Adam Gase feels he’s let down Jets CEO Christopher Johnson. It’s a sentiment Gase has shared with his supportive boss many times throughout this terrible season.
"He knows," Gase said during a Zoom call Wednesday. "I’ve told him multiple times, he deserves better, especially how he is with our staff, coaches, it doesn’t matter, anybody involved in this organization. I couldn’t ask to work for a better guy."
The Jets have three games left in the season, which is expected to be all that’s left in Gase’s tenure as coach.
Johnson has had plenty of cause to relieve Gase of his duties at many points during this 0-13 season. But Johnson remained in Gase’s corner, hoping things would ultimately turn around for the Jets. That hasn’t happened and that’s what makes all of this feel like a long goodbye for Gase.
In recent weeks, Gase has expressed feelings of remorse for not doing what Johnson hired him to do.
It started with his admission that he didn’t do enough to develop Sam Darnold into the franchise quarterback the Jets though he would be. Darnold may be playing for another team next season if the Jets get the No. 1 pick and draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Gase has a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Johnson. He handed Gase the keys to the franchise two years ago, entrusted him with Darnold and believed he was "a brilliant offensive mind." It has been nothing short of a disaster.
That’s what makes this historically bad season so regrettable for Gase, who immediately said "yes," when he was asked if he felt he let Johnson down.
"You try to figure out where things went wrong, what can we change?" Gase said. "You’re trying to evaluate things as you go and adjust to try to fix whatever the issue would be for that month or those three games or four games.
"At the end of the day it’s about winning. We haven’t done that. For him not to feel a playoff feel, of being competitive in December, it’s disappointing for me that we haven’t been able to do that for him."
Playoff feel? The Jets will be happy to just win a single game this season and not become the third team in NFL history to go winless in a 16-game season. It probably won’t come on Sunday when the worst-offense in the NFL plays the No. 1 passing defense in football, the Rams.
During this tumultuous season, Gase said Johnson has remained level-headed, been a sounding board and is always trying to figure out what they can do differently.
"Anything he’s ever said to me after a game," Gase said, "it’s been more about our guys, how hard they’re playing, what we need to do different to try and change the result, do we need to get different guys out there."
Gase added later, "I’ve never seen anger. He’s like all of us. He wants to win as much as we do."
According to Gase, Johnson has acknowledged that the players are continuing to play hard. But Gase knows that’s not enough.
"This is a results’ oriented business," Gase said. "Nobody cares about the process for the most part. Coaches and players have to focus on the process. That’s what we have to do. Outside of that most people are looking for the end result."
Nothing can change how this season has gone, or Gase’s fate for that matter. But Gase said he’s thought about what it would mean for the players to finally win a game. Gase has done nothing but praise their work ethic and professionalism and wants badly for those things to be rewarded.
"I couldn’t be more appreciative to the locker room for the way that they’ve handled all this stuff," Gase said. "This could easily be for me a nightmare for me to deal with if I’m putting out fires all the time let alone try to win a game.
"Watching our players day in and day out, they deserve it. They’ve had it snatched away from them a couple of times. We just got to find a way to finish one."