By Lenn Robbins
The thinking was to wait until after Monday night’s games to determine if the Jets truly are the worst team in the metropolitan area, the NFL and maybe all of professional sports. They are. Blatantly, painfully – the worst.
- There are the Pittsburgh Pirates (19-41), but they’re building a superior farm system.
- There are the winless Texans, but they have a great young quarterback, DeShaun Watson, locked up for years, the Falcons, who have an offense, and the Giants, who have an acceptable defense.
- There are the Golden State Warriors (15-50) but we’ve seen them with a healthy Klay Thompson and Steph Curry.
- There are the Red Wings , but they have some good young forwards and a GM in Steve Yzerman who knows what success looks like.
- There is the Liberty (2-20) who were abysmal but they have the WNBA’s most dynamic, young player in Sabrina Ionescu, and recently hired a new coach.
The Jets? The No.1 reason that the Jets are alone at the bottom of this junk heap is this: horrendously bad coach. Epically bad coaching. Mind numbingly bad coaching.
With Monday’s news that the Texans had fired coach and GM Bill O’Brien, the Jets apparent decision not to fire Adam Gase looks more ridiculous, more inexcusable with every hour.
The Bengals, Broncos, Eagles and Vikings all won their first game of the season this week. The Jets did not. Why? Because their coaching staff doesn’t demand accountability. Losing 37-28 at home to the Broncos, who were giving a rookie quarterback his first NFL start, should have been the final argument.
But the six personal foul penalties (11 overall) is the most damning evidence that the Jets must reconsider their attachment to Gase. The seven penalties that led to first downs was the difference in the game.
“Penalties like this are a reflection of very, very bad coaching and what stunned me was after the game, Adam Gase acknowledging that they gave up seven first downs with penalties,” Amy Trask, former CEO of the Raiders, told Sports Illustrated. “They had six personal fouls. He said ‘Yea, we’ve got to get that fixed.’ You think? That’s your job. It’s a sign of bad coaching.”
Gase should have been gone the Friday morning after the Jets Thursday night loss to Denver. That would have given the interim coach 10 days to try to get the Jets to regroup before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, who have an exciting young quarterback in Kyler Murray and one of the game’s best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins thanks to O’Brien.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams should not replace Gase. More on that later.
The Texans certainly have more of a track record with O’Brien than the Jets do with Gase, who is in his second season. O’Brien went 52-48 and won four division titles in his seven seasons in Houston. He earned his tenure, posting three 9-7 seasons and was 21-11 in his last two seasons before the bottom fell out.
Gase has one winning record in his four seasons as a head coach in Miami and New York. There is no reason, none, to suggest the Jets will turn 0-4 into a winning season. A lottery ticket is a safer bet.
But those are secondary numbers. The numbers that scream for change are the personal fouls. Williams, who agreed to a plea deal on two felony gun charges Monday, had two of those personal foul penalties against Denver. The Broncos and coach Vic Fangio opted out of a postgame handshake because they had enough of the Jets semipro football mentality.
Gase’s defensive coordinator, of course, is Gregg Williams who’s claim to fame is having been suspended by the NFL for a season – a season! – for his role in the Saints Bounty Gate scandal. The league also suspended coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis. That’s accountability. Williams works for Gase. There’s no accountability.
“They did take a couple of late shots,” Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien told reporters. “It was to our benefit.”
There is a notebook’s worth of Gase’s mysterious coaching style that leaves us in disbelief:
- Gase mishandled the injuries of two of his best players, Le’Veon Bell and Mekhi Becton.
- He said RB La’Mical Perine, who the Jets took in the fourth round, was the only Jet who’s a threat to take any play to the house. He had five touches against Broncos. Five!
- If Gase has good relationships with his players it’s hard to see. He’s always buried in his play card like a teenager playing a video game.
The Jets have 12 remaining games for GM Joe Douglas to evaluate this team. Twelve games for the lack of accountability and losing to take deeper root. It’s not too late to make a change.