The New York Jets are the worst team in pro football right now, at least in terms of overall record, and the man in charge of assembling their roster took responsibility for his team's struggles while also offering a peek inside his plan to turn things around.
In an answer that might not make bloodthirsty Jets fans happy, Joe Douglas told reporters embattled coach Adam Gase is part of the solution to New York's problems.
"This is not all on Adam," Douglas said, via NFL Network's Kimberly Jones. "The goal is to get this fixed together."
Gase's reputation for being an offensive mind has fallen flat in 2020, with his Jets struggling mightily when possessing the ball while also navigating injuries at key positions. Rookie receiver Denzel Mims missed most of the 2020 regular season before playing in Weeks 7 and 8, and quarterback Sam Darnold missed Weeks 5 and 6 with a shoulder issue.
Darnold is a hot topic in the Big Apple, with some wondering whether his days as a Jet are numbered. Douglas refuted such an idea indirectly, instead praising Darnold's toughness, pointing out his revolving cast and the fact he's still young and learning the NFL game.
"I feel like he has a different set of wide receivers every week," Douglas said. "I think you see the flashes of what he can be, and they're really special. Let's not forget that Sam's a 23-year-old quarterback that is maybe one of the toughest quarterbacks I've ever been around. I'm very excited about Sam.
"I have no problem saying that he is our best quarterback and our quarterback for the future."
The key for Darnold to remain the face of New York's future isn't so much on Darnold as it is on Douglas giving him the right supporting cast to help him succeed, at least according to the GM.
"Look, I mean, we're trying to get through the next eight games," Douglas said. "My feeling on Sam hasn't changed. We have to do a better job of surrounding him with talent."
The talent that exists includes tight end Chris Herndon, who has shown promise but has run into multiple hurdles -- a car accident, injuries and a suspension -- that have kept him from becoming the player the Jets envisioned. Douglas shot down rumors of shopping Herndon, explaining his sympathy for Herndon's recent struggles and pivoting toward needing to get better as an organization.
Ultimately, the Jets must first figure out how to improve enough to string together some wins -- most importantly, changing the zero in the win column to one -- and build momentum going into 2021. Whether that campaign includes Gase remains to be seen, but for now, it remains a collaborative effort.
"My focus is helping Adam solve the problem and work together to do it," Douglas said. "Obviously, I think we're all confident in our abilities, but I'm focused to solve these problems with Adam."