Adam Gase’s day-after recap of the Jets’ epic season-opening collapse contained obvious prevarication, selective amnesia and creative finger-pointing that makes you wonder whether this guy’s actually learned from his failures in Miami.
Gase is a smart offensive mind capable of doing great things, but he’s doomed if he doesn’t grow from his mistakes during his first stint as a head coach.
On a day that called for humility, Gase was defensive and defiant, flexing his muscles to eliminate any doubt that he does what he wants when he wants.
He protected his quarterback and himself, while throwing others under the bus. He probably needed to get treatment for a sore shoulder/back after his Monday conference call after chucking so many grown men overboard.
It was equal parts jarring and embarrassing.
Oh, sure, Gase didn’t name names, but he took aim at just about everyone. Anyone with a cranium knew exactly who he was talking about.
His offensive linemen: “Too aggressive,” which led to free runners on Sam Darnold.
His wide receivers: Must run crisper routes. He claimed that one unnamed player (Robby Anderson) even screwed him by not finishing a route after a Bills cornerback slipped.
His cornerbacks: “I feel like we have slight room for improvement. I’ll say that nicely.” In other words, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts stunk.
Gase even walked back his postgame mea culpa of overloading his players with too much information. God forbid he shoulder some of the blame for a team that coughed up a 16-point lead in the final 19 minutes.
“After the game, sometimes it feels completely different than when you go back and re-watch everything,” Gase said about his initial thought that he might have put too much on his players’ plates.
“Going back and thinking about after watching it, I don’t feel as I did when I was in that moment. I feel like it was okay.”
Translation: Upon further review, it wasn’t my fault. Blame the players.
Gase wasn’t exactly honest about the kicking mess, either. The Jets will hold tryouts Tuesday for unofficially the billionth time this summer after Kaare Vedvik’s forgettable debut.
“I’m always going to have confidence in any kicker that we have in here,” said the man, who didn’t have confidence in his kicker to try an extra point midway through the third quarter on Sunday.
Gase was fuming in the wake of Vedvik’s nightmarish performance, according to sources, prompting the necessary and fair question: Does he regret not re-signing Pro Bowler Jason Myers during free agency?
“That was a long time ago,” Gase said about the events that took place six months ago. “I don’t even remember what the discussion was.”
You don’t remember?
“I mean, I might remember,” Gase conceded. “I just don’t want to tell you.”
The truth is that Gase didn’t want to pay Myers what he believed he was worth. In fact, Gase didn’t really care which kicker the team signed… as long as he was relatively cheap, according to sources.
At one point Monday, Gase channeled his inner Mark McGwire: “I’m not talking about what happened in the past. It’s irrelevant.”
Actually, it’s quite relevant. After all, Gase partly created this tire fire with a poor decision this offseason.
Gase and former general manager Mike Maccagnan actually agreed on this point: Kickers are interchangeable. The Jets simply didn’t believe that Myers could replicate his elite play. So why pay him? Gase and Maccagnan share culpability for setting this mess in motion by letting one of their most dependable players leave.
“What do you want me to do?” an agitated Gase said. “We haven’t performed well. We’re going to try to figure out a way to fix it. That’s what it is.”
Gase also didn’t want to explain why Ty Montgomery only played five snaps. It was a fair query given Montgomery’s substantial workload this summer. The coach waxed poetic about Montgomery’s varied skill set all offseason only to shove him in the corner in the first game.
“That’s my decision,” Gase quipped.
Asked if Montgomery would have an important role this season, Gase curiously said, “We’ll see.”
“Everything’s week to week,” the head coach continued. “It’s how I feel during the play-calling. If I feel like we need to be in those certain personnel groupings, then I’ll do it. If I don’t, that’s the beauty of being the head coach. I can basically do what I want.”
Like devise a game-plan that generated a grand total of eight points and 3.4 yards per play, which was the fifth-lowest average in his 50-game head coaching career?
Gase has so much potential, but the Gang Green coach needs to take personal inventory if he has designs on becoming a real leader.
He doesn’t need the hard, defensive edge that he displayed the day after his team choked. Humility goes a long way. Players respect that.
There’s a fine line between honesty and gratuitous public shots at your own players ... even if you don’t name names. Calling out position groups is bad enough.
Gase has a track record of insulating himself from blame by constantly changing his truth. His M.O.: It’s every man for himself… unless you’re the quarterback or him.
And here’s some unsolicited advice: Watch an Andy Reid press conference. Take notes. That’s how a head coach should comport himself in public.