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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Jets Need A Quick Fix With A Long Term Foundation!

The difference between Christopher Johnson and me is that I am giving Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan a mandate. The Jets must win at least 9 games in 2019. I will accept 8-8 if by some chance this gets them into the playoffs. The Jets have missed the playoffs 8 straight years. Enough already! A quick turn around is needed and the Jets have the quarterback and the cap space to do it. This draft is the most important draft in Mike Maccagnan’s career. Can the Jets turn it around? A 100% yes! In 2017 the Chicago Bears went 5-11. The Bears changed coaches and hired Mike Nagy. In 2018 they went 12-4 and won their division and got a home playoff game. They did it with a second year quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. In 2016 the LA Rams went 4-12 with Jeff Fischer as coach and rookie quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams changed coaches going with Sean McVay and the next year the Rams went 11-4. What these situations have in common with the Jets going into the 2019 season is a new coach and a second year quarterback. If you compare Trubisky, Goff and Sam Dranold’s rookie season, Darnold’s numbers are a little better but if you look close, you’ll see Darnold was ahead of the other 2 in their rookie years and is only 21 years old.

                      Games Started    Passing %     TD    INT   QB Rating
Jared Goff                   7                    54.6             5     7         63.6
Mitch Trubisky           12                    59.4             7     7         77.5 
Sam Darnold             13                    57.7          17    15         77.6

Sam Darnold started off great in the first game of the season after his initial throw was a pick six. As the season went on and opponents had game film on him, he still showed flashes of greatness but the interceptions started to come. And we all remember the talk that Darnold does not have the offensive weapons. When he came back from his foot injury, in his last 4 games he was a different quarterback throwing 6 TD passes and only 1 INT. His QB rating the last 4 games was: 83.7 (Bills), 100.0 (Texans), 128.4 (Packers), 74.6 (Patriots). Interestingly when he came back and started to develop a chemistry with Robby Anderson over those 4 games (23 rec. 336yds. 3 TDs) and Chris Herndon (11 rec. 180 yds. 1TD) there was less talk about the receiving corp and more about the offensive line opening up holes for the running game. It is said that the biggest jump for a quarterback is from his first year to his second year. The Jets quarterback is in place, one pillar. 

Other Turn Around Seasons
SF 49ers 2010   6-10 coach Singletary
SF           2011  13-3  coach Harbaugh lost NFC championship game

Stl Rams 1998  4-12
Stl           1999  13-3  SB champ both coached by Vermiel

Jets         1996 1-15 Kotite
Jets         1997  9-7 Parcells

NE Pats  2000   5-11
NE          2001  11-5  Champs both Belichick

Arizona    2012 5-11  Whisenhunt
Ari            2013 10-6  Arians

Miami      2015 6-10  Philbin
Miami      2016 10-6  Gase

*Thanks to Green Rewind contributor Ralph Sharaga for his input.

                                                        T-Ball Skills & Drills

Blue Print For The Jets Turn Around
I’ll say it again, all Jet fans should not accept anything less than 9-7 and/or a playoff birth. The quarterback is in place. The next step is signing the right free agents then drafting the right players. Last issue I printed important NFL dates. For the Jets the two most important are:
March 11-13 Free agency begins.
April   25-27 2019 NFL Draft.
The Jets scouts will be developing their own list of rankings of all the players in the draft. After free agency and depending on who the Jets sign, they will tweak their list depending on the needs not filled from free agency and any possible trades moving down or up in the draft.

Here I’ve listed 10 things the Jets should do or in some cases not to do to turn this around. 
1. Build up the offensive line with free agency. I had previously mentioned two of the free agent linemen I like, center Matt Paradis (29) from the Broncos and tackle Daryl Williams (27) from Carolina. I’d like to add one more player. Trenton Brown the left tackle for the Patriots is developing into one of the better young tackles in the league and will be a free agent. The Jets will not be able to get all three but any two would be great.
2. Get pass rushers through free agency. I previously mentioned Trey Flowers of the Patriots and Dee Ford of the Chiefs. Flowers will be a reach and may be headed to Miami. Ford will get top money and the Jets should over pay if they have to. One other player I had said I would pass on previously but I’ve changed with certain conditions. Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions will be a free agent after being franchised this past year. I think Matt Patricia will want to move on. Ansah misses a ton of games but when he is on the field, he is special. He will be 30 in May but he has 48 sacks in 80 games in his career. The Jets should sign him to a 2 year contract with incentives. And play him only on 3rd down or sure passing situations.
3. Don’t be tempted to sign big name free agents who play the skill positions. Namely do not try to sign Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell. It will not be worth the money or the potential headaches. Both are super talents but Bell will be 27 next month so how many good years would the Jets get from him? And Brown is a an incredible talent but will be 31 in July. The Jets should pass on both. 
4. Give Sam Weapons. Just as I would pass on Bell and Brown I would look at two free agent receivers. Donte Moncrief and Tavon Austin. Moncrief showed a lot of potential with Indianapolis but has had a wasted year in Jacksonville. This guy can play. Tavon Austin is something of an enigma. Coming out of West Virginia, I thought this 5’8” speedster would be a super star. He has underachieved. I still think he has a lot left in the tank and he would be a great slot receiver for the Jets. With both Moncrief and Austin you would be getting them on off years. And by the way Austin also runs the ball and has 1,238 career yards with 9 rushing touchdowns.
5. Right now the Jets have 6 draft picks. Their 3rd pick is a very valuable pick. But I would leverage that pick and try to trade back, but not too far, and accumulate more picks. Last year the Jets gave up their two second round picks and moved up 3 picks to draft Sam Darnold. If the Jets can do what the Colts did, this will give them more draft capital. If they can acquire a couple of two’s, and stay at 6 they can still get a quality player. The name spoken mentioned is the pass rusher from Kentucky, Josh Allen. All he does is put tons of pressure on the quarterback.
6. Get a solid back-up for Sam. Josh McCown’s days are up! Great guy and I would love to see him on the coaching staff. He has a great rapport with Sam but cannot play QB anymore. If Davis Webb is the back-up let’s see him play with the first unit in some pre-season games. I never understood why backup quarterbacks never have reps with the 1st team and when the starter goes down, there is a learning curve for him to get comfortable. If Webb isn’t the guy, get someone with credentials. I want another back-up like Nick Foles!
7. Play some of the young players more. Deontay Burnett from USC started the season on the practice squad. Because of injuries he was brought up and to me looked very good in the two games he was getting substantial playing time. Against the Bears he had 4 catches for 61 yards and made one of the nicest catches you’ll ever see. Against the Patriots he had 5 catches for 73 yards. I’m not saying he should start but let’s get him on the field more. The same goes with linebacker Frankie Luvu. Whenever he is on the field he is creating havoc. Why he wasn’t giving more playing time is beyond me. All during the pre-season we heard about a defensive back named Derrick Jones. After the pre-season he disappears. He ends up starting the last game of the season and has one of the best ratings for a cornerback according to Pro Football Focus. Get him on the field more. 
8. Adam Gase has to surround himself with quality assistant coaches. Todd Bowles had one of the worst staffs ever assembled this past year. It was so bad that Christopher Johnson could not fire him during the season because there was no one who was qualified to be an interim coach. Gase has stated off on the right foot by retaining special teams coach Brent Boyer and signing defensive coordinator Gregg Robinson. 
9. Adam Gase has got to be involved with the defense. One of the biggest mistakes Rex Ryan made when he coached the Jets was not being more involved with the offense. He admits to this. If Adam Gase is bringing Gregg Williams in so he doesn’t have to pay any attention to the defensive schemes and personnel, he is making a huge mistake. An NFL coach has to be in charge on both sides of the ball.
10. Sign RB Kareem Hunt. I’m saving the most controversial item for last. What Kareem Hunt did on that video is inexcusable. With that said I truly believe that people who make a mistake should get a second chance. If your family has been affected by domestic violence, I know this is hard to take. Domestic violence is a huge issue in society and no different in the NFL. Kareem Hunt will probably get at least an 8 game suspension and maybe more which he deserves. But is he being punished more because his violence was caught on video? Don’t forget that Hunt’s teammate Tyreek Hill pleaded guilty to punching and choking his pregnant girlfriend. Closer to home Quincy Enunwa was involved in his own domestic violent incident. According to documents, Enunwa was accused of "grabbing the victim (his girlfriend) by her ankle and pulling her off a bed causing her to strike and injure both her head and finger." If you add up Kareem Hunt’s games missed this year and the games he will miss next year, it will almost be a full season. That plus no team will sign him for a lot of money or long term. That in itself is punishment even if it is partial. As a human being, he has a long way to go. The Jet locker room will be a good one next year. Sign Kareem Hunt and if there is another incident, life time suspension.

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What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
The New York Jets did their homework. Before embarking on their head-coaching search, they studied the history of second-chance coaches. It made sense, considering two candidates -- Adam Gase and Mike McCarthy -- had just been fired from their first jobs. This is what they discovered: Eight coaches have won a Super Bowl in their second job after failing to win a championship in their first gig, a list that includes a New York coaching icon (Tom Coughlin) and a football savant who almost became the head coach of the Jets (Bill Belichick).The Jets are betting Gase will be closer to Belichick and Coughlin than Eric Mangini, who flopped in his second job after getting bounced by the Jets with a 23-25 record -- identical to Gase's mark in Miami. "If you go back to the history of successful NFL head coaches, there are a lot of guys the first time through that may not have had a lot of success and they learn from it, and they actually get better the second time around,” Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “I will say this: It’s a hard time to learn on the fly. Just like being an NFL GM.” Gase, in his introductory news conference on Monday at the team's facility, actually demonstrated some Belichickian traits -- not the good ones, though. The new leader of the Jets appeared nervous and spoke in a monotone voice, failing to capitalize on his first chance to win over a skeptical fan base. By the time he was finished, his big, wandering eyes had inspired memes on social media…..Maccagnan said he and Gase are spending a lot of time together, getting to know each other. It's like speed dating, except they're already married. Johnson is convinced Gase will be better the second time around. He wouldn't issue a playoff mandate, but he acknowledged his expectations are very high. "I'm pretty sure he's going to be a great hire," Johnson said. Judge the man on his record, not his news conferences.

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Brian Costello, NY Post
He carries his despicable crimes against NFL humanity with him now to Florham Park, and even seven years after Bountygate, you find yourself asking: Is Gregg Williams worth the trouble? Adam Gase and the Jets believe he is, because Williams will be their new defensive coordinator. But do we need to hide the women and children? Well no, the guy isn’t a serial killer.There will be some, of course, who will cling to the notion that Williams is a pariah and a Neanderthal who doesn’t belong anywhere near an NFL sideline. There will be some who cannot and will not forgive him for his unsaintly orders to decapitate and maim opponents while he toiled under Sean Payton, and who probably think Roger Goodell never should have let him back in the league following his indefinite suspension.
Except the commissioner did. Think about that: In a landscape where avoiding more concussion lawsuits and enhancing player safety is now a league mission statement, Williams was invited back to this kinder, gentler NFL. First the Titans hired him. Then the Rams hired him. Then the Browns hired him. No Mutiny on any of those Bounties…..Statistically, Williams’ recent defenses have had more bark than bite. But no one doubts his acumen. Jay Gruden’s Redskins wanted him, too. Former Jets coach Herm Edwards wanted to hire him once. “He always puts players in position to fit their skill set,” Edwards told the New York Times in 2012. “He runs a wide-open defense, and players like attacking. That’s what you like about the guy. He’ll gamble at times, but players like that and he had a good rapport with them.” A leopard can’t change his spots. And Williams probably can’t. But he knows full well that Goodell’s zero-tolerance policy for him remains in place.

                                              44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Strip away the predictable talking points and general fluff in Jets Land and here’s what’s left: The heat is on general manager Mike Maccagnan to prove that CEO Christopher Johnson made the right decision to keep him around. It’s a bottom-line, big-boy business, so there’s no need sugarcoat it: Neither Todd Bowles nor Maccagnan performed well enough in the past four years, but only one of them was whacked. Maccagnan has shown promise in the past year or so with smart, aggressive moves that provide hope that he can improve. I agree with that powers that be that he has the capacity to evolve in the big chair.Ownership made the wise choice after the 2015 season to strip it down to the studs to build a proper foundation (and land a franchise quarterback). Maccagnan followed orders, but didn’t make enough good decisions to get the Jets anywhere close to the playoffs since that inaugural 10-win campaign. He finally landed a signal caller thanks to circumstance (losing out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes) and daring (quickly pivoting by trading with the Colts to ultimately draft Sam Darnold).Now, it’s Go Time for a guy who should have all the pressure on his shoulders to get it right this offseason. He must be aggressive without being reckless…..Losing has been the soundtrack for the past three seasons. Although it’s smart to keep the larger picture in mind, the sheer volume of defeats since 2016 – 34, if you lost count – must stop. Chris Johnson wisely didn’t put a playoff mandate on 2019, but there must be significant, tangible progress this upcoming season. In short, the Jets need to win a lot more. Four or five victories isn’t going to cut it given the wealth of resources at Maccagnan’s fingertips in the coming months.

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Around The NFL
…..Former NFL agent and CBS analyst Joel Corry thinks the Eagles and Nick Foles will inevitably part ways without a trade. Corry believes the Eagles will pick up Foles' option in order to control his rights. He also predicts that Foles will pay $2 million to get out of the mutual option and become a free agent…..The Panthers have hired Bills/Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell as their new defensive backs coach, the club announced……Former Steelers wideout Antwaan Randle El will join the Buccaneers‘ coaching staff as an offensive assistant, the club announced today. New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians coached Randle El — who is now embarking on his first NFL coaching gig — for one season (2010) with the Steelers…..Kacy Rodgers, whose role with Tampa was up in the air, is officially the team’s defensive line coach, while former Browns special teams coordinator Amos Jones is in tow as assistant ST coach…..John DeFilippo will be the Jaguars new offensive coordinator…..One day after Colts coach Frank Reich fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, two of DeGuglielmo’s offensive linemen came to his defense Wednesday. “I’m seeing a lot of speculation/talk from outsiders talking bad about Coach Guge,” guard Quenton Nelson wrote on his Twitter account. “He is a great fundamental coach and a great person. He unified us as an offensive line and pushed us to be the best. Anything else said about him is false.”…..

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jets Must Make Correct Personnel Decisions!

For better or for worse the new Jet head coach is in. Now it is up to GM Mike Maccagnan to provide Adam Gase with the right players for his system. Say this about Adam Gase, he has certain standards he adheres to and if he doesn’t see players he thinks will live up to those standards or fit his scheme, they’ll be gone. And gone quickly! In 2016 Gase did not hesitate cutting Dolphins starting offensive linemen Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas. This was after a 1-4 start and the team went on a 6 game winning streak right after. Remembering back to when Bill Parcells was hired, I was in shock when he traded defensive end Hugh Douglas to the Eagles. Three years before, Douglas was the National Football League's rookie defensive player of the year.  Here today, gone today. The same will happen to some Jets that are now on the roster.

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There will be questions for a number of players. The ones that come to mind right away (and they’ll be more): 
Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins, Jermaine Kearse, Spencer Long, Steve McLendon, Brent Qvale, Rashard Robinson, Buster Skrine, Brian Winters and even Leonard Williams. This list is incomplete and I would add Trumaine Johnson but the way his contract is structured, the Jets are stuck with this player for at least another year. As far as Leonard Williams, there has been talk that the Jets would take a 2nd round pick for him. I think this would be a big mistake. Though he has underperformed, he has had very little talent along side him. Just remember how he played when Mo Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson were here.

  There has been talk about possibly getting Le'Veon Bell and/or Antonio Brown. Say it isn’t true Mike! This would be the dumbest thing that the Jets could possibly do. They must build the team from the trenches and don’t worry about the skill positions right away. In 2009 when the Jets went to the AFC Championship game, on their offensive were: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore and Damien Woody. On the defensive side they had: Kris Jenkins and Shaun Ellis among others. This is how you build a good football team. Never mind the skill positions for now. Remember how Mark Sanchez played behind that offensive line. The Jets have got to sign and draft offensive linemen. Then draft a pass rusher. I’ve said it before that my free agent choices are center Matt Paradis (29) from the Broncos and tackle Daryl Williams (27) from Carolina. The Jets offensive line this year was not awful. Maybe average. They got better when they moved Jonotthan Harrison to center and Spencer Long to guard. It still seemed that Sam Darnold was under duress on most of his drop backs and the holes for the running backs after the opening game against the Lions were rare.

                                    44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

Two of the three free agent pass rushers I mentioned previously are still in the playoffs: Try Flowers of the Patriots and Dee Ford of the Chiefs. The Chiefs will probably franchise Ford but I’m not sure if BB will do that to Flowers. He doesn’t like to pay big money to free agents so he may let Flowers walk. If he does, the Jets should try and get him even if they have to overpay for him. At 25 years old, he is young and has more upside ahead of him. And his 7 1/2 sacks this year were almost all clutch meaningful plays. Unfortunately for the Jets these pass rushers have become rare in the NFL because of the offensive weighted rules in place. Once teams have these type of players, they very rarely let them go. Another barrier is that Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores was just named the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. If the Pats don’t sign or franchise Flowers, he may prefer to play for Flores and the Dolphins.

The other options that I don’t really like are Ezekiel Ansah (30) from the Lions who is real good but is always hurt. He has only started 29 games the last 3 years. I had liked Jadeveon Clowney of the Texans but I’ve come to the conclusion that he is highly overrated. He was schooled in the playoffs by Colt rookie offensive lineman Quinten Nelson who had Clowney looking up at the sky more than once. I would also say this with the Jet pass rush personnel they have. In un-drafted rookie LB Frankie Luvu, I see a lot of potential. In limited action he had 3 sacks this year. He will do better next year just as Henry Anderson (7 sacks) the defensive end should. Jordan Jenkins had 7 sacks but I am not a big fan of him. He has made too many untimely penalties over the last 2 years. But when you look at his age, 24 years old, the Jets will probably keep him but he has got to improve. Let me see sacks and pressure from Jenkins on meaningful 3rd down plays.

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Green Tidbits
.....There is a report by Adam Caplan saying the NY Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer has signed a contract extension and will stay with the team. Great move Jets!………..If Gregg Williams does in fact become the defensive coordinator, he knows Trumaine Johnson and knows him well. Johnson played on his defense with the Rams for 3 years from 2014-2016…..​Part of what made the Jets' hiring of former Dolphins head coach ​Adam Gase so surprising is the fact that it seemed like they were on a collision course with Baylor head coach Matt Rhule until talks broke down at the eleventh hour. Rhule turned down the job after the ​Jets made it clear that they didn't trust Rhule to bring in his own assistants, instead trying to force Rhule to hire one of their recommendations. Rhule spurned the Jets, calling the move an "arranged marriage."  My feeling is to keep on eye on this Rhule. He will be an NFL head coach one day…..Watch Cowboys WR Tavon Austin. He is guy in the smaller/faster Tate mold who could be a fit as a complementary receiver in Adam Gase's offense…..Jets tight end Chris Herndon pled guilty to DWI on Wednesday morning, according to a Rockaway Township Court official. Expect at least a 2 game suspension from the league…..

Important NFL Dates
Feb. 3 Super Bowl
Feb. 4 Waiver system begins for 2019.
Feb. 19 First day to name Franchise or Transition Players. 
Feb. 26-March 4 NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 5 Prior to 4:00 p.m., NY time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 11-13 Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.
March 24-27 Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
April 1 Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 19 Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 25-27 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee.
Sept. 5, 8-9 Regular Season Week 1.

When looking at the above dates, the opening of free agency is officially March 11, but there are behind the scenes unofficial talks going on right now with agents through intermediaries.

 As far as the draft, this is a fascinating year especially with the Jets picking at 3rd.

1. Arizona Cardinals (3-13) 
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-12) 
3. New York Jets (4-12) 
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12) 
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) 
6. New York Giants (5-11) 
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) 
8. Detroit Lions (6-10) 
9. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
10. Denver Broncos (6-10) 
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10) 
12. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1) 
13. Miami Dolphins (7-9) 
14. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) 
15. Washington Redskins (7-9) 
16. Carolina Panthers (7-9) 
17. Cleveland Browns (7-8-1) 
18. Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1) 
19. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1) 
21. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) 
22. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) 
23. Houston Texans (11-5)
24. Raiders from Chicago (12-4)
25. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
26. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
27. Raiders from Dallas (10-6) 
28. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
*29. New England Patriots (11-5) 
*30. Los Angeles Rams (13-3) 
*31. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) 
*32. Packers from New Orleans (13-3)

* The last 4 exact order will be determined after the playoffs.

The Jets Draft Picks
First round: No. 3 overall
Third round: No. 66 overall
Third round (via Saints): No. 96 overall
Fourth round: No. 98 overall
Fifth round: No. 130 overall
Seventh round: No. 194 overall

The Jets do not have a second- or sixth- round selection on the books. They traded their second-round pick to the Colts during last year’s draft in order to move up to No. 3 and select Sam Darnold. They traded their sixth-round pick to the Saints this summer, along with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, in exchange for an extra third-round pick. However, their position picking 3rd overall is a great spot. Though this year’s quarterback crop is not as good as last year, teams get “quarterback crazy” as we get close to draft day. Here are the quarterback names that will get hotter as we approach April 27: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, Drew Lock, Missouri, Daniel Jones, Duke,  Will Grier, West Virginia and Kyler Murray, Oaklahoma. Between now and the draft you will hear how some of the aforementioned are not first round picks. Trust me on this, all have a great chance to go high in the first round. Possible teams to keep an eye for quarterbacks are: Oakland, Tampa Bay, Giants, Jacksonville, Denver, Washington, Cincinnati and New England (yes I said New England). The reason Jet fans should pay close attention is because ideally the Jets should trade back and accumulate picks. Remember last year the Jets gave up two second round picks to move up three spots. They are in a great position to accumulate draft capital. If they do, they cannot blow it!

Around The NFL
…..NFL teams are reportedly structuring their coaching contracts to prepare for a work stoppage in 2021. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday the language in contracts signed by new hires this offseason includes offsets in the event of a work stoppage following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. Schefter reported teams and coaches expect "some type of disruption.”…..Buffalo Bills national scout Marvin Allen will be taking his talents to South Beach as the new assistant general manager of the Miami Dolphins, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He’ll be joining a front office headed by Chris Grier, whom he knows well, following the reassignment of Executive Vice President Mike Tannenbaum after the 2018 season…..Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg, a six-time Pro Bowler and member of the Dolphins' perfect 1972 season, died Saturday at 71…..Despite some pushback, particularly by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2017 received an extension through 2023…..NFL rumors: 49ers among four teams that could trade for Antonio Brown. The 49ers should have the room to acquire embattled Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, but they're not the only ones. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport listed the 49ers, New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts among the teams interested in trading for the wide receiver, based on their salary-cap space. Rapoport added Saturday on "NFL GameDay Morning" that he was told the Denver Broncos are a team to "keep an eye on" if Brown is made available….. If the A’s can keep  Kyler Murray from slamming the door on baseball, there’s a good chance no NFL team will burn a 2019 first-round pick on Murray, especially since draft rights last only one year…..FOX announced it set a record for the most viewers ever for a Saturday night prime-time event. More than 33.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the Cowboys’ loss to the Rams, according to Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics.That was up 25 percent over last year’s comparable window…..Safety Deionte Thompson is joining the group of players leaving Alabama early to enter the 2019 draft. Thompson made his announcement on Sunday. Tackle Jonah Williams, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, cornerback Saivion Smith, running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Irv Smith Jr. have also announced their plans to go to the NFL in the days since Alabama lost to Clemson in the final college football game of the year…... J.D. Gibbs, the elder son of former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, died Friday at age 49 after a long battle with a degenerative neurological disease…..According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Brady has battled an MCL sprain that took him weeks to overcome, but going into the AFC divisional round he is as healthy as he's been since he began the season. The injury occurred on the double-pass play against the Titans on Nov. 11…..Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford is set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, and after racking up 13 sacks for the No. 1 seed in the AFC while also earning his first Pro Bowl nod, Ford looks primed to cash in. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that Kansas City is leaning against using the franchise tag on the 2014 first-round pick, which will only help Ford’s earning potential…..ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday the Miami Dolphins are preparing for a rebuilding year in 2019 as they eye a high draft pick to select Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon's Justin Herbert or another top quarterback in the 2020 draft….. 

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Adam Gase, Negatives, Positives and Bottom Line!

Couple of years ago I was on the phone with my son Mike, a big Jets fan and he asked me if I saw any Miami Dolphin games. In particular their running back Jay Ajayi. I told him I haven’t but will watch him. Well watching this player in 2016 was ridiculous. He only started 12 games, rushed for 1,272 yards, scoring 8 TDs with a rushing average of 4.9 yards per carry. I thought we were all on the verge of seeing another Jim Brown. One year later Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 4th round pick. I couldn’t believe it and thought that Miami Dolphin coach Adam Gase was out of his mind only getting a 4th rounder for him. Two years and two months after that trade, Adam Gase gets named to be the head coach of the New York Jets. In the last 36 hours there has been a ton written and said (especially on talk radio) about this second year head coach from Ypsilanti Michigan. Who really knows what is fact and what is fiction about Adam Gase? The common denominator is that everyone says Gase knows football. But can he convey his knowledge to his players? Remember that the Adam Gase lovers will perpetuate only the good things. The Adam Gase haters will bring up every negative thing he has done since birth. The Jets have a coach. Let’s see some of the positives and negatives of Adam Gase.

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The flavor of the month right now in the NFL is to find the next Sean McVay, the brilliant 32 year old coach of the Los Angeles Rams. The popular thinking right now is to get that young innovative offensive genius in this offensive weighted league. The Arizona Cardinals just hired Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach who they think fits that job description. Going back three years (January 16, 2016) at the time when the Miami Dolphins named Adam Gase, 37, their head coach, they'd thought they found their Sean McVay before there was a Sean McVay. Gase’s Dolphins started the season 1-4 and went on a six game winning streak and finished the season 10-6 making the playoffs. Since that season, he has gone 13-19 with things falling apart on the field and if you believe some, in the locker room. Let’s look at some of the facts that you may not like about the new Jet head coach. Starting with this season he had that classic game against the Patriots beating them on the last play of the game 34-33. At that time their record was 7-6 and many thought they might build off that emotional win and gain momentum with a chance to make the playoffs. No such luck. The Dolphins lost their last three games: Vikings 41-7, Jaguars 17-7 and the Bills 41-17. Are great NFL coaches suppose to let their team fold like a cheap camera in those “must win” games? This is very bothersome to me. When he was let go, former Dolphins players Jarvis Landry and Jordan Phillips had some unflattering tweets about Gase and seemed to be celebrating his demise. This brings us to how Adam Gase leads and gets along with his players. When players knock a coach the media loves it, whether it is true or not. But reliable people have said that Gase has got to do a better job communicating with people. It is said if he sends in a play he designed and it fails, he carries it with him and loses focus on the “now” cursing and wondering why that play did not work. As far as being an offensive wonder, the Dolphins ranking on the offensive side of the ball was nothing to brag about. In total yards they ranked 24th in 2016, 25th in 2017 and 31st in 2018. In scoring offense they were 17th, 28th and 26th, respectively. And when you look at his 23-25 lifetime Dolphin record, it is less impressive knowing that 5 of those wins came against Todd Bowles’ Jets.

A lot has been said about Gase and his relationship with Peyton Manning. People point to the 2013 season when Manning was on the Denver Broncos and Adam Gase was their offensive coordinator. That year if you remember Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 TDs. For whatever reason I’ve heard people giving credit to Adam Gase for that accomplishment. To me that’s ridiculous. It is like giving credit to Miller Huggins for Babe Ruth hitting 60 home runs in 1927. Peyton Manning had already evolved to the quarterback he was by the time he got to the Denver Broncos. Another disturbing fact is that if Adam Gase was thought of so highly by the Denver Broncos organization, then why didn’t John Elway interview him for the head coaching job this week before giving it to Vic Fangio? Not even an interview from the team he was involved in from 2009-2014! Hummmm! Does John Elway know something Christopher Johnson and Mike Maccagnan don’t know? With regard to this it seems that Gase was upset that Elway didn’t give him an interview when the Broncos hired Gary Kubiak so there is friction there. Gase pulled a Doug Marrone going for a useless onside kick in the 4th quarter of a game when the Dolphins were killing the Broncos. I’m not a fan of things like that!

Adam Gase was suppose to develop Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill which he did not do. In all fairness to Gase, Tannehill has had the injury bug but the bottom line is he failed at one of the things the Jets are bringing him in to do, develop Sam Darnold. When first time coaches go from one head coaching job immediately to another a la Herm Edwards (Jets, Chiefs), Eric Mangini (Jets, Browns) and Rex Ryan (Jets, Bills), the success rate is not good. Every experienced coach has some kind of baggage and has had their bad in-game decisions. Whether there are too many negatives that will bring Adam Gase down, only time will tell.

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Yes he has some negative things going against him but isn’t that because he has been coaching so long? When Joe Torre was hired by the New York Yankees, the Daily News ran the headline “Clueless Joe.” It was in reference to his failings as a manager with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals. Needless to say he went on to become a great manager for the Yankees. In football we all hear the same stories ad nauseam about coaches who failed their first time and then succeeded like Bill Belichick (Browns, Patriots) and Mike Shanahan (Raiders, Broncos). Does Adam Gase have a chance to follow in the footsteps of these coaches? The answer is yes! Ideally I would have liked to see him take a year off or be the offensive coordinator of a team for two years. A coach can do a lot of self evaluating and be humbled. The way he nabbed the Jets job within two weeks of his firing is not a formula for guaranteed failure but I prefer the jobs spaced apart. He has a shot and a good shot with a young quarterback with all the potential in the world. And with the cap space available if the General Manager shops carefully to get the right players, Adam Gase is actually in a great position to succeed. Adam Gase has an incredible NFL coaching resume. Five years with the Detroit Lions, one year with the San Francisco 49ers, six years with the Denver Broncos, one year with the Chicago Bears and three with the Miami Dolphins. He has worked under these coaches: Nick Saban, LSU Tigers (2000–2002),Steve Mariucci, Rod Marinelli, Mike Nolan, Josh McDaniels and John Fox. He had the impossible task of trying to make Tim Tebow into an NFL quarterback as his QB coach and actually won a playoff game with him. Gase spent one year as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015, where he helped Jay Cutler slice his interception total from 18 the year before down to 11. As far as this year with the Dolphins, yes injuries are part of the game but the Dolphins lost 13 key players to season-ending injuries, including two top offensive linemen, their best run stopper, top cornerback Xavien Howard and receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games. 

Here is a stat that I love. Gase went 7-1 this season in one-score games, and 20-6 in three seasons. This guy knows how to manage the clock and his timeouts. No more Todd Bowles type of guess work the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters. 

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Bottom Line
Adam Gase is a football gym rat. He eats, sleeps and drinks football. He came to the Jets from another job but I think the Jets may have lucked out. He has got to work on his communication and leadership skills with his players and with the New York media. As far as potential free agents coming here, that may be the best report card on how other NFL players feel about Adam Gase. I love his attentiveness in close games. With that said, nothing less than 9 wins next year is acceptable to me. I don’t want to hear about injuries, bad calls or lack of execution. If the Jets are 8-8 or less without a playoff birth, Mike Maccagnan has got to go. And that is non-negotiable! I remember an old Bill Parcells quote when somebody asked him if he was ready when he first got the Giant job and his response was: “No one is really ever ready for their first head coaching job in the NFL.”

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Green Tidbits
…..CBS Sports reporting Gase is speaking to Gregg Williams, Vance Joseph and Chuck Pagano for  the defensive coordinator job…..According to Manish Mehta of the Daily News the Jets flirted with Baylor head coach Matt Rhule before things fell apart due to discrepancies over how best to assemble his staff, according to sources…..Adam Gase and Sam Darnold both share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton…..Adam Gase was born on March 29, 1978 and is a graduate of Michigan State University…..Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning called Jets CEO Christopher Johnson on Tuesday night to recommend Gase for the team’s head-coaching opening. A day later, the Jets hired him…..Packers brass interviewed players asking what they wanted in their new head coach. Answer from most, "player accountability." Sound familiar?.....Gase is married to Jennifer, the daughter of former New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt….Will Gase have the guts to bench DB Trumaine Johnson if Derrick Jones is practicing and playing better…..