clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Jets hope Adam Gase can be the one to develop Sam Darnold into a star

New, 21 comments

Adam Gase couldn’t turn the Dolphins offense into a top unit, but the Jets hope he’ll be able to do so with Sam Darnold.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The future of the New York Jets is the hands of Sam Darnold — the team’s No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The quarterback finished his rookie year with 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a 77.6 passer rating.

Only Josh Allen and Josh Rosen finished with lower passer ratings among 2018 starters, and the Jets are putting Adam Gase in charge of fixing that.

According to the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, the Jets are naming Gase the team’s new head coach — less than two weeks after he was fired from the same position by the Miami Dolphins. Two days later, the Jets officially announced Gase as their next coach.

Gase, 40, spent three seasons as the head coach in Miami and finished his tenure with a 23-25 record. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Gase was one of the NFL’s brightest young offensive coordinators who led the top rated Denver Broncos offense in 2013 and 2014.

The Jets hope he’ll recreate that success in New York:

Sam Darnold often had to do everything for the Jets in 2018

When the Jets drafted the USC product, his best asset was his ability to thrive in chaos. He’s 6’3, 225 pounds with all the requisite ability and talent, but the calm and presence to still make a play happen when things break down is a good sign for the future.

The problem is that the Jets threw chaos at Darnold all the freaking time during his rookie year. Sometimes that worked out really well.

But for the most part, it was a mess. The Jets were No. 29 in total offense, No. 29 in rushing yards per attempt, and Darnold’s 15 interceptions were the second most in the NFL, despite the fact that he played in 13 games.

New York would be wise to build a more effective rushing attack, and to surround Darnold with more weapons. But it’ll be on Gase to help the young passer cut down the mistakes with an offensive system that gives him easier throws and thrusts him into chaos less often.

How much blame does Gase deserve for Miami’s subpar offense?

In Gase’s first season with the Dolphins, the team went 10-6 and found a spot in the postseason. But the team reverted to 6-10 in year two and went 7-9 in his final season in Miami.

While Gase was tasked with turning the team’s offense around, it was No. 24 in yards in 2016, No. 29 in 2017, and No. 30 in 2018.

However, a huge part of the problem was that his quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled to stay healthy enough to be effective. In his first season with Gase, Tannehill managed to stay on the field for 13 games and that was enough to get the Dolphins in the playoffs. But he missed the entire 2017 season and missed five games in 2018.

Forced to turn to Jay Cutler in 2017, and Brock Osweiler for five games in 2018, it’s easy to excuse Gase’s struggles to find consistent offensive success. Especially when the Dolphins have so few weapons to work with offensively, and a subpar offensive line.

What’s harder to excuse are the consistent culture problems the Dolphins had during Gase’s time there.

A year after leaning heavily on Jay Ajayi in 2016, the running back was traded away because he and Gase reportedly had verbal confrontations in practice. The team was on a hunt for a culture change and traded away Jarvis Landry and released Ndamukong Suh.

Finding discipline and players who will buy in to a coach’s philosophy isn’t an uncommon thing in the NFL. But on Gase’s team, it ended up sapping the team of nearly every valuable asset it had and didn’t turn things around.

After he was fired, a few of the Dolphins former players like Landry and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips celebrated the coach getting the boot.

On the other hand, Gase has been highly recommended and lauded by Peyton Manning, who spent a few his final seasons with the coach. If the Jets can get on track offensively, he could have a much easier time getting along with his players than he did in Miami.