Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley relayed comments from Gase regarding where he believes the franchise is headed, per the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta:
"He's going for that one team that's been winning every single year in the division. He said that's one of the main reasons he came here. We all believe that. And the guys that are the new additions to the team ... we're pretty much here for the same reason. We know what team's been up top for a long time. We feel we have the tools, the players and the game plan to get that done."
Of course, Jets fans will remember Rex Ryan telling reporters he didn't sign up to coach the team "to kiss Bill Belichick's, you know, rings." New York then went 4-9 against the New England Patriots during Ryan's tenure.
Gase didn't pick such evocative imagery, but the sentiment is largely the same.
His optimism may not be misplaced, though, especially when taking a long view.
The Jets signed Mosley, Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder in free agency, and they solidified their offensive line by acquiring Kelechi Osemele, who was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and 2017. Those four join a squad that is already set to take a step forward with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
The team also has the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft, which it can use to get the defensive line help it sorely needs.
According to Vegas Insider, New York is the second-favorite to win the AFC East (15-2) behind the Patriots (1-6).
Anything other than an 11th successive division title for New England would be a huge surprise, but Rob Gronkowski's retirement earlier this offseason could be the first sign the Patriots' dynasty could be slowly ending.
Tom Brady turns 42 in August and is entering the final year of his contract. While Brady said in December he plans on playing beyond the 2019 season, his opinion might have changed slightly without one of his favorite aerial targets on the team.
Supplanting the Patriots as the top team in the AFC East is slightly unrealistic for 2019. Closing the gap on New England, however, is a more than attainable goal for the Jets.