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Adam Gase pushes Jets' defense to clean up the penalities

Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on from

Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 1. Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Fed-up Adam Gase is taking on his undisciplined defense and sports science.

The Jets embattled coach changed up the practice routine this week, hoping it would change his winless team’s losing ways. He also threatened that there would be changes on defense if the Jets can’t cut back on their personal-foul penalties.

The Jets (0-4) were flagged for six personal fouls and three roughing-the-passer penalties in last week’s loss to Denver. They lead the NFL with seven roughing flags.

"The biggest thing is you double down on the awareness level and get the right guys in there," Gase said. "If we can’t do it the right way, then we need to get different guys in there."

Gregg Williams is the fiery coordinator of the defense. But Gase stood up in front of the team and told them they’d better cut out the late hits and head shots on quarterbacks or else.

Gase, in a stern voice, told reporters "it’s going to be corrected." He definitely said much more in that meeting, and it got the players’ attention.

"I’m not going to go into detail," linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. "It was a good talk. He kept it real with everybody. Just know that he kept it real. You want to commit a penalty, go ahead, it’s on you. He talked to everybody. Just know it ain’t going to keep happening."

Quinnen Williams and Tarell Basham each have two roughing the passer penalties. The Jets are the only NFL team with more than three.

"That’s something that can easily be fixed and that’s something that is getting fixed moving forward," Jenkins said.

The Jets are facing a very mobile quarterback Sunday in Arizona’s Kyler Murray when they try to avoid an 0-5 start for the first time since 1996. (The Jets finished 1-15 that season). They will have to be very disciplined against Murray, a former baseball player who leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards.

"We have to play smart," Gase said.

Gase also got the players' attention by making major adjustments to practice. He changed the order of some things and moved up some competitive periods, instead of just easing into everything.

Earlier this season, Bradley McDougald and Avery Williamson said practices can be slow and sluggish. Apparently, that’s not the case anymore.

"Just trying to create some competition within practice, get us going faster," Gase said. "Get the blood flow going a little quicker than normal. Not recommended by sports science.

"At this point we’re going to try anything we can to get our guys practicing the way we need them to practice."

Gase said the Jets have been doing everything by the book and they’re still suffering numerous soft-tissue injuries. He figured it couldn’t hurt them to do things differently.

"You go through all these warmups and individuals and steadily progress," Gase said. "Sometimes it’s good for our guys to come out the chute and let’s roll, go get after it a little bit.

"Logically everything you try to do makes sense. And then you wonder why we’re having all these injuries and we’re trying to do all the right things. I thought it was a good change up."

Jenkins agreed.

"Oh, I love it," he said. "You can’t just turn it on on Sunday. You can’t go into practice, like, ‘All right. I’m going to go half speed.’ You can’t do it. You have to have competition period.

"It’s good for everybody to get after it and get good game-type speed, game-type hits and game-type sets. It’s good for everybody. It gets everybody ready for practice. I’m a big believer in it. I’m all for it. I’m glad he started doing it."

Gase also said they’re doing extra walk-throughs, spending more time in meetings and everyone is just doing more.

"Everybody’s got to put forth more effort," Gase said. "Whatever we were doing before wasn’t enough. Guys have done a good job spending time at the building, trying to spend time with their groups, they’re trying to figure out a way to get things fixed."

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