FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Adam Gase never seemed too concerned about his job security, but he called the public vote of confidence he received from Jets CEO Christopher Johnson “an important step” for him and his staff.
Gase needs more than half a season to get the Jets on the right track, and on Wednesday Johnson assured that he would have it. Despite the Jets’ 2-7 record, Johnson declared Gase safe for the remainder of this season and said he would be the coach in 2020.
Johnson said he has a lot of faith and trust that Gase and general manager Joe Douglas will make the Jets a winning team eventually.
“Anytime you get support from ownership the way that this staff’s got supported, it has gone obviously the way we wanted,” Gase said Thursday. “We got a lot of games left. Our job is to improve this team and go out and try to win games every week.
“He is with us through every step with our communications with him. He knows what we’re trying to do, how we’re trying to fix things that are wrong. To get his support and for him to see what we’re trying to do, that’s an important step for us.”
Gase said he’s had nothing but “positive” conversations with Johnson, who broke a long media silence with his impromptu press conference. This was the first time Johnson took questions from reporters since the firing of former general manager Mike Maccagnan in May.
But Johnson clearly wanted everyone to put all speculation about Gase’s future to rest. Johnson expressed that to Jets players last Wednesday to keep them focused on improving and finishing the season strong.
“I think it was definitely important for him to come out publicly and say it,” Sam Darnold said. “I think most of the guys on the team, if not the whole team, already had that much confidence in Coach Gase and knew Christopher’s confidence in him.”
Johnson gave Gase a four-year contract in January after hiring him to replace Todd Bowles. The Jets have not lived up to expectations in the standings or on offense, which is supposed to be Gase’s strength.
But Johnson said “a lot of adversity” has contributed to the Jets’ struggles.
He also said Gase’s relationship and interaction with Darnold were major factors in his decision, and it would be "just a disaster" for his development to change systems every year.
Darnold agreed and is excited about being able to continue to work and become more familiar with Gase’s offense.
“It’s definitely important,” Darnold said. “If I can have the same system for the second year in a row I can only imagine how much better I would understand the offense. From that aspect it would definitely be nice.
“I think if everything works out how it’s supposed to and Adam’s here again, I think that would be absolutely amazing. Already going into OTAs and knowing the whole offense and even being able to build off the things we’ve already done this year it would be incredible.”
Johnson spoke to reporters while the Jets were practicing. Gase said he learned it about it after practice, and just continued with his busy work day, getting prepared to face Washington on Sunday.
“We’re coming off the practice field and you’re told that that happened,” Gase said. “I’m going to the next meeting, all those types of things. I haven’t really had a chance to really think about it.”
Gase said he didn’t get the sense that his job status was becoming a distraction. He also didn’t sense any change from the players after Johnson met with them.
“They’ve been the same since we started,” Gase said. “They’ve been a group of guys that just work, they try to get things corrected. Every week, the effort has been extremely high in practice. And in games guys are trying to do right. We’re just trying to clean things up.”