Moeller: Gase Makes a Case for Darnold and Is the Eye of the Jets Storm

If Adam Gase is as intense or better as he looked in a suit during his introductory press conference, the Jets have the right man.

Numerous published reports noted Gase’s eye movements and his wide-eyed looks responding to questions alongside CEO Christopher Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan at the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park Monday afternoon.

He kept his responses rather curt and uneventful. He’ll be straightforward. Gase won’t be the second coming of Rex Ryan.

Despite some seeing it as uncomfortable –mainly his eye movement — Gase’s sense of the disciplined vigor is exactly what the Jets need.

Last year’s team easily could have won six, seven, or even eight games if the lack of discipline on and off the field constantly shadowed them.

At first glance – a pun here and appropriate to the day – Gase looks like the answer to the Jets’ agonizing issue to closing out game. The same old problem that plagued Todd Bowles’ tenure during the previous three seasons.

Aside from backup quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets’ brass never really seemed to be totally on the same page with Sam Darnold.

Gase’s affinity for second-year quarterback that made him vigorously pursue the other coaching gig aside from his old one in the AFC East.

He had the chance to work as an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach with Peyton Manning late in his career in Denver, and he really never got on track with Ryan Tannehill, who was injured for half of his stay in Miami. Gase also spent time with Jay Cutler in Chicago.

Recognized as a quarterback guru, Gase even managed to get the best from Tim Tebow, when the one-year wonder led Denver to the playoffs in 2011.

Now, the 40-year-old Gase is relishing at the opportunity to connect with Darnold.

“I’ve worked with older quarterbacks, guys in the middle of their career,” he said. “I’ve never really had the opportunity to work with somebody who’s fresh out of the draft basically and does have a year’s experience. I was excited to get that opportunity.”

 “The No. 1 reason to come here was the young quarterback.”

Despite rumors about the Jets’ brass trying to hand pick coaching staffs for potential hires Mike McCarthy and Matt Rhule, Gase will be patient on picking his staff.

He doesn’t too many voices around Darnold, stating there would be a “direct line of communication” from him or an offensive coordinator.

The whispers persist Gase will hire Gregg Williams to be his defensive coordinator. That also would be a good move. The Jets never maintained the aggressive defense that believed Bowles would bring north.

It was a business-like afternoon in Jets’ land to tighten the ties, cross the t’s, and dot the i’s. The new sheriff is in town riding on a high horse.

Two days after the Jets’ celebrated the 50th anniversary of their lone Super Bowl title, the path back there has begun.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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