The Jets’ fight this season seems to be exclusively relegated to their bickering coaches.
Two days after defensive coordinator Gregg Williams implied that the Jets’ defensive woes could be traced back to their offensive ineptitude, Adam Gase reportedly shot back, airing his frustrations with the CBS production crew. He also got into what looked to be a heated discussion with Williams on the sidelines before kickoff, though Gase said they were dealing with some unrelated frustration with the officials.
"That’s not what we need," Gase said in the Saturday production meeting, according to the CBS broadcast. "No one is pointing fingers. We need to pull in the same direction. Everyone needs to shut up and play."
After the Jets lost, 24-0, to Miami, Gase said the issue was resolved.
"I mean, I wasn’t happy about it, but we talked about it," a terse Gase said when asked about the CBS report. "Right now, I feel like our players are doing such a good job as far as trying to get things righted and everything we say, it matters. And (Williams) understands that. We’ve got to set the right example."
The Jets are the only team in the NFL that's yet to record a win, and on Friday, Williams said that though his unit was giving up an average of 32.2 points per game this season – second-worst in the NFL – "a lot of it is not all defensively."
"You have to figure it out."
No detective work is needed to puzzle this one out, though, since the Jets came into Sunday having scored a league-low 75 points in five games. The Gase-run offense was second-to-last in yards per game, at 279.4, and third-worst in passing yards (880). Meanwhile, the Jets defense has seven teams that performed worse than they did in yards allowed. The result is that the Jets are averaging 26:29 in time of possession, third worst. And of all the bad numbers, that might be the one Williams was most referring to: More time for the defense on the field means gassed players and a greater chance of failure.
Gase said he didn’t believe Williams was pitting the defense against the offense in the battle for responsibility. "We’re just trying to get guys to focus on doing things better," he said.
But unsurprisingly, Sunday didn’t bring a sudden reversal of fortunes. After significant early struggles, the defense flickered to life with a sack by Tarell Bashem and interceptions by Marcus Maye and Brian Poole. And even if they had gotten off to a perfect start, it wouldn’t have mattered, as the Jets didn’t score, only amassed 115 rushing yards, with Joe Flacco throwing for 186 more. The Jets went 0-for-12 on third-down conversions before Flacco found Breshad Perriman for a 22-yard completion with 10:47 left in the fourth quarter.
After, both players asked about Williams' comments - Frank Gore and Maye - said they hadn’t heard about them, though Maye made it clear that there was plenty of blame to go around for this 0-6 start.
"It’s a team game," he said. "It’s three sides of the ball – offense, defense and special teams. We’ve all gotta find ways to win. It’s not just one side of the ball…It’s a collective effort."