Why Adam Gase Could Turn Sam Darnold into a Star

Late Wednesday night the New York Jets announced they hired former Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase to be their new Head Coach of the future. While the Jets Ownership and Front Office obviously feel good about the signing, the media and fans seem to not share the same opinion as the team. There has been a strong public outcry and the narrative has become that the Jets made yet another “Same Old Jets” move. However, the Jets may have actually made their first out-of-the-box and forward thinking move in quite along time. They smartly prioritized their QB in the hiring process, and Gase and Darnold could be a match made in heaven.

The most important person in the entire Jets organization is their young QB Sam Darnold. Because of this, they began their coaching search looking for specific requirements: prior NFL experience, offensive prowess, and a past history of grooming QBs and maximizing their potential. As much as fans and media alike shunned the signing, Gase checks all those boxes. Gase started to make his name for himself in 2013 as the Broncos Offensive Coordinator. During that season, he led Peyton Manning to the best season of his career. Gase and Manning led the 2013 Broncos offense to 606 total offensive points, which to this day remains an NFL record. Other notable records that the 2013 Broncos broke included: most 50+ point games in a single season, most 30+ point games in a single season, most passing TDs in a single season, and most passing yards in a single season, among others. Adam Gase was able to maximize the potential of Peyton Manning and lead him to record-breaking numbers. Gase also led current baseball player and former Broncos QB, Tim Tebow, to a 7-4 record and a playoff win, which included a 6-game winning streak. Over Gase’s tenure in Denver, the Broncos offense ranked no worse than 2nd in scoring. The year after Gase left for the Bears, the Broncos offense dropped to 19th in scoring amidst Manning’s worst year of his career. That year was 2015, when Adam Gase followed John Fox, his then head coach, from Denver to Chicago and took on the task of commanding Jay Cutler. He served as the Bears offensive coordinator for that one season and led lowly Jay Cutler to a decent season, throwing for over 3600 yards and a 21:11 TD/INT Ratio over the course of 15 games, accruing 6 wins over the same period. 

In 2016, the Miami Dolphins hired Adam Gase as their Head Coach, with the intention of him unlocking Ryan Tannehill’s true potential and turning him into the franchise QB they always wanted, while also catapulting the team to the top of the division above the almighty New England Patriots. Yes, that never quite happened, but the blame shouldn’t fall on Gase and Gase alone. Gase did not have it easy during his tenure in Miami. He struggled with bad QB play due to many reasons ranging from inconsistency to unfortunate injuries. Over Gase’s three-year stint, he had 4 different starting QBs, and the best QB of that bunch, Ryan Tannehill, did not even play in 25 of the 49 games Gase was Miami’s HC (an astounding 51%). Even with his lack of a starting QB, Gase managed to hover around .500 during his time in Miami (23-25 in regular season) and even managed to make the post-season with backup QB Matt Moore. He also managed to have a winning record when Tannehill played. (13-11), which is something the two HCs before Gase were not able to do. Another impressive stat that seems to be overlooked is that he has a combined record of 10-14 in games where Matt Moore, Jay Cutler, or Brock Osweiler started under center. He has shown a consistent ability to get the most out of the QB he has, and has won games with QBs who have marginal talent at best, and these are on teams with no other superstars or “elite” players on them. Imagine him with a QB who has the pedigree and talent such as Sam Darnold, as a Jets fan you should be excited to see what he can turn him in to. There’s no point in giving up on Gase so early. Darnold is far and away the best QB Gase will have coached since Peyton Manning, and the facts are the facts: QBs reach their ceilings around Adam Gase. There are other issues to be concerned with when it comes to Gase, but no coaching candidate is perfect, if they were they wouldn’t be looking for work. The bottom line is the Jets got someone who will turn Darnold into who he was drafted to be, their Franchise Quarterback. When is the last time the Jets had one of those?