. I don’t see this team winning a single game this season.
Just look at how some of the players have done after they escaped Adam Gase. Ryan Tannehill is killing it in Tennessee. Robby Anderson has become a bonafide No. 1 WR in Carolina. Kenyan Drake is … err, never mind. But you get the point. There are more examples too: DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and soon, probably, Le’Veon Bell.
That raises the question — how is he still employed? Everyone with an even remote knowledge of the NFL knows Adam Gase should be fired. He has to have the Johnsons under some sort of magic spell where he convinces them he’s the man for the job. Maybe that spell is just Peyton Manning. I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense. The only thing that makes sense is he’s a horrific head coach, and until he leaves, the Jets are going nowhere but down.
Wow, that was actually kind of cathartic.