CBS analysts Tony Romo and Bill Cowher on Thursday strongly endorsed the Jets’ hiring of Adam Gase, with Romo calling him a “fantastic coach.”
But Romo reserved his most lavish praise for the quarterback he thinks will make for “a very good combination” with the offensive-minded Gase.
“I think that [Sam] Darnold has Peyton Manning-type traits, and Adam did a great job with Peyton in that situation in Denver,” Romo said at an event in Manhattan to promote CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.
“I think he’s going to be a fantastic player; I think he’s going to make a huge leap next year,” Romo said. “Some players have this thing I call spatial awareness, the instinctual abilities to see the leverage and get off a receiver when they’re going through the progression far faster than other people.
“It’s probably the most underrated trait that people can’t analyze. They see running or they see movement or they see a big play, but what they don’t see is that you go to the fourth receiver in 1.2 seconds, not 2.4, and that’s really the secret to the best players at that position, and I think Sam has some of those qualities.”
Romo said Gase is the right man to draw out those qualities. He and Cowher also said that learning on the job for three years with the Dolphins improves Gase’s chance to succeed.
“When you get let go as a coach, or as a player, you really have to look at yourself, and I think that will be a good thing,” Romo said, “because he’ll really analyze where he thought he could do better and what he did really well.”
Said Cowher: “A lot of times, you take what you learn in the past and try to apply it to another venue . . . Being on the second time around, there’s a lot to be said for that.”
Cowher also cited Gase’s knowledge of the AFC East and his history with quarterbacks.
“He dealt with a lot of things [in Miami] that were tough,” Cowher said. “There was a lot of transition of players and the quarterback wasn’t always healthy. But he did take them to the playoffs, so you give him a good quarterback here and there’s a lot to build from.”