Should Gase have been coach of the year?

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Interesting take on Adam Gase . . .

Former NFL GM Mike Lombardi thinks Jets coach Adam Gase took too much heat for his job performance last year, leading the Jets to a 7-9 campaign.

In fact, Lombardi thinks Gase perhaps should have been a candidate for a prestigious honor.

“I mean they won seven games. I mean if it wasn’t for Adam Gase’s bad PR, winning seven games with that team, should have qualified him for coach of the year,” Lombardi recently said on VISN. “I mean, really. Gregg Williams did a marvelous job. Nobody even knew who their corners were. They tore down what Mike Maccagnan built there and they needed to. He paid no attention to the offensive line.”

Does Lombardi really think that Gase should have been in the conversation for coach of the year?

My take is that he was perhaps using some hyperbole to emphasize his point that Gase took too much heat last year, coaching a team that perhaps lacked the requisite talent to be highly successful.

So where does the reality lie about Gase’s performance as a Jets head coach last year, his initial campaign in the position?

You could make an argument that the criticism was a little over the top, and perhaps partly driven by the issues he had with his eyes at his introductory press conference on January 14, 2019. No idea what was going on there. I’m not a doctor, but as they say, “first impressions are lasting ones,” and with some people it was hard for him to overcome that press conference.

And it could not happened in a worse era, an era where social media is such a big part of people’s lives – Twitter, Instagram – the social media crowd had a field day with memes making light of Gase’s eyes, to this day.

But getting back to football, there is no doubt Lombardi’s thoughts on the Jet’s lack of talent have some validity to them.

First of all, he’s correct that Maccagnan, “paid no attention to the offensive line.”

And the point that he made about the cornerback position isn’t brought up enough in relation to Gase.

People think of Gase mostly as an offensive guy since he farmed out the defense to Williams and let him do this thing.

But that cornerback situation impacted wins and losses.

The NFL is a passing league, and when you are as weak at corner as the Jets were last year, it’s hard to win consistently.

The good quarterbacks, like Tom Brady, ate the Jets for lunch, but when they got to the second half of the schedule, and the quarterbacks got weaker, they were able stay in games.

The Jets went 6-2 over the second half of the season to finish 7-9. Gase should have finished 8-8 last year. The first game of the year, a loss to Buffalo, wasn’t his fault. It was the fault of the personnel department not getting him a kicker. If the Jets had a competent placekicker, they would have won the opener.

Gase needs to step up his game in Year Two. No doubt about it. In fact, if he has a bad year, he could be in trouble, because the heat might get too intense in the market.

But it’s understandable what Lombardi was trying to say – considering the lack of talent on the roster, perhaps Gase should be cut a little slack.

July 17, 2020

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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