Adam Gase said he hasn’t been informed by Jets ownership that he will be fired after Sunday’s finale against the Patriots.
That’s what is expected to happen. The only question seems to be whether it will happen Sunday night or on Black Monday. But Gase refuted a WFAN report that Jets’ CEO Christopher Johnson let him know that Sunday will be his last game as coach.
"That was news to me," Gase said during a Wednesday Zoom call. "No one has said that to me."
The Jets are closing out one of the worst seasons in franchise history. They lost their first 13 games before winning their last two. That won’t be enough to save Gase, who continues to say he’s not worried about his future.
"I learned probably when I was 22 years old: Nick Saban told me you do your job until somebody tells you different," Gase said. "That’s what I’m going to be focused on. My job is to get us ready to go for this Sunday and go try to win a game."
Johnson could have fired Gase many times during this season. You certainly can make a strong case that he should have with how inept the Jets have looked under his watch. Gase has been answering questions about his job status and security for a long time.
"I’ve been here two years," Gase said. "That started about Week 6 last year."
There is truth to that. The Jets got off to a bad start last year as well, going 1-7 the first half of the season. The fans wanted Gase gone right away. But Johnson stood by Gase and announced there would be no coaching change after a win over the Giants in Week 2.
The Jets finished the season 6-2, giving Johnson confidence that Gase was the right guy. Even after they started poorly this year, he gave Gase the chance to get the team back on track. That never happened, and now Gase is on borrowed time.
A big failing has been the offense, which was the reason Gase was hired. He built his reputation as the quarterbacks coach and eventually offensive coordinator for the Broncos with Peyton Manning in 2013 when they set NFL records for scoring.
Gase also was hired to help develop Sam Darnold into a franchise quarterback. That hasn’t happened either, making it possible that Darnold will be playing his last game as a Jet on Sunday.
The Jets have the No. 2 pick in the draft and could take a quarterback that the new coach can develop within his own system.
Gase’s system hasn’t produced the type of results Johnson or anyone on the Jets expected. Johnson called Gase "a brilliant offensive mind." The Jets rank last in the NFL in total offense, passing offense and points. Last year the Jets were last in total offense and next to last in points.
This could hurt Gase’s chances of getting another job as a coordinator, never mind a head coach. But he said he’s not concerned.
"I don’t know if worry is really the right word," Gase said. "It (ticks) me off. If there’s one side of the ball that I want to make sure is right, it’s that one. It has not happened, and that’s on me."
Despite the offense struggles, Gase continues to get glowing reviews from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Speaking to Patriots reporters about Darnold on Tuesday, and Belichick said that he’s been "well-coached" and "I don’t think you could have anybody better coaching him" than Gase.
Gase appreciates that arguably the best coach of all time is complimenting him, but it doesn’t change his on-very-thin-ice status.
"For him to say anything positive at least there’s something to that, it puts things in perspective sometimes," Gase said. "We didn’t do enough to win more games and we didn’t get better fast enough."