Jets fans may not want to hear it, but CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson voiced his full support for coach Adam Gase on Wednesday.
“I have full confidence in Adam,” Johnson told reporters. “I’ve seen him interact with this team. I’ve seen him lead this team. Look back to last year, he took a team that did so poorly in the first half of the season and held them together. They finished well. I think that he has a lot more in him as a head coach than some of our fans are giving him credit for. I understand. They want to see success. I think that they will.”
Johnson went on to say he still believes Gase is a great offensive coach.
“I think he can work with and develop quarterbacks,” Johnson said. “ I do continue to think that he is a brilliant offensive mind, especially. He has my every confidence.”
The Jets went 7-9 in Gase’s first season and had the No. 32 offense in the NFL. Things did not look better in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Bills.
“That was not what anyone was hoping for,” Johnson said. “ It was a bad game on all fronts. I do think that the Jets have more new pieces, more moving pieces than most teams, just look at our offensive line. I think that they will correct themselves. I feel that you’re going to see a different team moving ahead. It was a mess on Sunday. I was not happy about that at all.”
Johnson said there is not a playoff mandate for Gase this year and he will be evaluated on the team’s progress.
“I’m going to want to see this team progress,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, that won’t be too hard from that first game, but I’m looking for real progression over this season. I’m confident that we’ll see that.”
Johnson also backed third-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
“I have so much confidence in Sam,” Johnson said. “He’s the best player I know at turning the page, the absolute best. I think he’ll turn the page on this last game and I think we’ll see an extraordinary Sam.”
Johnson said he believes the Jets have enough talent to win.
“I think we have a roster we can win with if we stay healthy,” Johnson said.
He gushed about general manager Joe Douglas and said he wishes he fired former GM Mike Maccagnan sooner.
“I want to avoid embarrassment for Mike and others, but there’s no question that I feel in better hands in terms of putting together a roster with Joe,” Johnson said. “I have so much confidence in him. Do I wish I had made that change earlier? Absolutely.”