Eight games into his Jets coaching career, Adam Gase already is answering questions about his job security.
Jets fans and sports talk radio hosts believe there should be no question. They think Gase should have been fired after Sunday’s 26-18 loss to previously winless Miami dropped the Jets to 1-7.
Acting Jets owner Christopher Johnson has final say on that, but Johnson hasn’t said anything to reporters since June. He speaks to Gase every day, and the embattled coach feels badly that he’s not delivering the results that he promised to Johnson.
“Always when we lose a game, I feel like I let him down and I haven’t got us to where I was hoping we’d be at at this point,” Gase said on a conference call Monday. “He understands that he’s going to get everything I have day in and day out to try to work things out and keep fighting and try to find a way to win games.”
It’s been a real struggle for the Jets, who aren’t even showing signs of improvement.
The Dolphins marched up and down the field against coordinator Gregg Williams’ defense. Sam Darnold, who has thrown eight interceptions in the last three games, continues to make bad decisions and costly turnovers. Gase admitted he mismanaged the clock on the Jets’ final possession.
He’s also not making in-game adjustments as well as his opponents are. In the last two games, the Jets reached the end zone on their opening drive each time — and managed a total of only one other touchdown.
The Dolphins entered having allowed 34 points per game, and they lost their top cornerback, Xavien Howard, for the season in the previous game. That’s why Gase, who had been hailed as an offensive genius and a quarterback whisperer, is fielding questions about his future as Jets coach.
“It’s just something I don’t really focus on,” he said. “My job is to try to get the team prepared every week, get them ready to go, get them focused on the game that we have to play.
“One and seven is not fun to go through. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted to. It happens in the NFL sometimes. Unfortunately, we’re going through it right now. All I can focus on is we’ll be better from having to go through this.”
When Gase left the field in Miami, where he coached the previous three seasons, there were chants of “Fire Gase!” They could grow louder this weekend against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, especially if their execution woes continue.
“It sucks to say now that we’re 1-7, but we’re right there,” Darnold said. “We just have to clean up some things and we’ll be OK.”
General manager Joe Douglas said last week that he has faith that Gase is the right coach for the Jets and Darnold. But the results tell a different story.
Things weren’t going to change overnight for a team that has missed the playoffs eight consecutive years. No one could have imagined it being this bad, though.
Gase said he hasn’t talked to Johnson about needing more than one year or about receiving assurances that he will get a second season to prove he can get things moving in the right direction.
“I’ve never asked him that directly,” Gase said. “In all my conversations that we’ve had with him, we’ve let him know where we’re at with our roster and our situations that we’ve had as far as who’s moving in and out of the lineup. He knows what we’re trying to do every day in practice and through our meetings and what we’re working on to get better.”
In Gase’s first season with the Dolphins, they started 1-4 but finished 10-6 and made the playoffs. He went 13-19 in 2017-18, losing his last three games as Miami’s coach.
Johnson believed Gase was the right man to lead the Jets and help Darnold become a franchise quarterback. Eight games in, that hasn’t been the case.
“It’s extremely tough,” Gase said. “We’re going to see how tight we are as a group, coaches, players, support staff, everybody in the building. We got to battle through this. We got to figure out a way to dig ourselves out of it and go find a way to win a game.”