Adam Gase likes the weapons the Jets added on offense and is excited about finding the best ways to use them, but he also believes they got a franchise-changer in middle linebacker C.J. Mosley.
“He a culture builder,” Gase said on the Adam Schefter Podcast. “He’s one of those guys you put in the locker room and things change. Not only is he a great player on the field, he does everything right off the field. He just brings what you want from a ‘Mike’ linebacker, a guy that’s going to run the defense.”
Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowler with the Ravens, was every bit as big an acquisition for the Jets as Le’Veon Bell. The Jets needed major upgrades on both sides of the ball — and they still do. But Mosley, who signed a five-year, $85 million deal, will be a leader on defense and will be used in many different ways by new coordinator Gregg Williams.
“Gregg Williams is really excited to get going with him,” Gase told Schefter in Phoenix, where the NFL owners’ meetings are this week. “He knows this guy can do all the things Gregg looks to do with linebackers, especially his position where adjustments can be made. Gregg’s got somebody he’s going to be able to communicate with and make sure that defense is really rolling.”
It’s been a busy offseason for the Jets, as they hope to transform themselves into a playoff team for the first time since the 2010 season.
The Jets filled more holes on offense — signing free agents Bell and slot receiver Jamison Crowder and trading for left guard Kelechi Osemele — than on defense. But they still have roughly $30 million to spend in free agency, the No. 3 pick in the draft and are expected to shop inside linebacker Darron Lee.
“We feel we’ve added some pieces to what we already have and re-signed some of our guys as well,” Gase said. “For us, things are moving in the right direction.”
Edge rusher, cornerback and center are still areas general manager Mike Maccagnan needs to address. But getting Bell gives the Jets a proven playmaker, and someone who can take the pressure off second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
Gase, in his first season as Jets coach, can’t wait to start working with Bell and the rest of his new players next month when teams can begin their offseason programs.
“We’re talking about one of the, if not the best running back, or one of the top running backs that have been playing here the last few years,” Gase said. “It’s well documented a lot of the things he’s able to do. It’s going to be how we can make sure that he keeps doing those types of things.
“He can do so much, which it’s rare to see a guy that can do what he does in the passing game, and his running style is different than a lot of guys that you see. He’s very patient. He lets things develops and when he does you see holes opening up and him creating explosive plays. He’s a big man and he’s tough to bring down. I’m excited when we can get going to see what he can create and see where this offense goes.”
Gase also looks forward to seeing how he can use Crowder in a receiver group that includes Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa.
“He fits in what we need,” Gase said. “We got a guy who can fill that slot role for us. At the same time, I don’t want to put him in a box. We want to try to do as many things as possible with him. We want to try to use his strengths to his advantage and keep trying to develop things he wants to work on.
“We’re excited that he came to play for us. Really it’s about the development of he and Sam together and seeing what kind of chemistry we can create with that.”
Jets re-sign Copeland, Sterling. The Jets have re-signed outside linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Neal Sterling, the team announced Monday. Copeland, 27, played in all 16 games last year, including 10 starts, and had his best season, finishing with 47 tackles, five sacks and 20 quarterback hits. Sterling adds depth to a crowded tight end room that also features Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson and recently signed Daniel Brown. Sterling caught six passes for 47 yards but played only in five games last year. He was put on injured reserve with a concussion on Nov. 10.