It is starting to get very ugly in Florham Park.
One day after former running back Le’Veon Bell signed with Kansas City, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took a thinly veiled shot at the team’s offense in a Zoom news conference Friday afternoon.
When asked what he thought about the fact his unit has given up an average of 32.2 points in their five games, Williams made it clear that there was blame to go around.
"It's not a very good number and a lot of it's not all defensively," Williams said after Friday's practice. "It's points on the board and we've got to do a good job of that and how you do that is make them kick more field goals, got to do a better job in field position type things ..."
"As you see, the scoring is up in the league, but it still makes me sick," he said. When asked what he meant by saying "it's all not defensively," Williams said, "you'd have to figure it out."
Nothing has gone right for the 0-5 Jets this season, and the fact seems to have almost everyone on edge, including the coaching staff.
Williams was suggesting that his unit allowing 161 points this season is not totally the fault of his defense. The implication is that one reason his defense has allowed so many points is that head coach Adam Gase’s offense isn’t getting enough first downs and staying on the field long enough to give the defense a rest. Gase had considered giving up play-calling duties after Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, but decided Wednesday that he still will call the plays when the Jets play the Dolphins, after discussing it with his coaches and general manager Joe Douglas.
The Jets, who play Gase's old team in Miami on Sunday, have the worst scoring offense in the league, having totaled only 75 points this season. Yet, having Williams pointing his finger at the man who hired him does not bode well for the psyche of the team.
The drama-laden release of Bell this week certainly didn’t do much to make the Jets feel secure about the direction of the team. Less than two years after the Jets signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract, Bell found a way to escape a very bad team and land with the defending Super Bowl champions.
Gase always seemed to be at odds with the star player. Their relationship hit an all-time low this past Sunday when Bell started liking tweets criticizing Gase’s use of him after the Jets’ loss to the Cardinals.
Apparently, that was the final straw. After the Jets failed to find a trade partner for Bell, they cut him.
Though Bell more than landed on his feet by signing a one-year contract with Kansas City Thursday, the Jets’ move clearly left an uneasy feeling in the team’s locker room. Linebacker Avery Williamson said in a virtual news conference on Thursday that the move sent a clear message.
"Nobody’s safe," Williamson said. "It’s a production business, they’re trying to win."
"It’s always – you got to be point on with everything. It’s just one of those things, it can happen to anybody. You just got to make sure that you’re on point every week and play the best ball that you can."
Gase’s media availability on Friday was before Williams’ made his comments about the culpability of his defense. Gase, however, does buy into the notion that everyone’s job, including his own, is on the line as the Jets continue to try to get their first win of the season.
"If that’s what he thinks, that’s what it is," Gase said when asked about Williamson’s "nobody’s safe" comment. "He’s just being honest with you ... Every day is competition. Everyone is fighting for their jobs every day, whether you are a player or a coach.
"There’s 31 other teams in the NFL. That’s how the majority of the teams operate."