Jets CEO Christopher Johnson broke his 182-day silence by confirming a Daily News report that he has no plans to fire Adam Gase.
The team's acting owner, who took shelter amid the team's nightmarish first two months, made it clear that Gase will be back in 2020 despite growing unrest from a frustrated fan base at the team's poor play and lack of competitiveness during their 2-7 start.
"I understand it," Johnson said of fans' frustrations in a brief session with reporters at practice Wednesday. "I'm frustrated too. I hate to lose."
The Jets have never lost more under Woody Johnson's ownership than they have with Christopher temporarily in charge. Gang Green's 11-30 record under Christopher Johnson's stewardship is the worst 41-game stretch since his brother bought the team in 2000.
"It's said that you are what your record says you are, and that's not very impressive," Johnson said. "But looking forward, I think it's going to be a good team. I have so much faith in Adam and Joe to put together a great future for us."
Johnson expressed a nearly identical sentiment about Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan not long ago before changing course.
The News reported last week that ownership had no plans to cut the cord with Gase despite his terrible first half of the season. The News previously reported that Christopher Johnson believed that criticism directed at his decision to hire Gase was unwarranted.
"I want to assure you there will be no changes in coaches here," Johnson said. "Adam has the trust of this team. He has the trust of Sam (Darnold). He has Joe's trust. He has my trust. He's a good man. He's good coach."
About half of that sentiment is actually true. But the bottom line is Gase will return in 2020.
Johnson, who has a sizeable investment in Gase, called the HC of the NYJ an "innovator" who was "coaching football to where it's going" in January. Gase's offense ranks at or near the bottom of every meaningful statistical category through nine games.
"It's the trust that I see," Johnson said of his belief in Gase. "Seeing him work with Sam... gives me a lot of confidence. Seeing him work with Joe... It's a whole new dynamic in this building. It's a really positive dynamic. They have the same vision for this team going forward. There are a number of reasons, but those are two really big ones I felt confident about Adam as our coach going forward."
There's a fair case to keep or whack Gase after one season. On one hand, constant coaching turnover would turn Gang Green into a radioactive outfit. On the other, it's better to cut the cord on the wrong coach rather than waste valuable time before ultimately moving on.
You have free articles remaining.
There's also this: The Jets were concerned that they might be setting up Darnold for ruin if they made him learn a third offense in three years, according to sources. In a vacuum, it makes sense for Darnold to try to grow in the same system.
Then again, if that system - and that coach - are not good enough, there's a potentially bigger problem.
"It's absolutely important, but that's not why I'm keeping Adam," Johnson said about continuity for Darnold. "That's certainly a component. Changing systems year after year is a disaster for a young quarterback, especially."
Regardless, Johnson finally took accountability after hiding for months. He read a prepared statement when Douglas was introduced as Mike Maccagnan's successor in June, but had not answered any questions about his decisions since May 15 after terminating Maccagnan.
It's fair to wonder if Johnson would have spoken Wednesday if the Jets hadn't beaten the Giants this past weekend. He remained silent as his team imploded.
It was the epitome of poor leadership.
The public pressure had intensified in recent weeks. A plane flying over the Hudson River last Friday had a banner that read: FIRE ADAM GASE NOW! There were also rumblings that billboards calling for Gase's ouster would pop up around MetLife Stadium.
Johnson's approval rating was circling the drain too. Make no mistake: Johnson was feeling the heat as much as Gase, so he gave his guy a public vote of confidence.
Johnson has waxed poetic about employees before only to change direction. But he's hitched his wagon to Gase, for better or worse.
Johnson's reputation and legacy will forever be linked to Gase.
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com