New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson believes that Adam Gase—who has a 30-34 record as a head coach between the Miami Dolphins and Jets and just one winning season to his name—has a "brilliant offensive mind" and "my every confidence."
No, this is not an Onion article.
"I have full confidence in Adam," Johnson told reporters Wednesday. "I think that he has a lot more in him as a head coach than some of our fans are giving him credit for. And I understand they want to see success. I think that they will."
"Look, I think he can work with and develop quarterbacks," he added. "I do continue to think he's a brilliant offensive mind especially. He has my every confidence."
The comments come on the heels of the Jets opening their season with a 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills, moving Gase to 7-10 in his Jets tenure. The team managed just 254 yards in the loss, was 4-of-11 on third downs, had just 52 rushing yards, two turnovers and a paltry 18:44 in time of possession.
The Jets also finished last year ranked 31st in points and 32nd in yards. In his three seasons at Miami, the Dolphins never finished higher than 24th in yards and 17th in points.
Granted, neither the Jets nor Dolphins exactly surrounded him with elite quarterback play or an inspiring collection of weapons. He fared much better in his time as the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator (2013-14) in the Peyton Manning years, with those offenses finishing first in both yards and points in 2013 and second in points and fourth in yards the following year.
But that success ended there. In 2015 as Chicago's offensive coordinator, his team finished 21st in yards and 23rd in points. His teams have trended that way in recent years, leaving pundits to question if his success in Denver was more a product of Manning's genius than anything else.
The other alternative, of course, is that Gase in fact is a strong if not generational offensive mind who has struggled because of quarterbacks like an aging Jay Cutler, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, a young Sam Darnold and Luke Falk, among others.
On the other hand, Tannehill's rousing success in Tennessee last year and his general struggles in Miami begs the question—is Gase actually getting the most out of his signal-callers? Is he getting the most out of Darnold, who has now thrown for 37 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in his career, completing just 59.9 percent of his passes?
Johnson, at least, is remaining confident in the Gase-Darnold duo.
"I have so much confidence in Sam," he said. "He's the best player I know at turning the page, the absolute best, and I think he'll turn the page on this last game, I think you'll see an extraordinary Sam. I think we're going to see him turn into that quarterback that we all expected shortly, I really do. I think he's an absolute sterling quarterback."
Maybe. Or maybe his full potential would be unlocked with a different head coach. For now, that doesn't appear to be something the Jets, at least publicly, are considering.