How Adam Gase Can Show Improvement in 2020

Adam Gase

Summing up the 2019 New York Jets season in one word is a difficult feat. Lackluster is one that will often come up, and a lot of that had to do with the performance of the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had an impressive season, but aside from him, the staff as a whole was immensely underwhelming. The team was impressive early in games. Head coach Adam Gase was at the forefront of the perceived incompetence from the 2019 team. Gase’s ability to script drives was evident with quarterback Sam Darnold under center. At one point in the season, the team scored touchdowns on four consecutive opening drives. This success was short-lived in games, and despite the team’s 6-2 record down the stretch, fans rightfully hold little confidence in Gase’s abilities to elevate the team past their 7-9 record from 2019. Gase does have an opportunity to shed some of these concerns based on his performance in 2020. Here is how he can achieve that.

How Adam Gase Can Show Improvement This Season

Personnel Usage

The New York Jets were a very shallow team in terms of personnel on both sides of the ball in 2019. We saw last year how Gregg Williams was able to counteract his lackluster personnel, especially in terms of pass rush. He used former safety Jamal Adams in a unique hybrid role that screamed competence and creativity. Gase had a similarly lackluster personnel group on offense, to a much lesser degree of success.

While the offensive line improved for 2020, there is still a lot of uncertainty around the unit. This was a major factor in the decline of Le’Veon Bell in 2019. Another factor however was Gase’s refusal to run Bell out of the slot. Bell has had a ton of success there in the past, so seeing Bell more in the slot in 2020 would be a welcome change. Gase also has a young and unproven receiving core to work with in 2020. Using things like an abundance of 12 personnel will help him to make the task easier on Darnold. Additionally, it would be encouraging to see Gase exploiting personnel to get favorable matchups. It would be majorly encouraging for some of this to come in the form of in game adjustments. This was another area of weakness for Gase in 2019.

In-Game Adjustments

One of the main gripes fans have with Gase is his seeming inability to adjust as games progress. One of the more frustrating examples of this came against the New England Patriots in 2019. The Jets offensive line was clearly overwhelmed by the many blitzes run by the pats that day. Despite many fans vouching on twitter for more quick passes to be run, the Jets game plan shifted very minimally as the game progressed. This seemed to be a recurring theme as the season progressed. Seemingly obvious adjustments were rarely made and while it easy to be a coach from the comfort of your own couch; it would have been encouraging to see some coaching adjustments attempting to circumvent the lethargic offense we saw.

Now, Gase is not entirely to blame for this. The offensive line play in 2019 was abysmal from New York. The revamped 2020 line gives Gase an opportunity to redeem himself on the adjustment front. The playbook should be much more open for gang green in 2020. Having a healthy Sam Darnold for 16 games will be key to the team getting into a rhythm offensively. If Gase can have a full playbook to work with, there is no excuse for him not to shine against teams that tip their hand in 2020.


Off the field, a big concern fans have voiced about Gase pertains to his attitude. Whether or not this is a fair criticism is up for debate. Still, Gase can quell some of these concerns with his actions in 2020. Often Gase’s lack of accountability comes with a reluctance to cede any notion that his ‘system’ may be to blame. We saw this even during this off-season, as he seemed to place the blame of Le’Veon Bell’s lackluster season on his unfamiliarity with the ‘system’. Gase can gain a lot of fan support simply by ceding the shortcomings of his system in 2019, and adjusting in 2020.

Last Word

Adam Gase has an uphill battle in 2020 to regain the trust of the fanbase and likely some players. He needs to demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow from mistakes. Whether or not it is deserving, Gase has garnered a reputation for being arrogant and stagnant in his approaches. All that can change with a winning season in 2020.

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