The New York Jets entered the 2019 season with expectations of competing for the AFC East crown, as well as a potential berth in the postseason. After nine games, however, they are 2-7 and seemingly out of playoff contention. Despite the struggles to start the season, owner Christopher Johnson has reiterated that first-year head coach Adam Gase is not in danger of being fired.
"I want to assure you there will be no changes in coaches here," Johnson said, per the New York Post. "Adam has the trust of this team. He has the trust of Sam [Darnold]. He has Joe [Douglas'] trust. He has my trust. He's a good man. He's a good coach."
There were some questions about Gase's future with the team considering that he was fired by Miami after compiling a 23–25 regular-season record and an 0-1 record in the playoffs. With the Jets only reaching 2-7 following a victory over the New York Giants while quarterback Sam Darnold struggled, it appeared that Gase could be on his way out of town after only one season.
"There's a lot of work to do," Johnson said about the rebuilding process and the recent struggles. "There's a great deal of work to do. Everyone understands that and we're just getting started. But I feel really good about this team moving forward."
One of the factors that Johson considered while evaluating Gase's future was the constant changes in coaches. With a former first-round pick in Sam Darnold still learning how to succeed as a pro, the Jets don't want to limit his growth with constant changes.
Similar situations happened with Alex Smith in San Francisco and Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, and both quarterbacks experienced significant growing pains amid constant changes in head coaches and offensive coordinators.
"It's absolutely important, but that's not why I'm keeping Adam," Johnson said. "That's certainly a component. Changing systems year after year is a disaster for a young quarterback, especially."
Following the victory over the Giants, there is an opportunity for the Jets to find some success in the near future due to an easier schedule. The next four games on the schedule are against the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, and Miami Dolphins. The Raiders are sitting at 5-4 and are pushing for a playoff spot, but the Dolphins are tied for last place in the AFC East with the Jets at 2-7.
Similarly, the Bengals have yet to win a game under the first-year coach in Zac Taylor and are relying on a rookie to lead the offense. The Redskins, on the other hand, are 1-8 and are thrusting first-round pick Dwayne Haskins into the starting lineup.
There is an opportunity for Gase to build some momentum with this team prior to difficult matchups against the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, and doing so will help set the tone for the 2020 season.
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