Jets CEO defends Adam Gase hire, responds to critics


Plenty of raised eyebrows and social media scorn followed when the New York Jets hired Adam Gase as the new head coach.

A man who had just been canned by the division-rival Miami Dolphins after generating a 23-25 record in three seasons, whose offense averaged under 20 points per game the past two years, and who has not led a single top-15 offense since being carried by Peyton Manning is expected to turn around the ever-struggling Jets?

Many didn't believe the new coach had what it takes, and weren't shy about saying so on social media. Jets CEO Christopher Johnson scoffed at those negative reactions in a discussion with reporters after his formal press conference.

"I get it," Johnson said, via ESPN's Rich Cimini. "Part of it is I have to earn their trust. We just had a couple of down years. I have to earn their trust. I think they will see, if not right now, they'll see it pretty soon as a great hire.

"I'm not trying to win Twitter. I'm trying to win football games. I think we're going to win some football games here."

The key for Johnson is Gase's work with quarterbacks, from Peyton Manning, to Jay Cutler, to Ryan Tannehill. This is the first time Gase will work with a young potential phenom like Sam Darnold this early in his career. The QB tutoring is one reason Johnson said he favored Gase over the likes of Mike McCarthy or Baylor coach Matt Rhule.

"To me, to Mike (Maccagnan), seeing how Adam has gotten the best out of quarterbacks in different stages of their careers is vitally important, no question," Johnson said in explaining why he preferred Gase.

Johnson refuted the report that talks with Rhule broke down because Jets management wanted to pick at least some of his assistant coaches.

"No, that never happened," Johnson said. "I completely deny it."

For Johnson, the Gase hire was about bringing in an offensive, forward-thinking mind, which Gang Green hasn't done in ages.

"To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, he's coaching to where football is going," Johnson said.