Adam Gase

Staff Notes: Dennison, Cards, Falcons, Titans

After two players filed grievances against the Jets in recent months, the franchise has an issue with former offensive line coach Rick Dennison. Now on the Vikings’ staff, Dennison spent the 2018 season as the Jets’ O-line coach and run-game coordinator. A dispute about Dennison’s contract has emerged, with the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta reporting in an expansive piece the Jets and their former assistant have been at odds for a year about his deal. Dennison wanted to stay on as Jets O-line coach, but then-new Jets HC Adam Gase replaced all of Todd Bowles‘ 2018 offensive staff.

The parties are at odds over a roughly $1MM payment. Previous Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, after informing Dennison he would not be on Gase’s 2019 staff, gave Dennison permission to pursue other jobs. The Jets then signed off on the ex-NFL OC receiving the money but subsequently changed their tune, Mehta adds. Gase told some he discussed with Dennison a move to the scouting staff, but Mehta notes no such discussion occurred. Unless the Jets and Dennison reach a settlement, a hearing at the league office is expected to take place this month.

The Jets saw both Luke Falk and Kelechi Osemele file grievances against the team during in the Gase-Joe Douglas regime’s early months. Add the Dennison matter to this interesting list.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • Weeks after Jon Gruden brought in Rod Marinelli to take Brentson Buckner‘s job as defensive line coach, the longtime NFL assistant has another gig. Buckner will return to the Cardinals‘ coaching staff, the team announced. Buckner’s first major NFL coaching role came in Arizona; the former 12-year NFL defensive lineman spent all five years of Bruce Arians‘ run as the Cards’ D-line coach. He’ll reprise that role.
  • The Cardinals are making more staff changes. Former 49ers special teams coordinator Derius Swinton signed on to become the Cards’ assistant ST coach. After spending 2018 on the Lions’ staff, Swinton did not coach this past season. Additionally, Spencer Whipple will rise from the quality control level to assistant wideouts coach.
  • Mike Mularkey‘s retirement left a vacancy on the Falcons‘ staff. They filled it by promoting Ben Steele from offensive assistant to tight ends coach, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Steele spent five seasons with the Buccaneers — the final two as Tampa Bay’s tight ends coach — prior to joining Dan Quinn’s staff last year.
  • Jason Garrett will bring another ex-Cowboys assistant with him to the Giants. Stephen Brown will join Joe Judge‘s staff as an offensive assistant, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). Brown spent the past four seasons in Dallas, primarily working with the team’s running backs. Garrett previously hired ex-Cowboys staffers Marc Colombo as O-line coach and Derek Dooley as a senior offensive assistant.
  • The Titans are promoting multiple assistants. Formerly operating as defensive assistants, Scott Booker and Ryan Crow will respectively rise on Mike Vrabel‘s staff. Booker is the Titans’ new assistant special teams coach, and Crow will now coach Tennessee’s safeties under new secondary coach Anthony Midget.

HC/GM Rumors: Gase, Lynn, Panthers, Shurmur

Black Monday is tomorrow, so let’s take a look at the latest coaching and GM rumors from around the league:

  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that neither man was really believed to be on the hot seat, but Jets HC Adam Gase and Chargers HC Anthony Lynn will both be back in 2020, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (h/t NFL Update on Twitter).
  • We learned yesterday that the Panthers would seek to interview Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, which David Newton of ESPN.com confirmed today. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report believes Rhule would leave Baylor if the right opportunity presented itself, despite signing a lengthy extension with the school back in September (Twitter link).
  • Despite speculation that the Panthers could look to move on from GM Marty Hurney, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic says owner Dave Tepper remains intent on keeping Hurney, and Hurney wants to stay (Twitter link). Tepper does want to bring in an assistant GM, and Joe Person of The Athletic offers a list of potential candidates. The problem, as NFL insider Adam Caplan observes, is that Carolina could be blocked from interviewing candidates under contract with other teams unless the Panthers’ gig comes with decision-making responsibilities (Twitter link).
  • We heard earlier today that the Browns are doing their due diligence on HC candidates, which isn’t a good sign for Freddie Kitchens. As Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, the team wanted to see modest progress from Kitchens this year, which is why a loss to the Bengals on Sunday afternoon could seal his fate. But for all his faults, Kitchens remains well-liked in the building, so he’s not a goner just yet. We also heard today that Browns GM John Dorsey may be on the hot seat.
  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reiterates yesterday’s report that Ron Rivera is high on the Redskins‘ wish list, and that Rivera could have a new job as soon as tomorrow (video link). However, other clubs also want a crack at Rivera. One of those clubs, the Cowboys, will almost certainly move on from Jason Garrett if they are eliminated from playoff contention today, and Rapoport names Rhule, Lincoln Riley, and Rivera as names to watch for Dallas’ expected vacancy.
  • In the same report, RapSheet says Giants ownership is split on head coach Pat Shurmur, with Steve Tisch wanting to move on and John Mara not quite convinced. A win over the Eagles today could save Shurmur’s job.
  • Dan Graziano of ESPN.com confirms (via Twitter) that former Texans GM Rick Smith is definitely a name to watch if the Redskins move on from Bruce Allen, which they are expected to do. Graziano says it’s still unclear as to whether Smith wants to return to a front office, contrary to a report from last month, but if he is, Redskins owner Dan Snyder will be interested. Mark Maske of the Washington Post hears that Smith, who lost his wife to cancer 11 months ago, is not quite ready to return to football (Twitter link).

Practice Notes: Eagles, Jets, Cardinals

The Eagles got positive news on the injury front regarding three of their biggest weapons Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport. Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) are full participants in practice today and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder), while not yet back to practice, is “trending the right way.”

All three players missed Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, Jeffery and Howard have not played since November 3rd. Philadelphia’s offense has struggled mightily in recent weeks. Most of the blame has fallen on the shoulders of quarterback Carson Wentz, but it would surely help their signalcaller to have some more weapons.

Here’s some more notes on practice status around the league:

  • Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters he expects cornerback Darryl Roberts is expected to return after missing two games with a calf injury, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Right tackle Chuma Edoga will not practice today and left tackle Kelvin Beachum will be limited as well. The Jets are in the midst of a three-game win streak in hopes to rebound from what looked like a lost season.
  • While Cardinals offensive tackle Jordan Mills was designated for return from the injured reserve earlier today, cornerback Robert Alford, though, will not be joining his teammate, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Alford, a six-year veteran, fractured his tibia prior to the season and was placed on injured reserve with the possibility to return. However, per Urban, that possibility is no longer an option.

Jets Notes: Enunwa, Gase, Winters

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was fined $27,900 by the team for missing two days of treatment, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The wideout later took to Twitter to blast the team for the punishment.

“I normally chill on putting issues on twitter, but this doesnt sit right with me,” Enunwa wrote. “Given everything that’s going on around the team I thought this could’ve been handled so many different ways…I missed those two days, because I took my VETERAN wife out for Veterans Day lunch and because I had to handle an emergency in my house. I let the team know this after the fact, and yes, I should have told them beforehand, but I feel like this was excessive…I’m on IR trying to get back to play so I never thought that they’d be worried about me missing, but obviously I was wrong.”

Enunwa, who’s currently on the injured reserve with a neck injury, revealed that there’s only a 50% chance he ever sees the field again.

Let’s take a look at more notes out of New York…

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News uses Enunwa’s outburst as an example for how players don’t respect head coach Adam Gase. Following the receiver’s comments, Mehta observed that Gase “displayed poor leadership for unofficially the 1,969th time Friday with an arrogance and defiance that simply reinforced that he hasn’t learned a damn thing.” Gase was quick to dismiss the story, telling reporters that they generally settle these types of grievances in-house. As Mehta writes, this type of logic has led to three players taking action against the organization in the past four weeks.
  • Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters was recently placed on the injured reserve, and Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com wonders if the veteran has played his final game for the organization. The 28-year-old is the team’s longest-tenured lineman, as he joined the organization back in 2013. Winters will be entering the final year of his contract in 2020, and Stypulkoski opines that it may be in the Jets’ best interest to move on from the veteran as they look to revamp the entire unit (the Jets would save around $7MM by cutting Winters). The writer also explored the pros and cons of making such a move.
  • Winters’ recent injury emphasizes that general manager Joe Douglas needs to focus on improving the offensive line this offseason, writes Mehta. As the writer notes, four of the team’s five starting offensive linemen to begin the season have missed time thanks to injury, and the team has had to rely on six different groupings this year. While injuries are obviously unavoidable, Mehta believes Douglas needs to invest resources into building a reliable offensive line in front of Sam Darnold.

Jets To Keep Adam Gase?

It doesn’t sound like Adam Gase will be one-and-done. On Wednesday, owner Christopher Johnson told reporters that Gase will not be fired after the season. Johnson added that he believes in Gase, and that apparently extends to the staff – Johnson doesn’t believe there will be any other coaching changes made between now and the end of the year.

This jibes with a previous report from Manish Mehta of the Daily News, indicating that neither Christopher nor Woody plan on canning Gase. Its been a rough year for Gang Green, but they still feel that Gase is the answer. Even if there are some doubts, they’re not about to eat the remainder of Gase’s $20MM contract, which runs through the 2021 season.

The Jets rank last, or near the bottom, of many key offensive categories this season, despite Gase’s rep as an offensive guru. On the plus side – they’re coming off of a win over the rival Giants, though that was just their second win of the season.

Next up for the Jets: a Sunday showdown with the Redskins, followed by a return home to face the Raiders. At 2-7, the Jets will not be in the playoff chase, but they do project to land the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Adam Gase, Jets

Things certainly haven’t worked out during Adam Gase‘s first season in New York, but it sounds like the Jets head coach isn’t at risk of losing his job. Sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that “Woody and Christopher Johnson currently have no plans of making a coaching change at the end of the season.”

Even with the team’s putrid performance in 2019, it’s not entirely shocking that Gase will get at least a second season with the Jets. The team made a relatively big commitment to the coach when they signed him to a four-year deal that’s estimated to be worth upwards of $20MM. Considering the front office turnover and injuries throughout the roster, you can’t necessarily blame the organization for giving Gase another chance.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped fans and pundits from calling for Gase’s firing. In fact, a plane was seen pulling a ‘FIRE ADAM GASE NOW’ banner over New York City this week (via the NYDN). This came after a (somewhat) surprising loss to the rebuilding Dolphins, dropping the Jets to 1-7 on the season.

Mehta also provides a long list of damning stats: the Jets rank last in the NFL in scoring, passing, and rushing. Considering Gase’s reputation as an offensive guru, the results are disappointing. Further, the head coach has been unwilling to take responsibility for the team’s performance, with one rival GM referring to Gase as “a professional excuse maker.”

Despite all of this, ownership isn’t ready to pull the plug. We all know things can change quickly in New York, but it’s sounding like Gase will be on the sideline come Week 1 of the 2020 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Gase, Matthews, Texans

The Chiefs announced today that they signed team president Mark Donovan to a long-term extension.

“I’d like to congratulate Mark and his family on this well-deserved recognition,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Because of Mark’s leadership over the past decade, the business operations of the Chiefs are among the best in professional sports, and he and his team have worked tirelessly to create the best fan experience in the National Football League. Mark is an innovative leader and a talented executive who is widely respected in our industry and in the Kansas City community. I am thrilled that he will continue to be a key part of the leadership of the Chiefs for many years to come.”

Donovan joined the organization as their COO back in 2009, and he earned the promotion to his current role in 2011. The press release notes that he’s played a major role in helping to “re-establish Arrowhead Stadium as an elite venue for not only sports, but other forms of entertainment.” Donovan started working for the NFL back in 1999, and he’s also spent time with the Eagles organization.

Here are more NFL notes as we wrap up this Tuesday night:

  • Bill O’Brien said wide receiver Will Fuller is progressing from his hamstring injury (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter). The wideout hasn’t played since suffering the injury during the Texans‘ Week 7 loss to the Colts. Meanwhile, Keke Coutee‘s absence shouldn’t be attributed to injury; O’Brien said the wideout hasn’t played due to his lack of “attention to detail” (via Wilson). The head coach made it clear that it wasn’t an effort issue, noting that the former fourth-rounder is a “great guy.”
  • The Jets fell to 1-7 after losing to the rebuilding Dolphins, meaning Adam Gase has naturally found himself on the hot seat. However, the head coach told reporters that he isn’t focused on his job security. “It’s just something that I don’t really focus on,” Gase said (via Brian Costello of the New York Post). “My job is to try to get the team prepared every week, get them ready to go, get them focused on the game that we have to play. One and seven is not fun to go through. Things haven’t gone the way that we wanted to. It’s just that’s what happens in the NFL sometimes and unfortunately, we’re going through it right now.” Gase joined the organization back in January on a four-year contract that’s rumored to be worth upwards of $20MM.
  • It was barely a month ago that Clay Matthews broke his jaw, but the Rams linebacker is set to return to practice. Coach Sean McVay told reporters that the veteran will return to the practice field this week, and the coaching staff will evaluate his progress as they determine his availability for this weekend. “Everything’s checked out in a positive manner up to this point, so I think it’s just kind of progressing back to, ‘How comfortable do you feel putting a helmet on?’” McVay told the team’s website. “Some of the collisions that naturally would occur and just kind of trusting that you’re nice and secure in that absence of some of that stuff that kind of kept it in place and helped it heal over the last couple weeks.” Matthews has six sacks in five games with his new squad.
  • Long snapper Kevin McDermott underwent elbow surgery back in August, and the free agent has been cleared by doctors to resume snapping, tweets NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. The 29-year-old had spent the previous four seasons with the Vikings before getting cut by the team this past August. The UCLA product has appeared in 86 career games.

C.J. Mosley’s Season Could Be Over

The Jets’ season…is not going as well as they had hoped. The team’s franchise quarterback has missed significant time. One of their best offensive linemen is in a legal battle with the club. One of the team’s most expensive players is rumored to not like football while other players are being shopped around the league.

More fuel to the dumpster fire: C.J. Mosley, who came to the Jets this past offseason on a five-year, $85MM deal, is out of the line-up and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News hears that Mosley playing again this season is in serious doubt.

Adam Gase was asked about the possibility of Mosley landing on IR and said that he believes “everything’s on the table right now.” The club’s medical team has been doing a “deep dive” into Mosley’s nagging groin injury and the franchise will provide more information after the weekend.

“We’ll know more information after we get through this game as far as what we’re going to be doing, what he’s going to be doing,” Gase said. “So, we’re going to get through this game and I’ll have better information here. So, that’s where we’re at right.”

Adam Gase On Trumaine Johnson: It Hasn’t Worked Out

As part of their spending spree during the 2018 offseason, the Jets brought in Trumaine Johnson on a five-year, $72MM deal. Earlier this week, Johnson found himself benched against the Browns because of ineffective play.

“It just hasn’t worked out as well as we need it to. The good thing is we have a long ways to go,” head coach Adam Gase said (h/t Michael David Smith of PFT).

The Jets organization reportedly does not believe that the cornerback enjoys football. Johnson missed six games last season with five of those coming because of a quad injury and one coming because of suspension (tardiness).

As our own Zach Links noted, releasing Johnson now would leave the Jets with $24MM in dead money and no salary cap benefit. Cutting him after the season would allow New York to save just $3MM against the cap but leave them with $12MM in dead money.

Jets Notes: Douglas, Powell, Darnold

We learned earlier today that NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah wouldn’t be joining Joe Douglas‘s staff in New York, but the Jets’ new GM could look to another TV analyst. ESPN’s Todd McShay told ESPN’s Rich Cimini that he’s under consideration for a front office role (Twitter link).

“Joe is considering multiple options and I’m one of the options,” McShay said.

The two go far back, as Douglas and McShay were teammates at the University of Richmond. The ESPN draft analyst is expected to meet with the general manager later this week.

Let’s check out some more notes coming out of New York…

  • Count Sam Darnold among those who are excited to have Bilal Powell back in green. The Jets announced yesterday that they re-signed the veteran running back to a one-year deal. “Great to have BP back,” Darnold told Cimini (Twitter link). “Can’t wait to get to work with him. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’s going to be nice to just be able to see him. BP is a great guy and obviously a great player, so it’s great to have him back.” Cleared from a scary neck injury that was believed at one point to be a career-threatening malady, Powell will now be preparing for his ninth season in New York. The 30-year-old finished the 2018 season with 11 receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown in seven games (seven starts). He also added 343 rushing yards on 80 carries.
  • Darnold was also optimistic about the team’s hiring of Douglas. “I know that he’s done great things with the Eagles,” Darnold told Cimini (Twitter link). “Every other place he’s been, he’s done a great job, as well. Looking forward to working with him and seeing what he can do for our team.” It’s worth noting that Darnold and Douglas are both represented by agent Jimmy Sexton (along with head coach Adam Gase).
  • Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman released a statement regarding the hiring of the Eagles’ former vice president of player personnel. “We want to thank Joe Douglas for his contributions to our organization,” Roseman said. “We will miss Joe personally and professionally…He’s a tireless worker who played an integral role in helping to construct our Super Bowl-winning roster. He deserves this opportunity and the Jets are lucky to have him as their GM just like we were to have him in Philadelphia.”
  • It sounds like Gase will already have a task for Douglas. The head coach told Brian Costello of the New York Post that the team is thin at cornerback. “I think we’re thin at more than just corner,” Gase said. “There’s some other spots where if we have some injuries, it could be an issue. That’s why we have to keep finding ways to create competition.” Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts and Brian Poole are currently slotted in as the team’s starting cornerbacks.
  • Either way, Gase is confident that the organization can find another defensive back as other teams begin trimming their rosters. “You kind of get in the middle of June and all of a sudden some guys get cut free due to salary issues, you get the waiver wire, you’ll just always comb that thing, see if you can create competition whether it’s a corner or at any other position,” Gase said. “That’s why the pro department’s got to do a great job going through, you know, when we get closer to those cuts and training camp, of just keeping their eyes open, and then you always have to be alert for if any trades pop up. I mean, you just never know the amount of phone calls that go in and out between organizations. It’s a lot more than what people realize sometimes, and we just have to be ready to be aggressive if we need to be.”