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Jets QB Sam Darnold on Gregg Williams' firing: 'Above my pay grade'

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams of the Jets looks

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams of the Jets looks on in the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Sam Darnold was in the trainer’s room getting treatment Monday when he heard that the Jets had fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Darnold said those decisions are above him.

"We were all kind of just taking it in, didn’t really know what to think of it," he said on a conference call. "That’s something that’s above my pay grade. I’m not going to necessarily sit here and talk about why he was let go."

Darnold said no one from the Jets had spoken to him yet. Adam Gase said he had spoken to a couple of defensive players but not the team as a whole.

Gase made the decision to fire Williams after his all-out blitz call set the stage for a 46-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left that gave the Raiders a stunning 31-28 win and dropped the Jets to 0-12 on Sunday.

Nose tackle Quinnen Williams reacted to the news by tweeting out several "face palm" emojis. He later deleted the tweet.

Lineman Folorunso Fatukasi, the only defensive player made available, praised Williams for being a good coach who "puts a fire under everyone’s butt." He said the Jets have to move on and prepare for Seattle on Sunday.

"It’s kind of hard to explain because we have a ton of respect for Gregg Williams," Fatukasi said. "We know that this is a tough business. At the end of the day, we have to figure out a way to move forward this week."

Gase named assistant head coach/linebackers coach Frank Bush the interim defensive coordinator. Fatukasi believes the Jets will attack practices and games the same way under Bush and said:

"As far as his approach and the rest of the coaches, I don’t see any lapses in the aggression of how we’re going to approach this week."

No more changes

Gase said no other staff changes have been made, which means that as of now, Williams’ son, Blake Williams, is staying. He is a defensive assistant and works with defensive line coach Andre Carter.

Van Roten hurt

Right guard Greg Van Roten’s first season as a Jet may be over.

The Long Beach product and former Chaminade High School star left Sunday’s game early with a toe injury. Gase listed Van Roten and two other players as possibly out for the remaining four games.

The other two are rookie safety Ashtyn Davis (foot) and defensive back Bennett Jackson (hamstring).

Van Roten signed a three-year deal with the Jets in free agency. He played every offensive snap before leaving Sunday’s game.

New York Sports