FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Adam Gase said he had no role in Mike Maccagnan’s firing and denied that their disagreements led to his dismissal.
The perception is that Gase won a power struggle with Maccagnan and helped push the former Jets general manager out the door.
“That would be false,” Gase said Thursday morning. “That’s just not true.”
Gase mentioned several times that Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson decided to fire Maccagnan. He said he received a call from Johnson on the night of May 14 and was told of the decision. Gase said he had no input, but he will have some input on who the next general manager will be.
Johnson appointed Gase, in his first season as Jets coach, as the interim GM until they hire Maccagnan’s replacement. The appearance is that the Jets will hire someone Gase knows and has worked with. But he tried to dismiss that as well.
“Really, it’s going to be Christopher Johnson’s decision,” Gase said. “We’re doing our part. There’s a group of us working on this to present to him really what that position’s been. There’s a mold of what some teams are looking for in a GM. He’s looking for something a little bit different. We’re trying to do a good job of putting everything on paper and talking through everything.
“Christopher has to make the decision on who he likes, who he wants and what their vision is. We have to go through this process to figure out what he’s looking for, how he feels when he meets somebody.”
This is Gase’s first week of OTAs as Jets coach, yet there were no questions during his nearly 14-minute news conference about how any individual players are doing or what the practices have been like. This was the first time he addressed the Maccagnan firing at length.
Gase is not off to a great start, with the optic being that he is controlling and power hungry.
"That’s fine,” Gase said. “That’s what I get paid for. I get paid to take all the bullets.”
There were reports before and during the draft of a rift between Gase and Maccagnan. Gase acknowledged they had disagreements but he said he never went to Johnson and told him he couldn’t work with Maccagnan.
“Majority of the time, me and Mike were always on the same page,” Gase said. “You have disagreements. There’s always going to be disagreements in this profession as far as philosophy, what you want to do player personnel-wise. At the end of the day he had the final decision. That was his right.
“Me and Mike had disagreements on a few things, but there was no personal rift.”
Gase was asked whether he could have worked with Maccagnan.
“It’s irrelevant,” he said. “All that’s irrelevant. The decision was made. We’re moving forward. We sit here and tell the players move on. Don’t worry about the last play, don’t worry about the last game. What happened last week, it’s over and we have to move on.”
Gase was dismissive a few times during the news conference, especially about reports claiming he was frustrated with his lack of involvement in the draft process or that he thought the Jets overpaid for free-agent linebacker C.J. Mosley (five-year, $85 million deal).
“That’s what somebody else said,” Gase said. “Those words never came out of my mouth. We did everything we could to get him. I think I took a pay cut. So whatever we had to do to get him, that’s what we wanted to do.”
Gase said none of this has had an effect on the players. He said their focus is on learning a new offense and defense and doing their jobs. Gase also said he’s not concerned how the skeptical or disgusted Jets fans view him now, and that all that matters are the results.
“Our fans care if we win or lose,” Gase said. “We win games, nobody’s going to remember this. I know that. Our job is to win. Our job is to win. That’s it.”