Bill O’Brien’s firing by the Texas on Monday ensured that Adam Gase would not be the first coach ousted this season.
Unlike O’Brien, Gase has survived his team’s 0-4 start, and team CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson still believes Gase is the right man for the job … at least for now. This does not mean Gase’s seat is cool. It is still red hot with the team looking like it was better suited for the Big 10 than the AFC East in the season’s first three games before losing to a previously winless Broncos team last week.
That makes this the perfect time for Gase to open up his offense. It is now or never, Adam.
Johnson called Gase a “brilliant offensive mind” last month, but that mind has overseen an offense that is tied for last in the NFL in total offense and needs a GPS to find the end zone.
So, it is time to try something different and chuck it around the field. What is there to lose at 0-4? At the moment, Sam Darnold is last in the NFL at 5.7 yards per attempt. Too many of Darnold’s passes have been at the line of scrimmage or just beyond it. Gase has not asked him to push the ball down the field. Of Darnold’s 128 attempts, only 17 have been more than 20 yards down the field, according to Pro Football Focus, and that is with the Jets trailing in every game.
Gase looks as if he is coaching scared too often, and he may be. The talent on this roster was bad to begin with and then got hit by injuries. It is understandable for him to have a lack of trust in the players he has sent out there in some games. Darnold has also looked shaky and after not being able to work with him in the spring, Gase may be hesitant to open up his whole playbook for Darnold right now.
But the time for fear is over for Gase. The only thing he should fear right now is losing his job, and he should go down swinging and trying to give this offense a jolt.
The bad news is Darnold may not be able to play Sunday against the Cardinals due to the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, but Joe Flacco has been known to throw it deep and the reason the Jets signed an experienced backup was to avoid the drop-off they had last year when Luke Falk had to play in Darnold’s place.
Gase should also have some weapons back this week who can stretch the field. Rookie Denzel Mims is eligible to come off of IR and is expected to make his debut. It is unwise to expect a lot from Mims after he’s missed most of the past two months with hamstring injuries, but he can run some go routes and get behind the defense. Breshad Perriman is also expected to return after missing the last 2 ½ games with an ankle injury. It is time Perriman start showing he is capable of replacing Robby Anderson, who is putting up big numbers in Carolina, as the No. 1 receiver in this offense.
The Jets have played some tough defenses early this season, but the Cardinals are not one of them. They are in the middle of the pack in the NFL. Chandler Jones can cause havoc, but he does not have the surrounding cast that Nick Bosa did with the 49ers or Jerry Hughes did with the Bills.
The clock is ticking on Gase’s time as Jets coach. There is no more time to waste. Open things up, Adam.
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