Jets' Alex Lewis Defends Adam Gase amid Rumors Players Aren't Confident in HC

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 26, 2020

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Baltimore. The Ravens won 42-21. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

New York Jets offensive guard Alex Lewis praised head coach Adam Gase to Connor Hughes of The Athletic in light of reports that have painted the second-year Jets leader in a negative light.

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

#Jets guard Alex Lewis to @TheAthleticNFL on head coach Adam Gase https://t.co/ygyYzNorSz

Lewis said:

"I have mad respect for Coach Gase. We have phenomenal personnel in the building, on both offense and defense. We are building a winning culture and mentality from the top down. I believe in this staff, this organization, and most importantly my teammates. I realize everyone has a job to do, our jobs are multifaceted. In the locker room, training room, weight room, meeting room and on the field we are building a winning culture.

"I feel like all of this needed to be said on the heels of reports lumping all the players in one mindset disparaging the head coach. I am proud to be a New York Jet, now let's Jet the [expletive emoji] up this season."

Lewis, who the Baltimore Ravens traded to Gang Green in August 2019, started 12 games for the Jets. He re-signed with the team on a three-year, $18.6 million deal this offseason, per Over the Cap.

The lineman's comments come after Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Gase is a "major factor" why All-Pro safety Jamal Adams has requested a trade. Adams was said to be "uncomfortable with his long-term future with the team," per Mehta.

Furthermore, Mehta said that Gase is "not respected" in the Jets locker room.

That sentiment was previously relayed by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller last December:

"One player told me Adam Gase has lost the respect of the locker room with his 'tough guy bulls--t attitude' and the team's lack of a plan offensively. 'Guys actually respect [defensive coordinator Gregg Williams],' the player said. 'No one respects Gase.'"

Publicly, Adams has voiced concerns and frustrations regarding his current contract status with the team, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. He is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, but the Jets could hypothetically pick up his fifth-year option and place the franchise tag on him in year six. Adams has not mentioned any issues with Gase, at least on the record.

Gase, in his first season as the Jets head coach, piloted the team to a 6-2 finish after a 1-7 start to go 7-9 overall, a three-win improvement from the year before. That was despite the team missing starting quarterback Sam Darnold for three games due to mononucleosis.

The Jets open the 2020 season against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Sept. 13.