Patriots make the case for Jets’ HC Adam Gase

Andy Hart
September 19, 2019 - 8:27 am

First-year Jets coach Adam Gase hasn’t garnered much respect recently.

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As time wound down on his three-year, 23-25 tenure with the Dolphins last year he clearly had lost the respect of most in Miami.

Now, in the midst of an 0-2 start in New York, Gase has been squarely in the crosshairs of the local media not only for what he’s done on the field but also the way he’s answered critical questions off of it.

One place Gase does seem to have earned some respect, though, is in the New England locker room. As the heavily-favored Patriots (New England is laying more than three touchdowns in most places) began preparations to host the Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Bill Belichick and his players heaped a pretty healthy serving of praise on the New York head coach.

“First of all, just with Adam, I think he does a terrific job,” Belichick said to open his Wednesday press conference. “Certainly, we've had a ton of problems playing against him in the past. He's a very good football coach. Does an excellent job with the team, certainly offensively, of creating problems for all defenses, especially ours. That'll be a big challenge for us, just handling the strategic aspect of the game, the matchups that he creates.”

While Belichick often does his best Lou Holtz impression on Wednesday’s, hyping up the upcoming opponent from top to bottom in every area, the praise for Gase is based more on personal experiences and not simply traditional hyperbole.

Gase’s Dolphins beat the Patriots each of the last two years in Miami. He also was the offensive coordinator of a Broncos team that beat the Patriots in Denver in the 2013 postseason.

While New England’s defense rolls into this divisional battle having gone three straight games without allowing a touchdown, including last Sunday’s shutout of Gase’s former team in Miami, he’s personally led offenses that have scored 21 or more points in six of nine meetings with Belichick’s team, topping 31 points in two of the nine game.

Clearly Belichick has been beating that history into the minds of his players, to the point that they are giving Gase credit for more than he’s earned in the recent matchups.

“A team that always plays us tough, now you put Gase down there, I mean he’s beat us at least one time each of the last four or five seasons,” safety Devin McCourty exaggerated. “I think that’s how we see things because we’re involved in this. We know the feeling last year when we went to Miami and played against this offense and they averaged like 9 yards a carry. We know all of that stuff. So we don’t see point spreads and all of that nonsense.”

McCourty went on to explain Gase’s value to the visitors.

“He does a good job studying us and coming up with problem plays,” McCourty said. “Not that we necessarily saw last year when we played them but plays that he saw two or three years ago against another team. He does a really good job, I think, of just coming out with a solid game plan and using every guy on his roster to their best ability. So know it’s going to be challenging for us, especially you don’t have a ton to watch. You have a couple preseason games and then two games now of just trying to be prepared, know their personnel, know what guys do well and try to go from there. But we know it’s going to be a tough game. We know they’re going to come out, obviously you have Le’Veon Bell who hurts you in so many different ways, you have [Jamison> Crowder who’s been able to make a lot of plays for them on third down and Robby Anderson is always a tough guy to compete with with his speed.”

While most of the world doesn’t give third-string, waiver-wire quarterback pickup Luke Falk a chance to pull off the upset on Sunday, Belichick used Gase’s own history with the second-year passer and confidence in him as reason to be leery.

“I think nobody knows the quarterback situation better than Coach Gase does. He feels like Falk has more experience in the system, which he does, than any other player that they have,” Belichick said. “He was with him last year, he went through all of the game plans, went through all of the adjustments, had a whole year of it in Miami. [Sam> Darnold didn't do that, [Trevor> Siemian didn't do that, so I think that Coach Gase has expressed the confidence that he has in his quarterback and I believe him. I don't think he would've brought him there and he would've put him in there if he didn't have that. I don't expect the offense to change.”

As such, the Patriots defense that’s been dominant to date seems to expect an actual battle with the Gase-led Jets on Sunday afternoon at Gillette.

At least that’s what they’re saying, and that talk is in part due to a recent history against Gase’s teams that’s been anything but dominant.

Related: Bill Belichick lauds Jets RB Le’Veon Bell