There comes a time in these proceedings when you can just feel it in the air.
When it’s time for the head coach to go.
When the message from the coach is the same old, same old after each loss and the narrative never changes.
When the evidence has mounted to a point where a firing is inevitable.
That’s where we are with the Jets and Adam Gase.
Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, a good man who desperately wants to bring a winner to Jets fans and who’s been an ardent supporter of Gase, wants no part of firing the man he hired less than two seasons ago, the man who as recently as last month, he maintained is an “offensive genius.’’
But we’ve arrived to the point where Johnson has to ask himself this: Does he see any way out of this malaise with Gase in charge?
That answer, if he’s seen what the rest of us have been looking at for a season and a half and he’s being honest with himself, is no.
Gase’s team looked lifeless on Sunday, losing 24-0 to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, a defeat that dropped the Jets to 0-6 and making them the only winless team in the NFL.
Gase owns a 30-40 record as an NFL head coach and 31 of those 40 losses gave come by double digits. He’s 7-15 as the Jets head coach with eight of those losses coming by double digits and five of them by 20 or more points. That’s simply too many lopsided losses.
“I’m not even thinking about it,’’ Gase said after the game when asked if he was concerned Johnson might fire him.
Because the team he’s coaching has reached the stage of unwatchable.
You could argue that the Jets reached this place long before Sunday’s deplorable loss to the Dolphins. But watching the Jets hurts your eyes. The Surgeon General would not recommend it.
The only suspense remaining to this lost Jets season — other than whether they continue along this path of destruction and secure the No. 1-overall draft pick and the chance to land Trevor Lawrence — is whether Johnson’s eyes hurt enough to make a coaching change.
Firing Gase, of course, isn’t going to solve the franchise’s problems overnight. Not even close. The team simply needs a change, a spark, a new voice. And, most importantly, a chance for Johnson to get a jump-start on finding the right man to lead his team forward.
The Jets do everything wrong — every little thing. They’re not coached well. They don’t play well. They don’t play smart. And it’s becoming clearer by the day that general manager Joe Douglas hasn’t chosen enough of the right players so far.
The only other time the Jets started a season 0-6 was — you guessed it — the 1996 Rich Kotite team. No Jets team or coach wants to be mentioned in the same sentence as Kotite. That’s usually the prelude to a death sentence.
But this team is worse than the one Kotite coached to a 1-15 record. It has less talent and is less competitive. And that’s damning.
So, too, is the distasteful dysfunction that’s infiltrated the franchise.
Last week began with disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell refusing to speak to reporters after a blowout loss to Arizona and later resorting to a passive-aggressive Twitter assault on Gase.
It continued with the Jets, unable to find anyone who would give them an open bag of stale chips for Bell in a trade, simply cutting him. Bell then signed with the Chiefs — because of course he would land with the defending Super Bowl champions and owners of the most prolific offense in the league.
Then on Friday, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, overseer of a defense that was yielding 32.2 points and 394 yards per game, threw his beleaguered head coach under the bus by taking the tried-and-true “not-my-fault’’ route that losers often take.
“That’s not what we need,’’ Gase said during Saturday night’s production meeting, according to the CBS announcing crew. “Everyone needs to shut up and play.’’
After the game, Gase acknowledged, “I wasn’t happy about it,’’ saying he and Williams “talked about it.’’
As bad as Gase’s offense was Sunday, Williams’ defense wasn’t much better when it mattered, giving up 21 first-half points and failing to stop Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
On two of the three Fitzpatrick scoring passes, Williams standing on the sideline was closer to the TD recipients than any of his defenders on the field were. That’s not good defense, not good coaching.
Herein lies a problem for Christopher Johnson: If he relieves Gase of his duties, to whom does he turn on the current staff to coach the rest of the season?
Because handing the keys to Williams, a coach who’s allergic to accountability, seems like an even more poisonous scenario than the team’s current sad state.
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