AFC East Notes: Gase, Patriots, Moss, Bills, Slater, Jets, Darnold

Adam Gase became a polarizing figure during his stint as the Jets’ head coach, to put it kindly. His tenure was nothing short of a disaster as New York finished 2-14 this year, and media and fans alike are united in their dislike of him. That being said that might not be enough to damage Gase’s rep in league circles, and it sounds like he could have some opportunities in front of him. Even before Bill Belichick recently sung his praises ahead of Week 17, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that he had already heard Gase’s name connected with the Patriots.

Volin thinks Gase would make sense as the Patriots’ new quarterbacks coach with Jedd Fisch taking the head coaching job at Arizona, or potentially the new OC if Josh McDaniels left. As he points out, there are legit ties here. Both Gase and McDaniels got their first coaching jobs as student assistants on Nick Saban’s staff at Michigan State in 1999. Then Gase was McDaniels’ receivers coach when McDaniels became head coach of the Broncos. With Gase being the Dolphins’ coach before landing the Jets job, he’s spent the past handful of years going up against Belichick twice a year in the AFC East. This hire would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows if it happens.

Here’s more from around the division:

  • The Bills escaped a tough test from the Colts on Saturday, but it looks like they’ll be without a key piece moving forward. Running back Zack Moss will miss time with an ankle injury, and the fear is his postseason may be done, Mike Garafolo tweets. Moss had to be carted off the field, so the fact he’s not 100 percent done for the playoffs could actually be a positive. The third-round rookie from Utah split time in the backfield with Devin Singletary all season, and had seven carries and four catches agains Indy before going down. Singletary will now be the featured back moving forward. Moss finished his rookie season with 112 carries for 481 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. It’s certainly not ideal, but Buffalo’s Super Bowl chances will still hinge on Josh Allen‘s arm and not the ground game.
  • Special teams ace Matthew Slater has had a storied career with the Patriots, but it could be coming to an end. Slater is uncertain about playing in 2021 and will take some time before deciding about retirement, per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com. “I’m at a point in my career now where I don’t know how much football I have left and I think as a young guy I was always thinking about the next season, the career you hope to have,” Slater said. “Now, obviously, I’m on the back nine.” If this is it, he’ll hang up his cleats after an extremely decorated career. Slater has won three Super Bowls with New England, made nine Pro Bowls, and seven All-Pro teams. It would also represent the end of an era, as the team captain is one of the few guys left other than Belichick from the old-guard Patriots.
  • As for the Jets, they’ll have the most pivotal offseason of any team in the division. First order of business is deciding what to do with Sam Darnold, and in turn the second overall pick, as we’ve already heard they’ll be trading one of them. There will surely be a lot of speculation leading up to the draft, and ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is saying he thinks New York will pass on taking a new quarterback, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “I know [Jets GM] Joe Douglas. I obviously played with him in college. We have a good relationship,” McShay said. “I know he grew up in the Ozzie Newsome organization with the Ravens. If it’s not going to be Trevor Lawrence, it’s going to be move down, if possible. If not, let’s protect [Darnold] and get guys around the player we think can be our franchise.” As for Douglas, he was complimentary of Darnold at his end of year press conference, but wouldn’t commit to him long-term. This is just one of what will be many datapoints, but right now it seems like Darnold has a good shot to be under center in 2021.
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15 comments on “AFC East Notes: Gase, Patriots, Moss, Bills, Slater, Jets, Darnold

  1. driftcat28

    Id welcome Gase on the New England coaching staff. He’s better than it looking with the jets. The jets are just so bad it doesn’t matter who the coach is

    • Boston2AZ

      Gase ran one of the worst offenses in football the past couple of years. He’d be a hard pass for me.

      • rusty.coqbern

        He had to run a team with Jets ownership/front office in his craw.. No one runs a Jets team without that constant interference – you basically neuter the HC.

        Belichick, on the other hand, knew to get as much control over everything as he could (that’s why he’s GM and HC basically).

        You really think BB brings in a dud of a coach? Absolutely not, that’s not how he thinks and that should be abundantly apparent by now. Gace may not be HC material anyway (as we’ve witnesses) but players who are coached by him (when he’s not the HC) have had glowing statements about working with him. If that’s true then why not give him a chance to help develop a QB (when it’s his only role, not running the whole damn team).

        You’all need to really look at the history here and see for yourself instead of looking at his HC record for a team that swaps HC’s every other year and doesn’t know how to build team stability (same for the Fins when he was there).

        And BTW: Gace had an OC to pin his team so low in all offensive categories, on top of the bad signings/front office interferences etc. so stop with that BS.

        • rusty.coqbern

          BTW – His tenure with Denver speaks volumes.. QB coach and OC.. Can’t be that bad to bring a team from sub .500 to 12 and 13 win seasons as OC (and a Super Bowl, which they lost). So knock off the BS

  2. padam

    May not be a bad idea for the Steelers to look at Darnold if he truly is available.

  3. JoeBrady

    media and fans alike are united in their dislike of him.
    —————————————————————
    This is what’s wrong wit the world. The purpose of the media is to report, not to develop likes and dislikes.

    • jopeness

      media also comprises of OP-ed, radio hosts, team “reporters” etc.. in this case. media is not just news reporters or investigative journalists anymore.
      however completely agree in the sense of the latter presenting facts and letting the audience develop an opinion.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I guess we should refrain from giving Joe up votes since it will only annoy him.

      • JoeBrady

        Joe would ignore it anyway. I don’t know enough about FB to deserve any upvotes, and know too much about baseball to even acknowledge downvotes.

        But my opinion about writers is more generic. I’m not a purist, but most writers know a lot less about baseball than I do. To hear them pontificate about players, trades, signings, etc.,it feels like they all want to be GMs, instead of reporters.

        • crosseyedlemon

          I think it’s harder to be a sports reporter now than in decades past because much of the news is boring financial dealings with coaches and players rarely deviating from the company script in interviews. Back when there was only radio a sports reporter could captivate an audience with an exciting game narrative and coaches and players shared interesting anecdotes that you would never hear today.

  4. case7187

    Well Bill has plenty of former coordinators he can pick cause like always they all sucked as head coaches

  5. hoosierhysteria

    Jets: watch the game tonight. Take the Alabama receiver…Darnold needs a receiver….you don’t need a new QB.

    • phenomenalajs

      I agree they need another receiver, but, unless they trade down from #2 pick, I think they should use #23 on a receiver while using #2 on Sewell. Having monsters bookending the offensive line will make Darnold’s job a lot easier.

  6. Ak185

    “Polarizing” would imply that there were some who liked Gase, right? Otherwise the correct term would just be “hated”.

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