COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Opening Statement… Virtually I was really impressed with how our players handled it. They did a great job. Participation was outstanding. Obviously, with so many guys locked in and quarantined and everybody was in different states, so each state was so different, where some guys were able to get out and continue the normal workout procedures. Some guys had to modify, but as far as the participation went with our meetings, it was off the charts. It just shows great dedication by this group of guys that have really put together this off season. I do think they took advantage of these sessions and got a lot out of it I think. It’s the most meeting time that any of us as coaches ever had with our players. Normally, when you hit phase two in OTAs, you’re going through what you get on the field and then trying to slam in installs at the same time. So, this was a great way for us to be able to really slow things down, show examples, go through our installs which are very, very detailed. When there was any kind of gray, guys were able to ask questions and take their time to be able to make sure they understand everything and the key to that whole thing is going to be, with training camp being able to hit the ground running and taking that information that they acquired this offseason and the details they acquired this offseason. So, that’s really how the offseason program went. Like I said, very productive. In regard to social justice, I know you guys spoke to C.J. (Mosley). I thought he hit a lot of very good points about us having a lot of discussions as a team. I think it started right away with Christopher (Johnson) in a team meeting. Our discussions will continue as a team. We have a long way to go. Just talk through a lot of different topics and we need to be able to do that as a team. And it’s no secret that Jamal (Adams) was not involved in our offseason virtual program. This is the tough part of the business, when one of your best players is working through things with our organization and we have to figure out a way to get to a good place, so we can get him back in the right spot and ready to go.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Adam, on Jamal (Adams), what was your reaction to his requesting a trade? And just want to hear your thoughts on possibly trading him. Yeah, I think any discussions that has to do with anything with those types of topics, those are the things that we’re always going to keep internally. He’s been one of our best players and most consistent guys that we had last year. I said a lot of this at the end of the season about the value that he brings to this team and what he does not only on game day, but during practice and this is the tough part of the business and it’s something that we have to keep working through.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Hi Adam. Let’s stay with Jamal for a second. And I’d like to ask a follow up after you’re done, if you don’t mind. So with this going on with this trade request, have you, or will you reach out to him personally to try to convince him to reconsider his trade request? Anything that’s going to deal with communication with Jamal will stay between us, and the same thing, that’s really just kind of how we’re operating with keeping things in house and keeping our locker room tight and any conversations that any of us have, that’s going to stay between us.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: And the follow up would be, is the organization open to giving him an extension before the start of the season? Anything that has to do with anybody’s contract is going to stay in house. That’s not something we’re ever going to comment about publicly.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Hey Coach Gase, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the recent report that Jamal was asking for a trade because of his relationship with you? What do you make of that coming up? My relationship with Jamal has been good since the time that I’ve gotten here and we’ve had a lot of discussions throughout the season trying to figure out ways to win. To me, we’ve always got along well. There’s been a lot of dialogue between us, especially about on and off the field type topics.
Kimberly Jones, NFL Network: Hey Adam, thanks for doing this. Given that it’s still June, it’s late June, but it’s June, do you view the Jamal situation as something fixable? People get into camp, ideally, and the concentration’s on football and everyone can move on? Or does this have a different feel to you right now, rather than just sort of a bump in the road? Does it have a bigger feel to you than that? I really don’t have a feel on that aspect of it. I guess it’s so hypothetical with how anything will feel when we’re in person, so to me, it’s these discussions that we have in our organization, we keep having them and whatever discussions need to be had between agents and players, then we have to have those discussions. It’s a tough part of the business and our job is to work through difficult times and tough situations and find solutions.
Brian Costello, New York Post: I just wanted to ask you about two signings you guys have made since the last time we spoke to you. If you could take each one individually, just what these guys bring to the table for you, Frank Gore and Joe Flacco. I’d say Frank, just being with him at a couple of different stops over, I think this is his 15th year he’s going into the League, the leadership he brings, it’s one of those things that you need to see it because it’s unique and the impact that he has on guys is phenomenal. When guys see him practice and playing in games, especially practice, I think guys are usually shocked at how he practices, how hard he goes, the volume that he always wanted to take when he was out there. He’s a unique guy to have in the locker room because you don’t get many opportunities to get a guy that’s going to be a future Hall of Famer in the locker room like he is. His ability to not only help us on the field, but to help us throughout the building is something that you just get excited for as a coach. And adding Joe, he had to jump in a little later in the meetings, he picked things up extremely quick. I really enjoyed having him in those meetings, just getting his perspective on a lot of things. When you’ve got a guy that’s won as many games as he has and played in as many big games, I think he is somebody that’s really been beneficial, not only for Sam (Darnold), but for the other guys and for the coaching staff as well. I mean, anytime that you have a guy that’s been around that long, there’s a lot of things, a lot of discussions that you can have and bounce things off of him that he’s going to have a good answer for.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam, you mentioned at the top about the social justice issues. So, I just want to go back to that, and I do have a follow-up question. So, what is your position, your philosophy/position if a bunch of guys are kneeling during the National Anthem? I think this is something that we’ll definitely discuss as a team when we actually get a chance to get back together. Where I was for the three years before, we had multiple guys that did kneel and my philosophy has always been, I’m here to support the players and our organization is going to support the players. That’s one thing that I know that our players will always get from this coaching staff, this ownership, this front office, is support from us.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: And a follow to that, there’s a couple of head coaches around the league have said they would kneel with their players. Will you? This will be something that we’ll talk as a team. We’ve got a long way to go before we ever play a game, so there will be a lot of discussions before then.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Hey Adam, with Sam Darnold working with Jordan Palmer out in California, how does that work from a technique and a mechanics standpoint when a guy uses a private tutor in relation to what you and Dowell might teach, and what the tutor might teach as far as being on the same page? Sam does a really good job of hitting Dowell and myself up before we normally would do in the summer. Like the last offseason, he discussed some of the things that he wanted to work on with Jordan. We kind of gave a couple of things to him and Jordan does a good job of working with him on the things that they want to work on, but at the same time, trying to implement the things that we’re teaching as well. This year, with it being so different, we’ve communicated a couple of things. We kept everything minimal as far as not putting too much on his plate to look to change and a lot of times with us, we adjust to really how Sam likes to do things. We try to keep things really consistent for him to where it’s not, he’s with Jordan and they’re doing it one way. Then, he gets back with us and then we change what he’s worked on the whole offseason. So, there can be some adjustment on our part more than anything, but I do think the way that Jordan does a lot of stuff with Sam, it’s the way that we would do it as well.
J.P. Pelzman, Forbes.com: Adam, how would you characterize your interaction with Le’Veon (Bell) during this virtual Spring and how do you see Frank (Gore) complimenting him in terms of your usage of both of them out of the backfield this year? Yeah, that’s going to be something that we’ll just keep working through. I have an idea of how I think that’s going to look. Obviously, every game’s been so different. If it was up to me, we’ve got 72 to 75 plays a game, obviously we’ve got to play a lot better than what we did last year to accomplish that. So, that’s something that it’s hard to say specifically how that’s going to look. I have an idea and I know Le’Veon’s been down in Miami doing his normal workouts in the offseason. One of the things that we tried to do in our virtual program was create a little bit of a, normally you hear about a seven on seven group or a skill guys group working together, meeting together. We went a different avenue than what we did last year. We created a little bit of a run game hub with the o-line, the running backs and the tight ends. I think that was something that he enjoyed. We had a lot of focus on making sure those guys were all on the same page. They’re all talking the same language, just clean up any kind of gray that possibly we may have had last year to where all those guys are on the same page.
Roger Rubin, Newsday: Adam it’s a question about Jamal, could you sort of describe first how meaningful he is to your secondary and second, how you feel about the depth at those positions in the event that he’s not with you when camp starts? Yeah, once again, hypothetically, really, there’s no reason to get into that. I mean, we’ll worry about training camp when we actually hit it, but as far as the guy that’s done a lot for us, he’s done a good job of executing what Gregg’s (Williams) asked him to do at an extremely high level. I think he’s helped a lot of us to be super flexible in what we do. He really creates a lot for other people as well, not only for himself, but when guys have to really account for him, especially if he’s pressuring or he’s down in the box and they’re not sure what’s going on, teams have to account for him, which frees up other guys, leaves other guys one on one and gives other guys better match-ups. I do think that his flexibility, position flexibility and him being able to play the back and the middle of the field, he’s able to cover tight ends and running backs one-on-one very well, I think there’s just his versatility and I always look at his play speed, it is phenomenal. Both in practice and on game day.
Kimberly Jones, NFL Network: Hey Adam, I’m just wondering if so far you’ve gotten a feel from Denzel Mims, if he is going to be, or can be one of those rookies who actually can contribute right away, which at least seems like it would be obviously very good for your offense if he could. And if I could ask you a yes or no question on Jamal, do you absolutely positively want him on this roster when the 2020 season begins? As far as Mims goes, when you’re a rookie, it’s good that we have this amount of time as far as the virtual offseason goes for him to be able to learn things. The hardest part is us not being on the field to where he actually can run routes, run time sets, line up, and do those things with the guys that he’s actually going to be playing with. So, everything’s going to be put in fast forward when we hit training camp and it’s all going to be about how he handles all those types of things that’ll kind of dictate how quickly we can progress him. It’s our job as coaches to do a good job of recognizing where he’s at as we move through training camp and into the preseason and even the season and make adjustments accordingly. I do think he is a guy that has the ability to be a guy that can really, really help us this year and only get better as time goes on. We just need to really just make sure he’s getting in the right place mentally, understanding the whys behind a lot of the things that we’re doing and then him and Sam developing the chemistry. Obviously, that takes reps on the field, which we haven’t had yet. Once we hit training camp, we’re really going to have to do a good job of maximizing every rep we have. And, yes, I want Jamal on our team.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: We’re still far away from this happening, but in the event that, because we’ve already seen the Hall of Fame game get cancelled and there’s potential for maybe even more preseason games to get axed, how would a lack of in-person practice time, because you haven’t really had any up to this point, how would a lack of in-person practice time affect how the games are actually played once the regular season starts? Yeah, I’m as interested to see how that would work out as probably anybody else. I know practice reps, preseason game reps, they’re all extremely valuable and the more you have the better you feel, especially heading into the season. That’s why early in the season sometimes you see a little bit of sloppy play. You see mistakes that are made and costing us games. As the season goes on, you see a lot of those get eliminated and fixed and it’s going to be all about what teams can do a good job of making those adjustments and doing them quickly and in a short period of time and without a lot of reps and missing a whole offseason, I always saw those reps as being extremely valuable, especially when you’ve got younger players in certain positions that are not as easy as others. This is going to be one of those years that we’re just going to have to do a really good job of teaching both on and off the field.