Joe Douglas shares responsibility for Jets debacle


The list of culprits in this Jets debacle is long.You can start with head coach Adam Gase, if you like, and it now seems inevitable that he will pay off with his work at some point. You can blame owner Christopher Johnson, who picked or bonded with the makers who brought the Jets to this point. You can blame quarterback Sam Darnold for continuing to look like he’s spinning his wheels and not progressing. You can fault former GM Mike Maccagnan for being terrible at finding talent. You can blame the players for playing stupid football.

This is all fair.

Don’t forget one person who has largely escaped blame this season, but who deserves a few – Joe Douglas. No one expected Douglas to work miracles when he was hired in June 2019. Douglas has a long-term rebuilding project in his hands. He got a scholarship last year because he was hired after free will and the draft. This year we expected a moderate improvement in the roster, filling in some of the holes in the team and building a respectable squad.

The first feedback was not good.

Joe Douglas
Joe DouglasCharles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Douglas’s rebuilt offensive line doesn’t look any better than the group that played in the second half of last season. Thursday night, Darnold was sacked six times. The Broncos entered the game with four sacks in their first three games. Beyond pass protection, there are no holes for running backs. If you take Darnold’s rushing yards out, the Jets are averaging 2.5 yards per carry on Thursday.

Douglas took a calculated risk in free agency this year. He stayed away from the big guys, choosing instead to buy discounts to store his offensive line. He signed George Fant, Greg Van Roten and Connor McGovern at discount prices. Douglas’s philosophy is one he borrowed from his mentor, Ozzie Newsome, with the Ravens – “the right player, the right price”. It rarely means spending big. It’s a smart strategy that creates ceiling space flexibility in the future, but you’d better assess your players well. At the moment, we feel Douglas overrated on the line, especially with Van Roten and McGovern.

Then you look at the wide receiver. Douglas let Robby Anderson walk in free will, which really hurt Darnold and the offense. No one confuses Anderson with Jerry Rice, but he’s an efficient receiver who rarely misses games. Anderson already has two 100-yard receiving games for the Panthers, who signed him on a reasonable two-year, $ 20 million contract. It’s a deal the Jets should have matched. Instead, they signed Breshad Perriman for a low price ($ 6.5million) and they got their money’s worth as Perriman missed two games and almost a third. He has only five takes so far.

Cornerback Pierre Desir, who the Jets signed for $ 3.75 million, is another Douglas free agent rookie who had a rocky night on Thursday. Desir allowed two touchdowns and had two interceptions, one came back for a touchdown. Despite these games, Desire has been a liability in the coverage thus far.

These shortcomings in the roster left the Jets with no room for error. They have to play almost perfect football to win. If they commit too many penalties, as they did on Thursday, they are doomed. If they let go of passes, they’re screwed. If they stall in the red zone, it will bite them in the butt.

Nobody claims that Gase is doing a good job. But anyone who looks at it objectively can see that he was engaged in a shootout with a water pistol. Gase was asked on Friday if this team has enough talent. He said he expects a lot of injured reserve players to return this week to help.

“And our guys, they have to do a good job of staying together and blocking out any outside noise and getting better every day in training,” Gase said. “I told all these guys today about [how] fracking is not an option. We’re in four games, we’ve got to do a good job of putting our heads down, going to work, correcting mistakes, fixing things that are absolutely not talent based and doing those things right first, and then your result will be different. ”

A lot of people have their fingerprints on this 0-4 start, from the players to the property and to everyone, including Douglas.


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