Zach Bolinger/Associated Press
The Athletic’s Connor Hughes reports Thursday’s outcome has no impact on the Jets’ plan to let Gase finish out the year on the sidelines before evaluating his status.
“The Jets made up their minds before Thursday’s contest. The plan is for Gase to remain the team’s coach throughout the season, barring any dramatic circumstances that would make a change unavoidable.”
Gase is 7-13 as head coach of the Jets with the team starting 0-4 to begin the 2020 season.
According to Hughes, the Jets hired Gase in 2018 only after fellow candidate Kliff Kingsbury joined the Arizona Cardinals and New York brass “weren’t content” with the staff then-Baylor coach Matt Rhule wanted to install. The team also did not feel confident bringing in Mike McCarthy.
That led the team back to Gase, who went 23-25 in three seasons with the Miami Dolphins before he was fired. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was fired only months after bringing Gase to New York, and the pressure has been on the coach since.
Part of the reason why the Jets are continuing to stick with him this season, Hughes notes, is to ensure the front office can properly evaluate quarterback Sam Darnold:
“While there were some internal discussions, the externally unpopular decision to keep Gase seems centered around Darnold and his development. That remains the most important aspect of this season. Despite this being his third year, the 23-year-old is still an unknown. At times, he looks very much like the franchise quarterback the Jets hoped he’d be. At others, sometimes in the same game, he looks lost. It’s unclear if the quarterback’s inconsistencies are because of himself, poor coaching, or surrounding talent. The Jets need to have a concrete evaluation of him before the end of the year. At 0-4, and with the challenging portion of their schedule upcoming, there’s a very real chance they’re in a position to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in April. They need to know what they have in Darnold before they consider that. Firing Gase now will further cloud Darnold’s development.”
On Thursday, Darnold played through a sprained shoulder while completing 23 of 42 passes for 230 yards with another 84 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“I love Adam,” Darnold told reporters after the game. “But it’s not my decision to make.”
Unless something big changes in the coming weeks, it won’t be a decision at all until after the 2020 season.