Adam Gase’s world is a wonderfully insulated place where accountability is a myth, the ends always justify the cut-throat means, and half-truths rule the day.
The new king of the Jets universe spun a fantastic tale Thursday in his first press conference since his brilliant move to seize a leadership void in an eternally dysfunctional organization run by a neophyte owner.
To hear Gase tell it, he was an innocent bystander who watched his dear friend Mike Maccagnan get heaved overboard without consulting Christopher Johnson.
Gase’s expanded power base? A convenient consequence.
I suppose the widespread belief among fans, people across the NFL and people working on One Jets Drive today that Gase back-stabbed the man who helped hire him four months ago doesn’t have any merit, right?
“That would be false,” Gase said. “That’s just not true. Christopher made a decision.”
Of course he did. It was strategic cover for Gase, who is a master of such tactics. It’s never his responsibility or fault. The big (interim) boss man wielded the sword, not him. He just coaches football.
So, why did Gase fire a scout, too, rather than wait for the new GM to shape that department?
“That’s a fair question,” Gase said. “I made a decision. There’s other people in the building that I’ve talked to. That was kind of the consensus…. and that’s what I did.”
It was vintage Gase, who absolved himself of any blame.
“The majority of the time, Mike and I … we were always in the same page,” Gase said in a press briefing that stretched the bounds of believability. “You have disagreements. There’s always going to be disagreements in this profession as far as philosophy, what you want to do player personnel wise. But at the end of the day, he had the final decision. That was his right.”
Gase seemed to disagree with Johnson’s earlier notion that the synergy between the GM and him wasn’t quite right.
“That’s (Johnson’s) perspective,” Gase contended. “When you’re in it, you’re going through tasks, you’re going through processes: free agency, draft. When you’re in it, it’s hard when you’re the person interacting with another person. So, (Johnson) had a different perspective. Obviously, he wanted to make a change and he did.”
Gase went so far as to try to sell that Johnson didn’t ask him for his input on Maccagnan before whacking the GM. I hope to the football gods that is a prevarication, because if it’s not, dear lord … this franchise even more lost than originally believed.
So, what now?
Every clear-thinking person knows that Gase will hand-pick the GM and hope for the acting owner’s blessing. Gase, predictably, tossed out this whopper:
“It’s going to be Christopher Johnson’s decision,” Gase said. “There’s a group of us working on this to present to him what that position’s been. There’s a mold of what some teams are looking for (in) a GM. I think he’s looking for something a little bit different.”
Oh, really? Something different? That should be fun!
“Christopher is going to make the decision on who he likes and who he wants and what their vision is,” Gase said. “That’s what we have to go through. We have to go through this process to figure out what he’s looking for, what he wants, how he feels when he meets somebody and interviews them. … We haven’t gone though it yet. So, we’ll find out. I’m obviously going to have interaction. I’m going to have time with anybody that we bring in.”
Gase — who said that suggestions that he would trade Le’Veon Bell were “ridiculous” — disagreed with the notion that the next GM will be a “yes man.”
“I don’t really hang out with yes men,” he said. “I don’t associate with people like that.”
But it has been a rough few weeks for the new ball coach. Is Gase concerned that fans can’t fully trust or believe him?
“I think our fans care if we win or lose,” Gase said. “If we win games, nobody’s going to remember this. I know that. Our job is to win. Our job is to WIN. That’s it.”
That’s an oversimplification of this giant Gotham Green mess because honesty and clear communication internally are the common threads of every winning organization. But he’s right that winning big can wipe away the stench of it all one day.
Gase also maintained that he’s not concerned about his low Q-rating at the moment, because “That’s what I get paid for. I get paid to take all the bullets.”