Patriots rumblings hang over Adam Gase’s likely Jets finale

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The Jets left Gillette Stadium two years ago after a 38-3 loss ended their season, and they fired head coach Todd Bowles hours later.

They hired Adam Gase less than two weeks after that, hoping he could get the franchise back on a winning track. That has not happened, and now Gase leads the Jets into Gillette Stadium again for the final game of the season and what almost certainly will be his final game as head coach.

There is little doubt the Jets will fire Gase either Sunday night or Monday morning, after a poor two-year run as coach. Gase is 9-22 entering this game as head coach of the Jets, 2-13 this season. His offense is ranked No. 32 in the league for a second straight season, and quarterback Sam Darnold has not improved under his watch.

All of that adds up to an easy decision for team CEO Christopher Johnson. Gase has done his best to ignore his job status and continue to prepare the team. He has done a good job of it, having won the past two games after starting the year 0-13.

“I learned probably when I was 22 years old, Nick Saban told me, ‘You do your job until somebody tells you different,’ ” Gase said this past week. “So, that’s what I’m going to be focused on, and my job is to get us ready to go for this Sunday and go try to win a game.”

Speculation about Gase’s job status is nothing new. The Jets hired him days after he was fired by the Dolphins. He was unpopular with fans from the start, and there were calls for him to be fired early in his first season.

“I mean, that’s what it is,” Gase said, “I’ve been here two years, [and] I think that started about Week 6 last year.”

An interesting side storyline to this week has been the praise Patriots coach Bill Belichick has heaped upon Gase. The Patriots (6-9) are having their worst season since 2000. There could be changes to Belichick’s staff after this season, and there is a belief in Boston that Belichick might want to hire Gase.

“I have a lot of respect for Adam. I think he’s a very good coach,” Belichick said this past week. “He’s always been tough to coach against. He’s always made things difficult on our defense. … I think he’s done an excellent job.”

So, Gase might be in his final game with the Jets, but he may be coaching again at Gillette soon.

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