The takeaway from Adam Gase’s 20-minute introductory press conference as the new Jets head coach on Monday was his eyes. He had the look of a serial killer.
His eyes were plastered in the back pages of the two New York tabloids, not to mention it became a social media meme and a talking point with Jets fans. Some people have avatars of Gase on Twitter because of his eyes. There was so much focus on him twitching often.
This was Gase’s welcome to New York where everything is scrutinized from body language to suit to appearance to anything what is said. Yes, he is not in Miami anymore. If he thought his work was scrutinized as Broncos offensive coordinator in Denver, his introduction to New York showed he has not seen anything yet.
He did not distinguish himself well when it came to winning the news conference. It was the last place he wanted to be. He came across as a head coach who looked at this as a chore.
Look, it’s not a crime that he came off bad. There’s nothing anyone can take out of an introductory press conference. Only results will dictate how good the former Miami Dolphins head coach will be. If there was a lesson to be learned from this awkward press conference, he’s going to have to be more forthcoming when fans want answers to why things are not going the way it should be with the Jets. He has to be comfortable with dealing with the New York media whether he likes it or not.
He clearly did not know much of the Jets roster by simply citing Sam Darnold was the reason he took the Jets job. He also said process six times in giving various answers.
It would have been nice if he answered New York Post’s Brian Costello’s question about what he learned and what would he apply from his Dolphins experience to the Jets. He did not give an answer. That’s troubling because it may be a sign he may not notice his shortcomings or what he did wrong as a Dolphins head coach.
He certainly didn’t appear apologetic for why the Dolphins were stagnant, especially offensively in his last two seasons when he cited his Dolphins teams sacrificed statistics for wins. Whatever that means. It’s a way of saying he thought he did the best he could with the roster he had to work with, and that may be true, but there are things he had to answer, and he didn’t.
To his credit, he gave a great answer about how the Jets will learn how to finish when they have a lead late in the game, which was a problem under previous Jets head coach Todd Bowles. He cited preparation and knowing its opponent, and he said that was the reason his teams were able to finish 20-6 when his teams have the lead.
Gase did not talk much about the roster because he does not know them, and there’s a good chance there will be so many changes on the roster that it was pointless to talk about it. Other than that, there was not much to take from his press conference.
If anyone expected Gase to approach his introductory conference as if this was a day at the improv, that was unrealistic. He is a guy that goes to work, and that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with that. He is not hired to win press conferences and promote the brand like Rex Ryan was. He is hired to win games.
Jets CEO Chris Johnson and Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan hired the one-time Dolphins head coach for his extensive knowledge of the game and the players along with working well with Darnold. They also hired him for his work ethic that would have him in the Jets offices late at night and early in the morning, which was something Ryan and Bowles were not known for. In other words, they were looking for their next Eric Mangini. That was the real takeaway from this press conference.
Johnson and Maccagnan wanted a head coach that would bring structure, organization and discipline the way Mangini used to bring, and they have that in Gase. They knew who were they were looking for as a head coach, which is why Mike McCarthy and other hotshot candidates were not really considered. They wanted a coach who was low maintenance and a coach they can control.
Yes, the Jets organization may be tight, humorless and paranoid under Gase like it was under Mangini. There may be disconnect with the organization and fans. No matter. If the Jets win, no one will care and all of this will be worth it.
The Jets are not in the business to hire a comedian or an entertainer to be the coach. They did not hire a coach that has the intelligence of a sports talk radio caller or a sports radio talkie for that matter. This hiring was not a public relations move. They hired a coach who was going to be an adult to win games.
This was the purpose of Monday’s press conference.
We can make fun of his eyes and his personality all we want.
But there was a method to Gase’s madness in how he conducted his press conference.
Rest assured, that’s the way his new bosses liked it.