INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time in a long time, the Jets entered an offseason with some continuity.
The Jets did not change any of their coordinators for the first time since 2011. Not only did the Jets bring head coach Adam Gase back for a second season, but offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and special teams coordinator Brant Boyer all returned as well.
In all, Gase only lost two low-level defensive assistant coaches, a remarkably low turnover rate. Now, Gase hopes it translates into better productivity for the Jets in 2020.
“I think Year 2 is the usually the biggest kind of jump whether it’s a player, coach,” Gase said. “It’s been nice to be able to take that time off after the season, jump right into it. … Just going through our meetings, sitting in the defensive stuff and going through the offensive meetings with our self-scout, it’s been valuable. I think there’s a lot of learning that’s going on. There’s a lot of ways to close loopholes on some stuff. It’s been important this last month or so.”
Gase’s first season with the Jets got off to a rocky 1-7 start, but they went 6-2 in the second half of the season. Gase hopes with the players already familiar with his offense and Williams’ defense, they can avoid the early-season learning curve that occurred last season.
“It’s that second year in the program,” Gase said. “I think guys will have a better understanding coming into it what to expect. It starts in the spring and then heads into training camp. It’s just a lot of those little, tiny things that you didn’t know when you’re a player or even a coach that you know going into it. A lot of the little details guys can clean up. That helps you in games.”
Gase was asked at the Scouting Combine this week what he feels he can do better in his second season with the Jets. He said he feels like he is already ahead of last year simply because of the relationships he built in Year 1.
“It’s knowing our guys,” Gase said. “When you have more of a relationship heading into the season that’s a critical thing. It’s something that shortcuts anything that happens with players where they’re not sure on something, they’re not afraid to come ask you. You can get things cleaned up so much faster instead of everybody trying to feel their way out. We got there at the end of the year especially where guys were very open and honest, if they didn’t understand something, they came and asked. If we weren’t on the same page, we’d get it figured out quickly.”
One of the arguments for not firing Gase when fans were calling for his head was that quarterback Sam Darnold could benefit from having the same system for a second year. The Jets have mowed through coaches in the last decade and players have been asked to learn new systems every year or two. Darnold already should have the basics of Gase’s offense down.
“It’s kind of like the coaching staff, that second year in doing anything you can close a lot of the questions you have,” Gase said. “You have those answers. It allows him to play faster. Heading into offseason, he’ll know so much of the system. It’s not more of a learning, ‘Hey what’s the formation, what’s the play call?’ Those things he’s got a great grasp on. It’s the fine details of if you do get a coverage that you weren’t expecting, knowing where to go with the ball, knowing your outs, knowing those little tiny things that you close those loopholes, you can play fast and you make the right decisions at the most critical parts of the game.”
This is the first time the Jets will have the same offensive system since 2016 when Chan Gailey made it to his second season. Since Brian Schottenheimer was fired in 2011 the Jets have gone through six different offensive coordinators – Tony Sparano, Marty Mornhinweg, Gailey, John Morton, Jeremy Bates and Loggains. On defense, the Jets made changes in 2013 and then in 2015 when Todd Bowles was hired as head coach. The Jets went through five different special teams coordinators in five years before Boyer managed to retain the job.
The 2020 Jets have not had that offseason change. Now, they hope it results in some in-season changes in the win column.