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New York Jets: The competitiveness of Sam Darnold is on another level

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold is ultra-competitive, but what he did ahead of Week 1 vs the Buffalo Bills takes it to another level.

Football players are competitive, big whoop.Well, New York Jets Sam Darnold has taken that competitive energy to another level ahead of the 2019 season opener vs the Buffalo Bills.For those who don’t know, Darnold and Bills quarterback Josh Allen are close friends. They built a close kinship ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.On draft night they were forever linked as a pair of first-round quarterbacks. Even more so than that, both were drafted into the same division in the NFL, the AFC East.

During the past two offseasons, they trained together and stay in close communication, well unless it’s game week of course.

During Thursday’s media interviews Darnold shared just how far their competitiveness can go :

“It’s fun to joke (with Josh Allen) during the offseason, but now that it’s here we aren’t talking at all. It’s go time and obviously, after the game, I’ll talk to him but we’re super competitive guys.”

This isn’t the first time that people have taken a closer look at the competitiveness of Darnold. In fact, earlier this offseason Darnold didn’t participate in a voluntary video shoot where NFL players were asked to wish New England Patriots quarterback and arch-rival, Tom Brady, a happy 42nd birthday.

“I’m going to get every competitive edge I can because he’s going to do the same thing,” Darnold told Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. “[Brady is] the ultimate competitor. He’s exactly where I want to be when I’m his age. To chase that, I can’t be giving him anything.”

The New York Jets haven’t won the AFC East since 2002, Darnold was five years old at that time. Heck forget the division, the green and white haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010. That’s the third-longest active drought in the NFL. The only two teams that have longer droughts than the Jets are the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Clearly the Jets need every competitive advantage they can get heading into 2019. If that means no more Happy Birthday messages or talking to your friends during game week, then so be it. New York will start its’ season at home vs the Buffalo Bills at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

>        https://thejetpress.com/2019/09/05/new-york-jets-competitiveness-sam-darnold-another-level/

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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

Coach Adam Gase expressed confidence Friday in untested K Kaare Vedvik, claiming, "He's going to be all right. After watching him kick the last couple of days, I'm good. I feel good about it." He made similar comments about Taylor Bertolet and ... well, you know. Historically, kickers have been important to Gase. From 2016-2018, he posted a 20-6 record in games decided by eight points or less — the best winning percentage in the NFL.

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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-- Selected four picks apart in the 2018 NFL draft, Josh Allen and Sam Darnold likely will be compared for the rest of their professional careers.

That's the norm for a pair of first-round quarterbacks who are driven by competition. That Allen's Buffalo Bills and Darnold's New York Jets are on similar trajectories makes it seem like the seeds of a budding rivalry have been planted.

Except they're not rivals. At least not by the public's definition.

Despite their different backgrounds and paths to the NFL, Darnold and Allen found commonalities and became friends in 2017 while staying in the same house during a summit hosted by quarterback coach Jordan Palmer. There, they adopted Palmer's definition of competition -- one that emphasizes pushing one another rather than being better than the other.

Allen and Darnold kept in contact only sporadically as rookies, but they attended the Masters golf tournament together in April. They say their friendship won't be changed even if they spend the next decade battling in the AFC East.The Bills and Jets open and close the season against each other, starting with Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET, CBS). Allen is looking to improve his consistency after rushing for eight touchdowns and passing for 10 TDs with 12 interceptions. Darnold passed for 2,865 yards and 17 TDs with 15 interceptions, but he finished strong and will be working with new coach and playcaller Adam Gase in Year 2.

The stakes are high -- the Bills and Jets are fighting to overtake the New England Patriots, and their future success will be determined by these young quarterbacks. Their proximity adds impact to any comparisons. What won't be affected by Allen's and Darnold's on-field results, they say, is their friendship.

QBs 'just kind of met'

Allen's draft stock soared after his first season as a starter at Wyoming in 2016. He tied a school record for touchdowns in a single season at the only school that offered him a scholarship (technically, Eastern Michigan offered, but withdrew it soon after). ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter reported after the 2017 draft that a personnel director told him Allen would be the top overall pick in 2018.But before Schefter's note thrust Allen into the national spotlight, he was a relatively unknown quarterback attending the Archie Griffin Award dinner in February 2017. That's where he first met the star of the evening, USC’s Darnold, who had won a Rose Bowl as a redshirt freshman and the Archie Griffin Award.

"They just invited the top college players to watch for the next season," Allen said. "Sam got, like, the biggest award possible and I was just [someone for them to say], 'Hey, watch this guy, too.'"

The future first-rounders "just kind of met," Darnold said, speaking briefly to each other before moving on. But the interaction he had with Darnold and his parents left an impression on Allen."Just talking with his parents, they were super down to earth, they were very interested in my story and where I came from," Allen said. “[Me and Sam] kind of jelled, we understood what position each was in. Obviously, he was a little bigger scale at USC."

A few months later, Palmer invited Allen, Darnold and then-Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham to a summit he hosts for youth football players. The trio stayed in the same house during the camp, where they worked as counselors and ultimately bonded over their upbringing.Allen and Darnold are California natives, albeit from dramatically different parts of the state. Darnold grew up in San Clemente, a coastal city in Orange County halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego that has produced more professional surfers than football players. Allen was raised in Firebaugh, an agricultural town in central California.

Their similarities began not with their hometowns but rather their homes.

Josh's father, Joel, operated a farm, and Sam's father, Michael, worked as a medical gas plumber. They set examples of hard work, which stuck with their sons."His dad was always working just like my dad was always working," Allen said. "We got to see those two types of role models in our lives, who worked extremely hard to put their family first."As Darnold put it, their friendship grew at the summit and they have remained good friends. Good enough to return to Palmer the following year to train during the NFL draft process. They rented a house with fellow NFL prospect and now-Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, right off the beach in San Clemente -- or, as Josh calls it, "Sam Clemente."The close quarters ensured the competition extended beyond the football field and into video games, where Kyle reigned supreme at Fortnite and Josh dominated anything sports-related.

"Sam's not really the king of anything, video game-wise," Josh said.

As the draft process continued, the narratives surrounding each player shifted. Pundits insisted Josh Allen, after a scrutinized final season at Wyoming, had fallen behind Darnold, who guided USC to a Pac-12 championship."When we got in the draft setting and every day on the news is, 'Sam Darnold's going to be the No. 1 pick and Josh Allen's a bust, here's why,'" Palmer said. "And it's just me, Sam and Josh sitting on the couch -- it's never awkward. It's not weird; it is what it is."Sam says, 'Man, that's bulls---,' and Josh says, 'I'm gonna prove them wrong,' and they both try and do that."

'A vacancy of jealousy'

Unlike in the NBA, where many players are close friends off the court, Palmer -- who played eight NFL seasons -- said he has rarely seen quarterbacks with the type of relationship Josh, Sam and Kyle have been able to develop.

"The NBA is an interesting perspective on it, because I think the reason you do see a lot of camaraderie off the court is because there's also a lot of settings where they play with each other," he said. "Then in the offseason, they work out in the same place. For a long time in the NFL, quarterbacks might've thrown a little bit in the offseason together, but it still can be adversarial.

"When I was playing, I would throw down in San Diego and you'd have my brother [Carson] and Drew Brees and Aaron [Rodgers] and a couple different guys -- but they weren't living together, you know?"As Josh Allen's and Darnold's futures were compared, it didn't affect the way they competed. Neither is willing to concede defeat -- whether on the field, PlayStation or the golf course -- but there are too few people in the world who can relate to their line of work to waste relationships with bitter rivalries.Palmer preaches that approach to competition: "I take the original approach to the word -- I'm going to compete with you. I don't have to be better at everything than you, but I'm going to use whatever you've got to get the best out of myself. If we both do that, then the sky is the limit and we'll both get what we want. But if I just beat you, then I'm not necessarily reaching my potential."

Said Josh: "When we were throwing, we wanted to compete and throw better than the other person. It was a friendly rivalry, for sure. When we got on the board, we wanted to explain things better, we wanted to know more [than the other person]. Every day, it was like we were pushing each other."

Though Darnold went to a Power 5 school, was drafted higher (No. 3 overall, four spots ahead of Allen) and landed in one of the world's most visible markets, Allen never let the draft process affect their friendship.Once they entered the NFL, Allen received the most praise from critics, changing games with his scrambling. He won five of his 11 starts, becoming the first NFL quarterback to rush for at least 95 yards in three consecutive games (Weeks 12–14) and setting a league record for most rushing yards by a QB in a three-game span (335) during that same stretch.If Allen's star continues to shine, Palmer believes Darnold will handle it the same way Allen handled the draft process."During the draft process ... I think Sam watching Josh not be bothered by that, not get jealous, not get moved by it at all, speaks volumes about Josh but also puts Sam in a position where he probably won't ever be jealous," Palmer said.

"There's just a vacancy of jealousy."

Darnold did secure some bragging rights of his own. After missing the first meeting against Buffalo with a foot injury, one of his four victories last season was against Allen and the Bills on Dec. 9.Allen shook hands with Darnold after the Jets' 27-23 win, but he couldn't get the game-sealing interception he threw out of his head. It didn't help that Darnold orchestrated a game-winning drive minutes before, highlighted by a picture-perfect 37-yard pass to put the Jets in the red zone.After the game, Allen and Darnold exchanged the customary pleasantries and darted out of the colder-than-usual Buffalo weather.Still, game recognizes game, and Darnold's throw deserved praise.

"That was a dime," Allen texted Darnold from the locker room.Shortly after, his phone buzzed with Darnold's reply: "New phone, who this?"Allen thought Darnold was jabbing him. He wasn't -- he'd really just gotten a new phone.

Still competitors

Two meetings each season should in theory provide plenty of opportunities for friendly jabs, but don't expect Allen and Darnold to talk much this week.

"No, can't do that," Darnold said, smiling. "Definitely after. Maybe after Week [17] when we play them last."

Though these young QBs put their friendship before their rivalry, the reality of playing in the same division is always there."It's fun to think about," Darnold said. "Even on draft night we talked about it a little bit -- jokingly. But now that it's actually here, it's very serious. We're both very competitive people."Palmer knows deep down the competitive juices are always flowing.

"Make no mistake about it," he said, "they both want to go 2-0 versus the other guy."

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were evaluated against one another throughout their careers. Nobody is comparing Allen or Darnold to either future Hall of Famer, but Allen hopes for the same treatment in time."I'd say most of the rivalries are media-produced," Allen said. "Tom and Peyton got along, but in the media's eyes it was, 'They can't stand each other, and every time they play each other it's a blood bath.' That just wasn't the case.

"For mine and Sam's sake, I hope that's how it is between us. I hope the media does that, because that means we're playing well and we're playing for a long time."

>      https://www.espn.com/blog/buffalo-bills/post/_/id/33411/bills-josh-allen-and-jets-sam-darnold-close-friends-division-rivals

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

QB Sam Darnold took the blame for the offensive struggles, saying, "I think we just couldn't really get into a rhythm and I put that on myself." He wasn't sharp. He was pressured nine times, sacked four times and didn't complete a ball longer than 19 yards. Half his completions went to Jamison Crowder (14 catches), all dink-and-dunk variety. But Adam Gase has to own this, too. He couldn't figure out Sean McDermott's defense and didn't adjust well. At times, it seemed like former OC Jeremy Bates was phoning in plays from the Rocky Mountains.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

Adam Gase's honeymoon is over. His Jets' coaching debut was an epic 17-16 loss to the Bills, with his team blowing a 16-point lead despite a plus-three turnover margin. The last time that happened in the NFL was 2013. Gase said they were "inept on offense," hinting he may have overloaded the players with information. He gave a blunt assessment of Sam Darnold: "There's room for improvement." He has to get it fixed quickly with the Browns (0-1) coming to town. The Jets can't afford an 0-2 start with their brutal schedule ahead.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini     ESPN Staff Writer 

In his first post-mortem as Jets coach, Adam Gase fired off critical comments about the offensive line, receivers (a thinly veiled shot at Robby Anderson), cornerbacks and the defense for how poorly it played in the aftermath of C.J. Mosley's injury. But the capper was this: Asked why RB Ty Montgomery played only five snaps, Gase refused to give an explanation and said defiantly: "That's the beauty part of being the head coach – I can basically do what I want." This sort of comment only reinforces his reputation as a control freak, which started in Miami. Maybe he was just grumpy after a brutal loss. It's something that bears watching because criticism can wear thin in the locker room.

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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It only took one press conference for Adam Gase to hammer home that things are going to be different now that he is in charge.

In his four years as Jets head coach, Todd Bowles was stoic and relatively quiet with the media. His comments to the media rarely came across as fiery — or emotional in any sense of the word. Even when he did display a bit of passion, it was brief and lacked conviction.

On Monday, Gase established that he is the polar opposite of the man he is succeeding.

Clearly frustrated with the way his team played in a disappointing 17-16 Week 1 loss to the Bills, Gase did not mince his words when discussing what went wrong against Buffalo. He did not hesitate to voice his displeasure with certain units and did not shy away from walking the fine line of holding his players accountable and throwing them under the bus.“We had a chance to win the game,” Gase said. “We need to come out of our double move. The guy falls down and we don’t come out running, so. If we do that, all of a sudden we’re scoring a touchdown. Guys need to do a better job executing what they’re supposed to be doing.”Gase didn’t name names, but those words were about Robby Anderson, who pulled up on a double move late in the fourth quarter and cost the Jets what could’ve been a touchdown. Anderson wasn’t the only player to catch heat from Gase, either. Instead of deflecting as Bowles would have, Gase didn’t hide how he felt about how his cornerbacks played.

“I feel like we have slight room for improvement,” Gase said. “I’ll say that nicely.”

Not only was Gase not pulling any punches when it came to his players, but he refused to be pressed on his own personnel decisions — specifically Ty Montgomery’s limited involvement in New York’s offense.

“That my decision,” Gase said of Montgomery taking only five snaps. “That’s the beautiful part about being the head coach. I can basically do what I want.”

Whether or not Gase handled himself appropriately in the teleconference is up for debate. Did he throw his players under the bus, vehemently defend his quarterback and deflect attention away from himself as he did numerous times in Miami? Or, did he simply go into the conference call with the intention of motivating underperforming players and lighting a fire under them? That is a conversation that could go on for days. What’s not up for debate is that things are now extremely different at One Jets Drive with Gase at the helm. Gone are the days of bland, meaningless, five-word answers. No matter how it comes across or who it offends, Gase is going to tell it like it is.For some, Gase’s brutal honesty is a breath of fresh air. For others, it’s the latest example that he didn’t learn a thing from his time as the Dolphins head coach. Regardless of opinion, one thing is for certain when it comes to New York’s first-year head coach.

He’s definitely not from the Bowles School of Stoicism.

>     https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/10/new-york-jets-adam-gase-brutal-honesty-stark-contrast-from-todd-bowles-era/

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Rich Cimini     ESPN Staff Writer 

Adam Gase loses one game and he fires the kicker and makes an unprecedented trade with the Patriots. Wow! This will send a strong message to the locker room. Gase was upset with his wide receivers after Sunday's game, so he traded for Demaryius Thomas. It's the first Jets-Patriots trade since Bill Belichick in 2000. Ticked off with his kicker, he replaced Kaare Vedvik with Sam Ficken.  Behold,  the wrath of Gase !

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rex Ryan blew smoke when his Jets struggled. Todd Bowles offered droning non-answers.

On Monday, it became clear Adam Gase is neither Ryan nor Bowles. And maybe that works out just fine for Gase and the Jets, in his debut season and beyond.But Gase’s willingness to publicly criticize players — even if he isn’t specifically naming them during media conference calls like Monday’s — could backfire if players tire of his approach.The Jets are still very early in Gase’s tenure — 0-1 after Sunday’s meltdown loss to the Bills. So it’s far too soon to know how Gase’s style will (or won’t) work.

Fans and reporters like his candor, his willingness to specify mistakes — though he spoke too little about his own shortcomings in that eventful Monday call. Yet players in today’s NFL aren’t used to a head coach publicly criticizing them. For better or worse, most coaches say nothing.How will Gase saying a lot more than nothing play in the Jets’ locker room? It depends, as most things in the NFL do, on results. The Jets’ next five opponents (Browns, Patriots, Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots) will tax them — and provide an early litmus test for Gase’s approach.

For his part, Gase isn’t worried about players chafing at his public criticism.

“I mean, anything that I ever say publicly, I’ve already said privately,” Gase said. “I didn’t think I was that bad. I thought I was nice.”

The Jets held their team film-study meeting before Gase’s Monday conference call with reporters, so he went into the call hot. He described his tone with players in that meeting as “not as nice as I was with you guys.” Which is normal. Coaches shred players in these day-after-game film meetings all the time. Ryan and Bowles did it, even if they masked feelings publicly.“I probably shouldn’t have had a conference call after our [team] meeting was over,” Gase said. “I was a little upset. We were frustrated. Everybody was. We watched the film. Mistakes were made. There were some things that I wish I would’ve done different. I voiced that part to those guys.”That’s the balance Gase needs to strike, as the Jets’ offensive play caller — publicly acknowledging his own mistakes as readily as he points out his players’ errors. Because players notice this stuff.

It’s no secret that some Dolphins players became frustrated with Gase — for various reasons — before Miami fired him. It doesn’t help that Gase won six and seven games in his final two seasons, and lost his final three games last year by 24, 10, and 25 points.“I never said anything about anybody in Miami,” Gase said of publicly ripping players. “I got criticized for that: I was too soft.”No one around here will say that about him after Monday.But all of this matters little to Gase, who needs to correct the Jets’ problems quickly, unless he wants to lose the season (and perhaps his locker room) in these next five games.

“We’ve got to hyper-drive all this stuff, as far as minimizing mistakes,” he said. "We don’t have a season to be like, ‘Hey, let’s just kind of go out there and flop around.’ We don’t have time for that. We’ve got to fix things fast.“Those guys did a good job of embracing that. After a loss, it’s not easy to handle any kind of criticism. When you have to fix things after a win, it’s a lot easier. You can say whatever you want and nobody cares.”But after a day like Sunday, when the Jets blew a 16-0 lead in the final 19 minutes, everything is magnified — something Gase does (and should) understand, 50 games into his NFL head coaching career.

“I didn’t think I did anything that bad,” he said of Monday’s comments.

No, just different. Because it’s not a question of good or bad, right or wrong — yet.

>    https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/09/why-adam-gases-coaching-style-could-backfire-before-his-debut-jets-season-is-even-half-complete.html

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Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Trevor Siemien (13-11 record as starter) is a competent short-term fix, but let's be real: Losing Sam Darnold indefinitely with mononucleosis is a major blow to the Jets. The plan is to lean on RB Le'Veon Bell, but now he's dealing with a concerning shoulder injury. It's not an overstatement to say the season could get away from them. Check out the upcoming schedule: Week 3 at New England, Week 4 bye, Week 5 at Philly, Week 6 Dallas and Week 7 New England. Tough start for Adam Gase.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

More on Sam Darnold and his mononucleosis: The Jets have no plans to place him on short-term IR, per Adam Gase, meaning they expect him back before eight weeks. The biggest concern with the disease is an enlarged spleen, which could rupture with direct contact. Said Gase: "He is not going to be put out there to where something like that could happen." Sounds like the Jets will look to sign a third QB next week. For now, Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk are QB1 and QB2, respectively.

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Adam Gase didn’t get along with some of his players in Miami, including now-Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

Landry told reporters that Gase, now the Jets head coach, told Dolphins players that they would be traded to Cleveland if they didn’t get in line. At the time, the Browns were the laughing stock of the league and no one wanted to play there. However, Gase responded to Landry’s comments by saying it was only a one-time thing that wasn’t to be taken seriously.

“That was in a team meeting and it was a joke at the time to one of the other players,” Gase said Friday.

Maybe so, but it’s easy to understand why Landry may not by that excuse. After all, Gase did, in fact, trade the wide receiver to Cleveland.While it wasn’t directed towards Landry in that specific instance, he did say that Gase didn’t joke about shipping players off to Cleveland in order to punish them for their behavior. Landry would know. It happened to him.

“Where am I?” Landry asked reporters. “But I’m happy to be here.”

Gase had had his fair share of problems with some of his players in Miami, including Landry. Gase wasn’t afraid to criticize them publicly if they weren’t doing their job and that hasn’t changed much since he arrived in New York. After the Jets’ Week 1 game, Gase called out numerous units for the way they played but shied away from specifying names.

What happened with Gase and Landry is in the past now and both seem happy to be where they are. Frankly, this wouldn’t be a discussion had the Jets and Browns not been scheduled to play this season. Things were said, feelings were hurt, but both should turn their attention to Monday night’s game.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/14/jarvis-landry-adam-gase-threatened-to-trade-dolphins-players-to-browns-jets/

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 -- A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. Ice breaker: This was one of the strangest weeks in 31 years of covering the team. The announcement of quarterback Sam Darnold's mononucleosis was an all-timer, but equally stunning was the historic trade with their ancient enemies to the northeast, the New England Patriots.

What's next, coach Adam Gase joining Le'Veon Bell in his next rap video?

Gase is new to the Jets-Patriots rivalry, so I asked him if he realized the two organizations had gone decades without making a trade. In fact, the previous player trade between them was July 12, 1991, according to prosportstransactions.com. That's when the Jets sent tackle Kip Beach to New England for future considerations. (P.S.: Beach never played a game in the NFL.)

Yes, Gase knew the general history before the deal went down.

"I said that to Joe [Douglas] when he told me he was going to call them," Gase told ESPN, referring to his general manager. "I said, 'The organizations haven't traded in a long time.' He goes, 'We should call. The worst thing they can do is say no.' I was like, 'Great.'"The Jets were desperate for a veteran wide receiver because of Quincy Enunwa's season-ending neck injury, so they put in a call to the Foxborough, Massachusetts, bunker. Less than 24 hours later, the deal was done: Demaryius Thomas to the Jets; a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Patriots.It truly is a new era at One Jets Drive. Previously, they never would have looked to the Patriots for help. Truth be told, the previous administration made it a point to never call the Patriots. In this case, Gase's ties to Thomas -- they were together with the Denver Broncos -- provided the opening.Belichick despises the Jets, but he has a cold heart for this stuff and will put emotion aside to make a sound business deal.

By dealing Thomas, he picked up a draft pick and cleared $2.8 million in salary for a player who became expendable with the addition of Antonio Brown."I didn't know if they were going to say no, but it seems like they're football first -- what's best for the team," said Gase, adding that he has "a lot of respect" for Belichick. "They had a lot of receivers and they were trying to figure out what to do with that roster spot."Give Gase and Douglas credit for thinking outside the box and ignoring the unwritten provisions of the Border War. When these teams do business, it's usually contentious -- i.e., the Bill Parcells (1997) and Belichick (2000) "trades," both of which included draft-pick compensation and a lot of acrimonious exchanges. Spygate (2007) drove another wedge between the franchises.The teams actually made three trades during their AFL days, before the 1970 merger, according to the Jets website. Thomas marked the first Jets-Patriots trade of the Belichick era (2000-present), and now Belichick can say he has made a trade with every team.

Strange days, indeed.

2. When will Darnold return? It's difficult to predict because of the nature of mono, but a realistic timeline could look something like this: three weeks at home, resting, followed by at least two weeks of practice, depending on weight loss and conditioning. That puts him at Week 7, Oct. 21, against the Patriots, which means you're looking at a minimum of four games on the sideline. The Week 4 bye helps.

In the meantime, it's Trevor Siemian's team, starting Monday against the Cleveland Browns (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Gase said they didn't know it was mono until Wednesday night, but people started to notice Darnold seemed under the weather as far back as last Saturday, the eve of the opener, I'm told.

3. QB curse: Gase can't catch a break when it comes to quarterbacks and their health. In Miami, he had his starter (Ryan Tannehill) for only 24 of 48 games. Siemian will be Gase's sixth different starter since 2016. The only coach who can top that is Hue Jackson (Browns), who had seven over the same span.The loss of a starting quarterback creates the ultimate test for a coach, whose job is to prevent doubt from creeping into the locker room. Gase did a nice job in the immediate aftermath of the Darnold news, rallying the team with a spirited, next-man-up speech.The outside expectations are low without Darnold, so this is a chance for Gase to galvanize the team and quiet his critics. It would be quite an accomplishment if he can figure out a way to keep the team afloat during the brutal stretch of upcoming games.

~ ~ 10. Sideline etiquette: One thing that struck me last week about Gase's sideline behavior: When the defense was on the field, he occasionally walked over to the bench to give instructions to the offense. I know some football purists who believe the coach never should turn his back to the game. Remember how Rex Ryan got eviscerated for missing a pick-six in a preseason game a few years back? On the flip side, there was Andy Reid last season in Kansas City, sitting alongside quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the bench.

The takeaway from Gase is that he really trusts defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

rest of avove article :

>       https://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/80906/jets-knock-down-28-year-old-wall-with-phone-call-to-patriots

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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

This was puzzling: Because of the Demaryius Thomas injury (how's that trade working out?), the Jets dressed only four WRs. Only three saw action; Josh Bellamy had zero snaps. Jamison Crowder played out of position (30 snaps outside, only 12 in the slot) to accommodate Braxton Berrios, a pure slot receiver. Adam Gase said, "Once we get Jamison back at his normal position, that will help. He's trying to do us a solid by playing outside." Why not use Bellamy so Crowder can stay in the slot? Why not call up an outside receiver from the practice squad? This was questionable roster management and deployment of personnel.

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

A positive sign for Sam Darnold: The Jets released backup QB David Fales, leaving only Darnold and Luke Falk on the roster. It's a strong indication they believe Darnold (mono) will be ready for Week 5 at Philly. Before the Fales move was announced, Adam Gase said "everything looks like it's trending in the right direction" for Darnold to play after the bye. He had tests today, and will have further tests next Monday. If they go well, he should be on the practice field a week from Wednesday. He reiterated his goal is to play in Philly. Darnold said the swelling in his spleen has subsided "a little bit," which means he can begin light cardio, but it "isn't where it needs to be."

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Adam Gase has already made a lot of questionable decisions this season, but his wide receiver gameplan against the Patriots was one of the strangest. 

With Demaryius Thomas out with a hamstring injury and Quincy Enunwa on injured reserve, Gase only played four wide receivers – Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy and Braxton Berrios. Of those four, only Anderson, Crowder and Berrios saw offensive snaps. To top it all off, slot receiver Jamison Crowder played 71 percent of his snaps on the outside, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. Crowder only played 12 of 42 offensive snaps out of his more comfortable position in the slot.The Jets are depleted on offense and lack any true playmakers outside of Le’Veon Bell. But by playing Crowder out of position, Gase weakened both his outside receiver spot and his slot receiver spot by putting in Berrios over Crowder. Berrios could never have played anywhere else but the slot, but Bellamy – who didn’t see any offensive snaps – easily could have filled that role.

At 5-foot-9, Crowder does not have the size or the strength to fight against bigger cornerbacks. He signed with the Jets to be a slot receiver, and he was the second-most targeted wide receiver out of the slot heading into Week 3. Gase explained his decision by claiming Crowder was “trying to do us a solid by playing outside” but the wideout struggled mightily with only two catches for 25 yards on five targets. The move backfired.No one played well for the Jets on offense in Week 3, but it’s even harder for the team to succeed when players are out of position. This could explain why the Jets signed the 6-foot-2 Vyncint Smith this week while Thomas continues to heal. Crowder is one of the only reliable offensive weapons the Jets have this season, and by putting him on the outside it turns a strength into a weakness.

Gase tried to get a little creative with his wide receivers and it came back to bite him. For an offense predicated on the use of the slot, taking your best player and pulling him away from his natural position made the Jets’ chances even worse against a great Patriots team.The Jets will have to make do with what they have on offense this season, and that means keeping players that are good at something where they belong, like Crowder. Luckily, the bye week will give players like Thomas time to heal and Smith to get adjusted. Even better, tight end Chris Herndon will return from suspension and there’s a chance Sam Darnold will be ready to come back as well.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/24/jets-adam-gase-jamison-crowder-out-of-position-vs-patriots/

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It’s nearly impossible to win without a competent quarterback under center.

No disrespect to Luke Falk, but he is a third-stringer for a reason. He played the part of a backup’s backup against the Patriots, completing only 54.5 percent of his passes and throwing for under 100 yards. Factors such as poor offensive line play and New England effectively taking away Le’Veon Bell made it harder for Falk to succeed. However, his struggles in Week 3 further exemplified the need for a quarterback who can get the job done.When he’s on the field, Sam Darnold is that guy for the Jets. He’s still young and has a lot to improve upon, but Darnold showed as a rookie that he can lead New York effectively. With this in mind, Jets fans are clamoring for Darnold’s return from mononucleosis, praying the season will get back on track with the USC product orchestrating the offense.

Don’t count on that, though.

Unless Darnold learned how to pass block, pass rush, pass catch and play cornerback while dealing with mono, the Jets will still be in a bad spot once he returns to the field (the Jets hope that will be in Week 5). Yes, New York’s offense will look a lot better with the second-year pro under center, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Jets have holes on their roster that Darnold simply cannot fix.If Darnold doesn’t get protection up front, he’ll find it hard to make plays himself. If the Jets’ defensive line can’t get to the quarterback, it’s inevitable that the secondary will get shredded. If New York’s cornerbacks can’t stop anyone, as was the case against the Patriots, Darnold is going to have to put up 35 points or more per game if he wants to lead the Jets to victory.

This isn’t the Big 12. That’s an unrealistic expectation out of any NFL quarterback, especially one who is a sophomore returning after weeks on the sideline.

Being viewed as a savior comes along with the territory of being a top-five draft pick — especially when you’re a quarterback, and especially in The Big Apple. From the day he was drafted, Jets fans have looked at Darnold as the guy who can turn the franchise around and lead New York back to the promised land.There’s no reason Jets fans should lose any hope in Darnold’s ability to do just that. However, don’t expect everything to turn to gold for New York once Darnold gets healthy and suits up. There are simply too many other deficiencies on the roster for Darnold to come back and lead a long winning streak that turns the season around.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/26/sam-darnold-is-not-going-to-solve-all-the-jets-problems/

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