Mike Maccagnan Adam Gase
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Despite the sky falling in and around Florham Park, New Jersey, the New York Jets deserve some credit for the Mike Maccagnan move.

Robby Sabo

The sky is falling over Florham Park, New Jersey … again.

Rex Ryan, Todd Bowles, John Idzik, and, of course, Bill Belichick have all brought Daenerys-like fire down on the complex over the last two decades. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, it’s now the Mike Maccagnan-Adam Gase saga that has everybody lit on fire.

Forget the sky falling. Throw away fire. The narrative in New York Jets land is beyond anything imaginable. “Laughingstock” and “garbage” are just two of the words thrown into the day’s festivities when describing the newly-branded Gotham Green franchise. Hopping on the hate bandwagon is the newest hip thing in this social media world of madness.

Everybody’s favorite Jet fan, Joe “Oh the pain” Benigno of WFAN, went off while the news broke live on-air, as translated by Zack Braziller of the New York Post.

“So obviously all this stuff that’s not a big deal, no real issue between Gase and Maccagnan, was all garbage,” Benigno fumed, referring to reports of a rift during the NFL draft that both denied. “This is so, here we go again. Do I need this today? Do I freaking need this? This franchise, they are a disgrace, they really are.

“How about the owners here,” Benigno fumed. “How about Christopher Johnson and the other guy [his brother Woody], who’s in England somewhere. He’s going to be the Godfather to the Royal baby probably. How about them. What the hell kind of ownership is this? How do you hire this guy, this guy who has won nothing — nothing — and you allow him to come here and win a power struggled against the sitting GM?

“What the hell kind of owners own this team?” Benigno asked.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News now labels the Jets as the “biggest joke in town.”

Be careful. Nuance is critical. Breaking this thing down to its core remains essential. The Jets deserve some credit.

It’s never easy to right a wrong. Perhaps it took the rabid Adam Gase to point out the incorrect nature of the Jets general manager. If this is true, something worse could have unfolded. The Jets, now understanding a wrong, would make an egregious error in trying to save face by keeping Maccagnan on board for another year.

Early reports have Gase upset over the money dished out to Le’Veon Bell, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Outspoken against the Bell signing myself, I’m in complete agreement with Gase. Another reported clash involved the bypassing of center Matt Paradis, who eventually signed with the Carolina Panthers. Again, as an outspoken critic of Maccagnan pertaining to all things offensive line, the Gase vision on how to build a football team matches my own.

What the Jets did is right a wrong. Of course, criticism is fully warranted. This much is certain.

Gase shouldn’t be the focal point. He was hired into a flawed situation. Why Woody Johnson’s hierarchical structure continues down such a bent path is the dysfunctional story that rings true.

The Jets head coach and general manager operate on the same level within the football power structure. Both report to the acting owner, Christopher Johnson. This means words fly and teamwork becomes secondary.

Gase chipping in Johnson’s ear about his general manager throws the operation into a standstill. Maccagnan possessed the same opportunity if he so chose to act. Many NFL organizations use a similar structure, but it’s different. Usually, where dysfunction doesn’t exist, there’s a lone voice of power. A final decision maker exists despite the two jobs essentially reporting to the big boss.

The moment Gase was brought into the fold was the very moment the race to power began. A brand-spanking new age coach pitted against a soft-spoken five-year general manager whose personnel past is checkered with question marks.

Don’t blame Gase. Blame the organization.

Maccagnan should have been gone the moment Todd Bowles left the building. And even those two were strangers prior to their unlikely teaming in 2015.

It comes down to stability.

Hiring one true football man and allowing him to hire the head coach who’d report to that one true football mind is the proper way to handle things, the proper way to turn dysfunction into glamour.

At this moment, it’s easy to turn on Gase. What has he ever accomplished in the NFL? A paltry 23-25 record with the Miami Dolphins is a mark to avoid writing home about.

Now that the power struggle has commenced and is completed, a new general manager is forthcoming. Philadelphia Eagles VP of Player Personnel Joe Douglas is the hot name. He and Gase are close which means the pairing makes total sense under the current structure.

Again, though, what happens if those two individuals clash? Who’s the boss? Who’s ultimately granted final say? The very same situation that sees Jets head coaches and general managers fired individually as opposed to as a package may unfold before our very eyes once again.

It’s not perfect. It’s not pretty. Handling this in a much different fashion within a completely different timeframe was essential. Allowing the GM to pay ultra-dollars to devalued NFL positions only to draft questionable characters all while not fixing the most important thing needed to see Sam Darnold thrive (the offensive line), only to fire him, represents a bitter pill to swallow.

But make no mistake, the New York Jets deserve credit for righting a wrong, even if it took the ultra-aggressive Adam Gase to show them the way. They knew they’d get hammered by everybody, yet they still pulled the trigger.

This firing marks the correct move at the incorrect time while living in a flawed operational world. The New York Jets didn’t just submit themselves back into chaos; they were already living in chaos. Hopefully, this move brings them towards new life with a new structure, or, at the very least, two individuals on the same hierarchical plane who can coexist.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com