Jets enter bye at 0-9; what’s next?

USA TODAY Sports

The Jets lost yet another game tonight, and they enter the bye week at 0-9. What comes next for the NFL’s only winless team in 2020?

Many assume that the Jets will fire coach Adam Gase, midway through his second season on the job. But with a competitive effort against the Patriots as the closing argument before a 13-day break, a change at the top of the coaching staff hardly becomes automatic.

For starters, who would replace Gase? Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams? The controversial and outspoken figure, who somehow continues to find employment after the Saints bounty scandal despite among other things submitting an affidavit that dropped a dime on linebacker Jonathan Vilma for offering $10,000 to any teammate who took out Vikings quarterback in the 2009 NFC Championship game, has had responsibility for a defense that hasn’t done much to keep the Jets from losing game after game after game.

Meanwhile, General Manager Joe Douglas has vouched for Gase, and CEO Christopher Johnson has given Gase a clear vote of confidence. Gase quite possibly will get a chance to see this thing through, in an effort to win enough games to keep the Jets from having a clear path to quarterback Trevor Lawrence for the first overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Gase’s fate arguably would be sealed at that point, given that holding the rights to Lawrence could put the Jets in play for an “A” list coach. But would that coach want to keep Douglas, who seems to be entrenched in the job that he got after the Jets finally, and mercifully, sent Mike Maccagnan packing after the 2019 draft?

Unless the Jets plan to clean house, Douglas will remain. And Douglas seems to want Gase to stay put. Whether that strategy works if the team loses enough games to win dibs on Lawrence remains to be seen.

The final seven chances to get a win or two get no easier. After the bye, the Jets face the Chargers, Dolphins, Raiders, Seahawks, Rams, Browns, and Patriots. The Jets will be favored to win none of those games, and they quite possibly will join the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns as the only NFL teams to go 0-16.

The wild card continues to be owner Woody Johnson. Now on the clock to lose his gig as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom given that the man who appointed Woody has lost re-election, Woody will be returning. However, he may not be back in time to clear out the coaching staff and to hire someone else during the 2021 cycle. Maybe, just maybe, the circumstances will give Gase another year, even if it means that Gase will become Lawrence’s first NFL coach.

For now, no one knows how it will play out. If Gase will be going during the bye week, the sooner he goes, the sooner the Jets can move on with someone else — and the sooner they can begin sending signals to a potentially reluctant Lawrence that they’ll be hiring a coach with whom he’s sufficiently comfortable to result in Lawrence choosing to enter the draft and to accept the possibility that the Jets will indeed select him.

There’s another wild card at play here, and his name is Peyton Manning. Manning and Gase worked well together in Denver. If Manning chooses to try through ever-present back channels to persuade Lawrence to give Gase a chance, maybe the Jets will decide to give it one more try with current management — and maybe it will finally begin to turn in the favor of a team that has hard a rough 51 years since winning its only Super Bowl.

11 responses to “Jets enter bye at 0-9; what’s next?

  1. First, to lose out. Fire Gase as soon as possible and see if an interim (Greg Williams) can generate quality losses at the very least. Sit Darnold for the rest of the year (healthy, he’s trade bait). Acquire as many draft picks as possible. Keep Flacco as a mentor for whatever QB they decide to draft. Try luring every big name college coach to your organization. Bienemy is a pipe dream- he’s not interested in your poverty franchise. He probably takes over KC when Reid decides to hang it up truthfully. My money is on them making a run for a Pats coordinator or Brian Dabol.

  2. jets will end up lucking into a win or two, either vs the chargers or browns. gregg williams at this stage of his coaching career needs to hang it up; any qb/offensive game plan that has marginal talent will gash his defenses. darnold will be traded and have an opportunity to resurrect his career or he will be a backup for another 2-3 seasons and then wash out of the league. flacco at this point is useless and should retire. no college coach worth anything right now will leave their current place for the jets…too much turmoil in the front office/ownership. eric b won’t go anywhere near nyj…he seems destined for houston. also, daboll is doing a nice job w buffalo but i can’t see the jets viewing him as a top tier option.

  3. The Jets played great but somehow found a way to lose. Firing the coach wont solve anything at this point.

  4. If taking colleges best QB first in the draft was the key to NFL success the Browns would have a dozen Lombardis

  5. Joe Douglas should have a short leash as well- dude looked like he was snoozin every time they cut to him in the box on MNF.

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