Jets' HC Adam Gase Quotes 8.5.20
COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Opening Statement… Just kind of starting it off here, obviously I know a lot of you guys have already written about C.J. (Mosley) and him opting out. Obviously that was not an easy decision for him, we had multiple conversations, whether it was just with me or his conversations with Joe (Douglas), he had this opportunity as far as if he wasn’t comfortable with the situation, he had the ability to opt out. He made his decision, he informed us, it seemed like fairly early in the process that at least he was thinking about it, so I appreciated that he did that to where we could have conversations. Obviously, we will miss him this season, but like always we will have the next-man-up mentality. I feel like we do have a lot of depth at that position and guys will step up and do everything they can to fill the void and we will develop great defensive team chemistry. As far as what we are doing right now, we are really focused on our strength and conditioning program and meetings. Guys have done a great job of being engaged in meetings, we’ve been doing everything virtual right now, but it has been good to see our guys, how excited they are to actually get to workout, get to be on the field together. Obviously we’re in smaller groups, but guys are just happy not to be stuck in a hotel room or an apartment or a house, being able to go out there and lift, run, throw, do specific drills that are beneficial towards them to get ready for camp. You can tell our guys are really excited to be out there.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Adam, you kind of mentioned there about C.J. Mosley and how guys are planning on replacing him. Is that something where you guys would be comfortable going into the season with a rotation at inside linebacker or would you ideally like to find a MIKE and a WILL that sits right there in the middle? This is such an unusual preparation for the season. What we start doing and how we finish are maybe two completely different things. Either way that is hard for me to say. I think right now we are looking at it as, making sure once we actually get to camp and be able to start getting pads on and kind of seeing where we are at and who’s doing what, what guys fit best together, we will come to that decision, whether it is our best option is to have two starters and true backups and those guys are thrown into special teams or if we are going to play multiple guys and say, ‘Hey, were are going to rotate it around and everyone is going to have a certain kind of role.’ The beauty part about what Gregg (Williams) does on defense is, with the amount of personnel groupings he has and I know that he has talked to you guys about this before, it gives him a ton of flexibility to get a lot of guys playing time and I think that will be beneficial to us.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Adam, just having no C.J., no Jamal two weeks in here, how much of a challenge is this for your defense and for Gregg? Well the fact that this is how we are starting, it is a little different when things happen, mid-season, middle of training camp, middle of the season after eight games and you are trying to make a bunch of adjustments and you don’t have guys on the roster. When you are starting like this, things that either (Williams) was planning in the spring, adjusted so far and we may get another adjustment now. This is kind of what we do as coaches, who do we have, who’s available, who’s able to go. We construct it, we get ready to adjust throughout the season because things will change as you go, this is what we get paid to do. We have to do a really good job of using the personnel that is ready to go for each week, so this where Gregg has always done a great job of making sure that he uses guys to their abilities and he get the max out of them.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Continuing with that theme Adam, on Avery Williamson, obviously he is on the PUP list, but how close is he to being cleared to practice and when he is, does he have the potential to step in at the MIKE spot? I don’t think we are too far away, I think there are some things that he still has to check some boxes here with when we actually do get on the field that he has to do with our training staff. I know just from speaking to him multiple times this offseason and actually seeing him the other day in the training room, he’s excited to just get out of this training room and get back to football. I think that year of being on IR and being injured was tough, so many of these guys, this is what they do, they are not used to being in that (training) room, they don’t want to be in that room. For him, he is excited to just keep clearing these steps that he has to take to get back on the field. Obviously, he has played that position before, he’s had success at that position before. We’ll work through what fits best for us with the group we have, obviously we have multiple guys on this roster that have played the MIKE position. I think this is where Gregg does a great job at figuring out who’s the best two guys, if that’s how we are going to do it and get them ready to play. And at the end of the day it is about getting, hey what is your best 11 and then at the same time, each package, what is your best 11 for that package? So I think this is something that we are going to keep working through and obviously we need to get on the field, we need him to get cleared, we need him to be ready to go and once we check all of those boxes and he’s able to get out there and get rolling again then we will kind of see how this thing gets put together.
Manish Mehta, New York Daily News: Adam a couple of things, one is that Joe and you have talked about how encouraged you were about the second half of last season. Sam (Darnold) also said he thought that you guys were close, so that being said, is it fair for fans to expect this team to make the playoffs or at the very least, make a legitimate playoff run in deep December? Secondly, as Sam’s primary teacher/coach, what do you need to do specifically to get him to the level that many people think he can reach this year? I think any time we go into the season there are so many factors that play into it. Right now, where we are at, we haven’t even started training camp. Our goal is always going to be playing in January, always going to be the goal. A lot of things happen, we have to adjust, we have to do everything we can to make sure that’s where we end up. We’re always going to be shooting to do that and that’s going to be the goal this year, you want to get to January where a lot of good things are happening. With Sam, for me personally, I have to make sure that I just keep doing a great job of communicating with him, when he communicates back with me, which he is doing such a great job at doing, really the second half of the season he was phenomenal with that. When things weren’t fitting for him exactly, he was speaking up, he knew exactly what he wanted. Game planning for us went really a lot smoother that second half. The more games you get under your belt with each other the communication becomes very crisp and really it is going to be about cleaning up some of the details. He is able to help so many more guys because of his knowledge of the system, that’s always one thing, when you are a quarterback, when you get those things, really take in the information, when you hear a formation, you are going to tell guys, “No, you are over here, you line up here, you do this,” and you are just kind of reacting to that, that’s really where you really want to be at as a quarterback because now you are really focused on, “Hey what’s the coverage, what’s my progression, how do I need to throw this ball, where do I need to put it, I have to move in the pocket so I need to make this decision.” There’s a lot of things that are going on for that guy but when he’s going through this and really eliminating the thinking aspect of it with the huddle calls, formations and those things are really kind of the background noise for him and he’s really able to focus on ball location and his progressions and what’s the coverage and what’s the defense trying to do, how can I get this protected. When your mind is all focused on that, which I felt like it was especially towards that back half of the season, it was night and day and I think he is going to get better here as we move forward, just kind of being in meetings in with him, really been impressed how much he works himself on learning what defenses are trying to do pressure wise and how he can help himself and when he talks through these things in meetings, it gets us really excited because he’s spent a ton of time on his own doing this stuff over the summer. We are excited to get back on the field, that is the biggest thing. Once we get on the field, we are going to get a ton of stuff thrown at us from Gregg, which is great for us as an offense because you see everything before you ever start the season. I think he is excited to get going with that and being able to apply all the things that he has learned.
Dennis Waszak, Jr., Associated Press: At this point are you guys anticipating any additional opt-outs with the deadline being tomorrow? Also, with you guys as coaches, what are the plans that you guys are working on as backup plans for yourself, for Gregg, if you guys get sick? Have those conversations been going on? What is the game plan there for you guys? As far as any other players opting out, I have not had anyone else say anything to me. That doesn’t mean that somebody couldn’t. I mean until that deadline is officially over it could happen, somebody could have a change of heart and say, “Hey, I’m opting out.” Nobody has said anything to me, C.J. was the only one as of right now. And as far as what you just asked, this was something that we actually started talking about in April. We had to look at it as we almost have to have a depth chart for myself, the coordinator spots, we talked about position coaches, kind of where that would go. So, a depth chart was really created. I think the concern at the time when we first started talking about it was special teams and making sure that we have guys in the meeting room that were learning what (Brant) Boyer is teaching and helping out in that aspect, because normally you’ve got your two special teams guys, and everybody else is worried about their own deal. So now it’s the full staff, we all have to be on the same page. Guys have to understand, like, hey, you don’t know, you might be the next play caller, whether it be offense, defense or special teams. So, everybody’s got to prepare like that, and it’s just like the players. It’s a good question, our players actually asked that question when we did kind of a Q&A with all this, and the fact that they’re thinking, “Alright hey, what are your guys’ plans if something happens to you guys?” The fact that we were ready to answer that, I think our players were relieved that we were actually thinking about that.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Now that you guys are obviously going to be missing Jamal and C.J. who is opting out for the season and Avery (Williamson) is on PUP – Who do you kind of expect to make plays for the defense this year? Is that going to be Quinnen (Williams) needs to step up and have a big year, or who do you see filling the role for a defensive playmaker? You know, I felt like one of the things our guys did a great job of last year was they played great team defense. I felt like there were especially certain games where individual plays that were made that were outstanding. I do think one of the reasons that our defense was able to be successful last year was they were on the same page, and when you have a group of guys – 11 guys that are on the field and everybody’s going in the same direction, they’re all trying to execute their assignment, that’s what helps make a successful defense. I think our front, with the depth we have, with the interior guys, that’s really something that we’ll always be leaning on, because obviously we’re going to try to build through the front, both offensively and defensively. I feel like we have good depth in that linebacker room. Obviously Marcus (Maye) being back – he played extremely well last year, did a lot of great things, and we’ve got a lot of young guys that are kind of filling in in that secondary and we’ve got to find the guys that are going to be our starters who are guys that are going to play and get things done. I think adding Bradley (McDougald) is big, because we got a guy that’s played a lot of football and played on a good team and made a lot of plays. So, we’ve got to kind of see how this thing fits together. That’s why once we get practicing it’s going to be one of those situations where there’s no wasting time for sure.
Steve Serby, New York Post: Adam, what are your expectations for Le’Veon (Bell) this year, and how motivated do you sense he is and what kind of shape is he in? I would say he is extremely motivated, he’s in phenomenal shape. He looks great, just seeing him run and everything that I’ve heard from the strength guys as far as the lifting aspect. He has come in in phenomenal shape. I know he’s extremely motivated in our conversations. He’s fired up to get going, and so are a lot of guys, not just him, and (we’re) telling them, ‘Hey, we’ll get there to our practice portion of it, we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing all the right things here in that strength and conditioning and meeting aspect of it.’ He didn’t come in thinking, “Hey, I’m going to get in shape now.” You can tell he’s been working extremely hard and he looks really good.
Kim Jones, NFL Network: I believe it was the Jets who sent out on Twitter a short clip of Mekhi (Becton) getting fitted for shoulder pads, and he looked leaner to me especially compared to the combine. I’m just wondering what kind of shape he’s in, and do you think he can be everything he’s going to need to be for you guys this season? It’s hard to say. Like I wouldn’t say lean, but the guy is a big man. He did a great job of sticking with the program that he was doing in the offseason, all through the summer. At the end of the day, you’re looking at a 370-pound man. He’s one of the biggest players I’ve ever been around and the way that he’s built, he’s always just going to look big. He is lean, but he’s just a big man and we’re excited to get him on the field, get him going against our defensive guys. There’s going to be a learning curve there, because once he kind of starts seeing how these guys will do their pick stunts and the way that the front changes and the calls. But with him playing tackle, there are fewer moving parts than there would be when you’re playing guard or center as a rookie. A high percentage of the time he’s blocking the guy that’s in front of them. I can’t wait to kind of see how training camp goes. I know going against Jordan (Jenkins) is going to be a great thing for him just because you’re going against a veteran guy that really is going to see what he’s all about. That’s going to be very good for us, and that’ll be great for him, because he’s going to get a lot of reps that are going to be valuable for him heading into the season.
Bob Glauber, Newsday: You had mentioned how Avery is very excited to get back onto the field. Do you feel any personal excitement on that end? Because you did personally take responsibility, partly, for that injury. And secondly, you also talked about the adjustment you’re going to have to make without C.J., but you’re going to have to make a huge amount of adjustments on offense with an entirely new offensive line, different receivers. How will that play into your ability to coach and to coach effectively? With regards to Avery, it’s one that I take a lot of responsibility for with [inaudible], just kind of kicking myself thinking he should have never been on the field, this should have never happened, we should have had him for the season. He was great about it, he knew how I felt about it, he focused on getting better, I know he’s excited to get out there, I’m going to be extremely excited to see him going again and getting to see kind of where he’s at. I just want to see him get in pads, be able to just start playing football again. That’s going to be a good day for me personally. I know for him it’ll be a great day, but I’m really excited to see him play. And we’ve got a lot of work to do with our o-line and wide receivers developing that kind of chemistry that we need. I really like this group of o-linemen, they’re great meetings. These guys are always trying to do things on their own to make sure that them and the quarterbacks are on the same page. These guys communicate a lot. I think kind of with FaceTime and the Microsoft Teams, these guys being able to communicate, especially during training camp, has been helpful for us, because these guys talk though a lot of things. Once we kind of get in practice and we start getting kind of all these things exotic fronts and pressures and things like that, we’re going to be able to learn extremely fast who’s where and who needs to learn more about what we’re doing. But as of right now, we got experience there and we got some guys that have played some football in this league to where it’s a lot of the same stuff that they’ve done in the past. It’s just different verbiage, and these guys, that’s what they do. Professional football players need to do a great job of learning playbooks, because changes happen a lot and they’ve got to be ready to adjust. Wide receiver-wise, we’ve got a lot to learn there. We’ve got a lot of chemistry to gain as we go. There will be no wasted time, I know that, and I think really the throwing that they’ve already done together has been great. Sam getting those guys together and really kind of getting that thing started when there was no offseason and even now, when every day that these guys get a chance to hook up and throw and get timing down and really be able to talk through things of kind of how Sam sees it and then asking the receiver how he sees it, just trying to make sure that those guys are on the same page. It just comes out of every day just making sure we’re taking that information in and absorbing it and then executing it.