The Jets hope the coaching change leads to a culture change.
The day after Adam Gase was fired, several players said the Jets need a better culture. That’s been said about them quite regularly. The Jets went 2-14 and have missed the playoffs for 10 straight years, recording one above-.500 season in that span.
Right tackle George Fant just finished his first season as a Jet after playing three years with perennial contender Seattle. He said the culture is the biggest difference between the two franchises. Fant said he mentioned it to general manager Joe Douglas and others in the organization.
"The one thing in Seattle that they pushed a whole lot of was the culture," Fant said. "We got to change the culture. We got to bring the right culture here. I think that’s what they’re committed to doing."
In Seattle, Fant said coach Pete Carroll "is the culture" and that he created an environment in which the players feel they’re not at work — an atmosphere in which "you’re bonding with your teammates and coaches every day."
Douglas and Jets CEO Christopher Johnson addressed the team Monday morning. Fant said he left that meeting confident that they are going to hire "somebody who’s going to bring the culture, somebody’s who’s going to come in and be a great leader."
Jets center Connor McGovern echoed Fant’s words. McGovern said the Jets were building the right culture as the season progressed but that there’s certainly room for improvement.
"Culture beats talent any day of the week," McGovern said. "That ship is starting to turn. It’s going to keep turning.
"They want a guy, in my opinion from my take of things, who is a CEO kind of guy," McGovern said, "a guy that’s going to manage the whole team, a guy that’s really going to be a great leader and a guy that’s going to change the culture."
Nose tackle Quinnen Williams also spoke about the defense developing its own culture and identity, and he hopes the new coach will be able to do that.
"I definitely want to see a guy who comes in here and sets his culture, sets his standard and sets the process," Williams said. "We’ll fall in line and follow suit."
Linebacker Tarell Basham also spoke about the Jets needing an identity. Although he spoke highly of Gase, Basham said he wants his next coach to bring out the best in him.
"I just want to be coached to be better," Basham said. "I feel like I’m a player along with a lot of players on the team who still have more developing to do and can still get better."
The Jets plan to hire someone who will oversee the entire team. Gase focused on the offense and distanced himself from the defense, letting former coordinator Gregg Williams handle everything, which proved to be a mistake.
Mekhi Becton, who left Sunday’s finale with a high ankle sprain, said he plans to get his weight down this offseason. He played at about 370 pounds . . . Sam Darnold doesn’t think he’ll need surgery to repair the shoulder issue that caused him to miss four games. He plans to rest for at least a month before he starts throwing again.