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General Manager Joe Douglas & Head Coach Adam Gase, 9.7


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Opening Statement…
Adam Gase: Just to start it off, obviously it’s good to be to this point of the year where once we hit Wednesday we’ll be in our in-season mode. Obviously, it’s been a different offseason, it’s been a different training camp, not playing preseason games, rolling right into the season. I think our guys have done a good job of handling, really, this entire process very well. This is not the time for us to change how we’re doing things as far as you know guys just taking the precautions needed, following the protocols. I think guys understand that and we’re looking to stay focused as we head into the season, the deeper we get. We did vote for captains today, I’ll announce that on Wednesday after the players are informed of how our captain vote went, and then I’ll let you guys know before we head out to practice on Wednesday.

Joe Douglas: Just to piggyback on what Coach Gase was saying, I just want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone in this entire organization, and everyone’s done a great job managing through the COVID protocols, the procedures, the rules. Over the last month and a half all we’ve asked for is all everyone could give, and they’ve given everything that they could and that goes for players, coaches and staff. To this point, we feel good about where we are. Over the weekend, there was a lot of difficult decisions for the cut down, so I want to take this time to thank all the players for their hard work and sacrifice, whether they made the team or they didn’t make the team. But the guys on this roster, they’re Jets, and they’re going to represent this organization and this fan base well. They have the character, they have the confidence, they have the commitment that we’re looking for when we talk about what we want in New York Jet. We’re all excited to be in the regular season now. I think a couple months ago, people thought we wouldn’t be where we are right now, so we’re excited and we have a great opportunity, a great challenge of opening up on the road against a 2019 playoff team and a divisional opponent.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Hey Joe, obviously it was a little bit whirlwind for you last year, and this is a constantly changing environment, but for yourself, are you starting to now see a construction of a roster that you envisioned, and how far along are you in that process right now? Just a ballpark figure, I know it’s an evolving situation. 
JD: I think when I first got here and I got up in front of you guys in the opening press conference I had a clear vision, we had a clear vision, and Adam and I shared that vision of what we wanted this team to look like. I feel like we’ve been on the same page in getting the right type of people in this building, in this locker room, and I think you’re starting to see that come to fruition this camp.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Are we still in the early process right now? 
JD: The process is going to be ongoing. We’re never going to be satisfied with where we are, but I think the communication between me and Adam has been great, and like we’ve always talked about, we share a vision on what we want this team to look like.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Joe, do you have any roster moves? I mean there’s been some tinkering the last 24 hours with guys on IR and re-signing guys. Can you update us on that?
JD: Yeah, there’s some roster mechanics and a couple more roster gymnastics I would say. We brought up someone today, those will be announced later today. I still need to communicate some of those things with the players, but those will be announced later today.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Can you talk about the waiver wire process and how it was different this year than last year and what kind of went into – I don’t know if you guys put in claims or just weren’t awarded players or if you decided to kind of stay out of the waiver process this year?
JD: Obviously different this year with no preseason games, and I think we saw that across the league with the amount of claims being more than half fewer than in years past. So, I think a lot of that had to do with the times we’re in, a lot of that had to do with the lack of preseason games. So, I think you really were forced to have 2018-2019 tape and then college reports to go over your decisions. I think our pro staff did a great job of kind of pinpointing the right people. It just worked out that we didn’t have any claims this year, but I’ll tip my cap to the pro guys because just about everybody that they brought up was on that claim list, so our guys did a great job.

Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: I have a question for both of you. Do you guys think that Sam Darnold has enough weapons around to be successful, and how do you feel about the job that you did assembling in the supporting cast for Sam this year?
JD: I think the weapons around Sam, I think we’re excited about a lot of guys and this group, it’s going to evolve through the year. Obviously with Denzel (Mims) missing time on the grass, Breshad (Perriman) missing time on the grass, but we’re excited about this group, we’re excited about the playmakers we have.

AG: I think the injuries in training camp, it was hard to get a good picture of what I think we’re going to end up being as the season evolves, the improvement we’re going to make, the chemistry we’ll develop as the year goes on. I do think getting Chris Herndon back is one of the guys that nobody really talks about, which obviously him and Sam have phenomenal chemistry together. With Lev (Le’Veon Bell) and Frank (Gore) back there and now (La’Mical) Perine coming around and really starting to make impact plays, and then now you throw the wideouts in and just trying to get that group really synced together and (Jamison) Crowder obviously leading the charge, and what we have envisioned in our minds, we just haven’t been able to really get to do it on the field because we haven’t been healthy yet. I think the fact that we’re trending in the right direction as far as health-wise headed into this week of practices is really exciting for us.

Brian Costello, New York Post: How will you define a successful 2020 season? What do you want to see for it to be considered that?
JD: I think we’re going to be where our feet are, and right now we have a great challenge in going up and facing a division opponent, an opponent that was in the playoffs last year. So, I know that there’s a lot of hungry guys that want to go out there and just prove a lot of people wrong, frankly. I’m excited for this week of practice, I’m excited for the season and I’m excited about these group of guys we have going up to Buffalo this weekend.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Joe, after going 7-9 last year, what’s your expectation this year? What’s the natural progression for this team?
JD: Look, I mean everyone’s goal is the same at the end of the year right. I know you are trying to get the splashy response. I mean everyone’s goal is to be holding up the trophy at the end of the year. To do that you need to go through a progression. You need to get in the dance, you need to win the division, you need to win the conference, need to win the whole thing in the Super Bowl. So again, we’re trying to take it day-by-day, week-by-week not to sound too cliché.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Could you take us through the decision-making process at quarterback beyond Sam this weekend with what you had to do with (Joe) Flacco and then Mike White and James Morgan and David Fales?
JD: Obviously you guys know my feelings about the quarterback position, and it’s the most important position in professional sports, so you know we had five on the roster in camp, we have five on the roster right now through active roster and practice squad. We’re excited about all five of those guys, and all five of those guys are going to help us. So, we activated Joe off of PUP Saturday, and we’re going to take it day-by-day and see where he’s at today, tomorrow and then Wednesday when we get on the field. We are always going to put a premium on the quarterback position.

Kim Jones, NFL Network: I’m curious Adam, when you say trending in the right direction injury-wise, does that mean Denzel and Breshad might be back on the practice field this week? And Joe if I could follow with you about Denzel, has it crushed your football soul that this guy that you guys were so excited about didn’t run a route during camp?
AG: As far as Denzel goes, getting him out there those last couple days in individual, getting to do some routes versus air, obviously he continued doing the rehab, his process of rehab on the days that we weren’t practicing. He’s feeling better and better. Each day he was able to keep working through his route progression and getting his strength back and his stamina back. I mean he’s working hard to get himself in the right position heading into this week. So, we’ll see how this week of practice is going, I’m feeling a lot better about where we are now than where we were two weeks ago. And Breshad, to get him out there, just watching him run right now it seems like he’s feeling a lot better. Just excited to get these guys in practice.

JD: That’s pretty aggressive – “crush your football soul,” I love it. I might use that in one of my reports next spring. But no, Denzel is going to be back, so I’m excited. Obviously you’d love to see him run routes and one-on-ones, beating guys, beating corners, going up and getting the ball and you’d like to see that early, but look there’s been a lot of teams dealing with soft tissue injuries through the acclimation period and throughout the training camp. So unfortunately, Denzel didn’t get to really do a lot of live action in training camp, but everyone in this organization is still very much excited about getting him on the field and having him help us this year.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Joe, obviously you can’t do everything at once, but in these last number of months since last year, what are you most happy about what you’ve addressed and helped from ’19 to ’20?
JD: I’m not going to be happy until we win the Super Bowl, but I will say that I’ve been impressed with the professionalism and the maturity and the mentality that our offensive line has shown through training camp. And I think when you brought in guys like GVR -Greg Van Roten and (Connor) McGovern, Adam with Alex Lewis, George Fant, I mean from day one those guys have been mature, professional, hungry, motivated and they’ve tried to build a chemistry and help their teammates, and even Mekhi (Becton), him coming in and showing a professionalism and maturity that you don’t see in rookies. It’s been pretty cool to see the last few weeks.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Obviously so much was made of that was kind of your number one thing that obviously being a former lineman yourself and whatnot and the things you told Sam – it sounds like you really like what you’ve brought in that aspect there, and you’ve kind of checked the box there for lack of a better term, in terms of what your goals were in the offseason. Is that a fair assessment? 
JD: I mean look, there’s been some good things in training camp, we need to build off that. I’m not ready to say that we’ve checked any boxes. We’re always going to try to upgrade this team, make this team better when the opportunity presents itself. Again, I know these guys are excited to get out on the field and show what they’ve got.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam, are you going to use one of your quarterbacks in a remote fashion the way the Eagles are using (Josh) McCown?
AG: We’re going to get through this week. This has been something that we’ve discussed a lot. This week, we won’t. We’re going to kind of do it a little different, but moving forward this is something that we’ve had this discussion for a long time, since kind of really the spring. So, we’re going to keep discussing what we think the best move for us to do. I know you want to know this bad, so we’ll let you know right away as soon we decide what we want to do here going forward.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: It seems to make sense, you’ve got five (quarterbacks). 
AG: Yeah, I mean Joe’s an O-line guy and he stacked the O-line up, I’m a quarterback guy, I like having a lot of quarterbacks.

Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Adam, do you think it’s realistic to expect this team to be a playoff team this year?
AG: Yeah, I think really for us – Joe just hit it on the head – we’ve got a lot of time between now and the end of the season. We’re focused on this week, we’re focused on being where our feet are, we know what our goals are, we’re always going to be looking to play in January, but where we’re at right now, we’re in Week One. We’ve got a lot of improvement.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Can you, with regard to Joe, you talked about the vision that he has with players and it seems like you’re very much in concert with him there. How would you describe the kind of roster construction and whatnot, an identity you want for this team as you’ve been building it now?
AG: I’m really excited about this locker room. I love the way this group operates as a unit. The entire team, the way that these guys, just being around these guys throughout this process starting in the spring, the fact that we were virtual and once we started practices, seeing these guys interact with each other, the conversations that these guys openly have, the way this locker room does things as a group, I’ve been really impressed with how these guys operate day in and day out. I can’t think of a better group of guys that I’ve been around to where these guys come in, they go to work every day, whatever is asked of them they put their head down, they go to work. I’m really excited. When you come to work here, you’re fired up to be around these guys day in and day out.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Just as a quick follow up, what about your impression of Joe himself, who obviously, when you guys first got together his hands got tied because things were already constructed in front of you. This offseason and the way you guys have been working together, can you just speak to kind of the way of what he has done?
AG: Yeah, I mean the communications outstanding, obviously we’ve known each other for a little bit, our dialogue is smooth and there’s so much great back and forth. I enjoy our entire personnel staff, our coaching staff, everybody works really well together. It’s just the conversations, even the uncomfortable conversations aren’t hard to have. I mean we’re, we’re not afraid to have those conversations and we just, we all have the same goal in mind, we all know what we’re working to try to get to and that’s really the main focus of everything, is how do we put ourselves in the best position possible to give ourselves an opportunity to play in that last game and we’re just going to keep working to do that.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Joe, I remember this offseason when you were talking about kind of rebuilding the offensive line, you spoke, I believe it was back at the combine and a couple times about not necessarily finding the five best players but finding the five right players. It seems like you’ve kind of been able to do that because these guys have been able to find quick chemistry and they genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company, so can you just talk about that process and how you were able to piece, like you would kind of describe as the right five players up front?
JD: Yeah I think the process starts back to the information we had on these guys and the communication that our scouts were able to get on these guys going back to their college days and kind of the profile we were able to build up on each guy’s individual character and whether or not that matched up with what we were looking for and when we’re talking about the intangibles each player has. And, you know, I don’t know if there’s an exact science, it’s funny because we talked about chemistry, and I don’t know if there’s an exact science to team chemistry, it sounds like an oxymoron, but I think if you get as many good people together as possible, usually good things happen. And so I think the common bond with this group is that these guys care, these guys want to win, you know, and so you feel like everyone’s pulling in the same direction, which is a big thing. And a lot of it goes to the mentality of players, a lot of it goes to the mentality of the O-line coach, Coach (Frank) Pollack and the vision that Adam and Dowell (Loggains) have for the offense. So, look, there’s a lot of plays to be had in the season, and no one’s saying that this is The Hogs, or anything crazy, but this is a group that you see getting better every day.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Joe, you’re among the league leaders in cap space, so I think a lot of fans might be wondering why not spend it to make this year’s team better? Your thoughts on that. 
JD: Yeah, you know, our mindset is, if there’s the right player and the right opportunity. Look, one thing I would say is that I’m not bound to any restrictions when it comes to ownership. There’s been reports out there, I have the full autonomy when it comes to the roster decisions. I work with Dave Socie and Football Administration on salary caps, but basically, we have a vision, we have a game plan of what we’re trying to accomplish. We want to have the flexibility so when the right player presents itself, the right opportunity, we are going to be aggressive. I’m sure it may seem like we’re not doing that right now, but we do have a vision.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Joe, can you maybe be a little more, I mean obviously without competitive disadvantage, but a little bit more specific about what that vision is?
JD: Yeah, you know, in terms of cap space, and I’m not going to get into all the specifics, but basically we see it as a dollar you spend today could be a dollar you don’t have for next year’s cap and so we’re sitting here and we have a lot of uncertainty in terms of next year’s numbers. We know what the floor is ($175 million), but also we know that could change. We don’t know when we’ll have the answers to that so you know we have to have a game plan on how we’re going to handle both this year and next year and the years moving forward so, I don’t know if that answered your question.

Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Why didn’t you sign Logan Ryan in May?
JD: We had discussions with Logan Ryan’s representatives. We just, we could never find the common ground to get that deal done.

Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Did the story in the Daily News that people in the organization believed you guys were going to sign Logan Ryan impact your decision to stop pursuing him?
JD: No, we had discussions with his representatives after that report came out.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Joe, you said a little while ago, you think the guys on this team want to prove people wrong. So, you’re aware there are skeptics out there about this roster? You know, looking at it just from outside in, your MVP from last year is now in Seattle, C.J. (Mosley) ops out, there’s not a lot of guys who have lengthy resumes on this roster outside of Le’Veon (Bell) and Frank Gore. What would you say to those skeptics who kind of don’t see it right now, don’t see how this team can be a playoff team?
JD: I mean, look, our guys don’t live in a bubble, we see the things that are said, we see the things that are written, you know it angers a lot of people. I understand the question, obviously it was stated that there were good players that were on this team last year that aren’t playing this year, but you know, just going through this camp, I can tell you that there’s some guys on this team that may not be household names, but they’re good football players. Their mission is to go out and become a household name and I’m excited and I said excited too many times, Jared (Winley) is going to yell at me (joking), but I’m excited to see these guys go through camp and how hard they’ve competed and they’ve got a lot to prove and they’re excited to do it.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: What are your expectations for Sam, and specifically what areas would you like to see him improve?
JD: Yeah, I think one of the things that he improved on last year and I touched on it in previous conversations with you guys, is his decision making. He got to a point in the back half of last year he wasn’t making the same mistakes twice and that’s just a natural growth process for a young quarterback. He’s been in the league for three years and he’s 23 years old, so he’s going through growth much sooner than most quarterbacks his age have gone through in the National Football League. So just watching him, his ability to digest Adam’s playbook and just operate at a quicker pace. You know, there’s just that half second, quicker decision, quicker release, you see that in training camp and that fires you up. And so, you know just seeing him grow, just watching him grow within the offense and then also watch him grow and mature as a person and a leader and not being afraid to have tough conversations and that’s just part of a 23-year-old quarterback becoming a franchise quarterback and maturing into that role and taking on more and more responsibility.

Andy Vasquez, The Record: Joe, what went into the decision to cut Jonathan Harrison, that was a surprise to a lot of us?
JD: That’s a good question and that was an excruciating conversation. That was a very tough conversation for me to have because I have a ton of respect for Jonotthan, I have a ton of respect on he handled last year, I said it to you guys in the conversation last year, I have a ton of respect for him now. I was very clear on why we made the decision to him in my communication with him. I told him how much I respected him and I’m not going to go into specifics of what was said, but ultimately, you know, we felt it was it was the right decision for the team moving forward and we certainly didn’t close the door to him coming back at some point.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Joe, what do you think of the job Adam’s done kind of handling his offseason and training camp and sort of the unusual circumstances of this year?
JD: Yeah Adam’s done as well as anybody in terms of rolling with the punches and adjusting on the fly and you know we’ve all had to do that to a degree, but you know when he’s operating coaching staff, 80-man roster, the communication has been on point, communication has been direct and the leadership has been strong and so I’ve been really impressed.

Andy Vasquez, The Record: Joe, with the COVID protocols, how did that affect your thinking on the waiver wire in terms of you know guys may not have been able to get in here until later in the week and moving forward, how does that kind of impact your decision making?
JD: Yeah, you know, we’ve had to adjust on the fly, there’s been several protocol changes in terms of testing and so there was also a recent change to that this weekend. The bottom line, so we made four claims last year and three of those guys are still on our team. So the bottom line is if there was someone on the roster, not to say that we weren’t interested in anybody, but, you know, we were at the position this year we felt that there are challenges to get guys in, we feel good about the depth and the roster we have, the competitive nature of the guys we have and we felt that on the waiver wire, it had to be a special player to really pursue hard and so we just didn’t have a claim this year.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Joe, sort of rolling that forward then with the COVID stuff, how will this affect you signing street free agents during the season? You know typically you’d have a bunch of guys in for tryouts Tuesday maybe sign one, how is that going to change this year?
JD: Yeah, I think you saw that in training camp and I think our guys have done a really good job of acclimating to that. You have to get these guys in sooner, they have to go through several tests and then they can get in the building and do a physical, do a workout. It’s just, we’re going to have to be a couple steps ahead, it’s not a last minute thing, and not to say it was ever a last minute thing but if you’re calling a player on Friday to have him come in Sunday night for a Monday physical, obviously that time frame changes, you’re going to have to start those conversations and that travel a lot earlier. And so, we’re staying on top of it, our framework of our meetings and how we operate and our decision to bring those players in hasn’t changed. It’s just, we’re going to be starting a little bit earlier.

Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: I was wondering why you guys didn’t pay Jonotthan Harrison his playtime bonus last year when came he up short because he only came up short because Ryan Kalil took over his spot? 
JD: I never had been around a team or company that has had a track record of paying someone for an incentive they did not reach. But obviously, like I said I have a ton of respect for Jonotthan. Players have a lot of incentives in their contract differences, playtime, performance, interceptions, Pro Bowls, and if they don’t hit them, they aren’t paid. So, really it wasn’t a slight on the player, obviously respect him, it just was an incentive that he didn’t hit.

Andy Vasquez, The Record: Hey Joe I have one more, just from a pro scouting standpoint, what are the challenges with getting ready for a team, I know Buffalo’s in your division, but with no preseason games and all that, Buffalo, San Francisco going forward, what are some of the challenges and adjustments your staff made with going through this whole unusual offseason?
JD: We’ve had to adjust. Every team, we’ve asked different teams how they’re handling certain aspects of how they advanced teams, but you know we’ve had several discussions on how we’re handling advancing moving forward. We feel good about the process that we have and with technology the way that it is, you’re able to get video and information, obviously very quick. And so, we had our advance for Buffalo earlier and the feedback from our coaching staff was excellent. So, I feel good about the process that we have in place in terms of advances for games.

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"So, I know that there’s a lot of hungry guys that want to go out there and just prove a lot of people wrong, frankly."

- Adam Gase

"I mean, look, our guys don’t live in a bubble, we see the things that are said, we see the things that are written, you know it angers a lot of people."

- Joe Douglas

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