Joe Douglas, Christopher Johnson
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images, AP Photo

While everybody is all over the status of Adam Gase, it’s Christopher Johnson’s faith in Joe Douglas which means the most for the New York Jets.

Robby Sabo

FLORHAM PARK, NJAdam Gase is safe. The polarizing sideline boss is so safe, in fact, that his job security for the 2020 season isn’t even in doubt. Such a statement has New York Jets fans bent out of shape while accompanied with a level of craziness Paul O’Neill on a water cooler rampage couldn’t understand.

Initially, the common fan will scour the internet for proof that it’s fake news. It’s not. Christopher Johnson let the world in on that now-not-so-secret plan at Wednesday’s practice.

“I want to reassure you that there will be no changes in coaches,” Johnson proclaimed. “Adam has the trust of this team, has the trust of Sam, has Joe’s trust, has my trust. He’s a good man. He’s a good coach.”


When asked if this thought process would continue after the season, the Jets leading man didn’t hesitate.

“Even after the season, yes,” Johnson responded to the question of whether or not Gase would be safe after his first Jet campaign.

Cue the outrage.

Gase, 41, is 2-7 through his first nine games in Florham Park. A season filled with mono, devasting injuries and ghosts have the name Rich Kotite resurfacing.

Such a week shouldn’t raise such horrible memories, however. A win over the Giants and a Johnson state of the union should yield positivity, an unusual odor around these parts, admittedly.

Johnson deploys the right idea. His words about his personnel boss, Joe Douglas, should instill a level of confidence not witnessed in this organization in two decades.

“I brought in Joe, earlier this year, to help build the team with Adam. There’s a lot of work to do. Everyone understands that, and we’re just getting started, but I feel really good about this team moving forward.

“I brought in Joe and I told him he had control of the final 53,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s faith one man to run the entire show is a tried and tested model the Jets must follow. Remember, there was great anticipation when looking for the new GM. Would the Jets relent control of the 53-man roster to one man? The Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t even play ball in letting Douglas out of his contract unless his new gig provided final say over the roster.

In an under-the-radar, yet important move, the Jets granted Douglas full roster control. It wasn’t always this way.

For too many years, the team decision, the groupthink has taken hold of this franchise. Anytime a big decision needed to be made, it was always made as a group with a “Jet way” mantra. The previous regime was brought in with help from outside counsel. Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles we’re strangers forced into an arranged marriage.

Not since the days of Bill Parcells has one true football man served as king of the operation. Even today, Douglas and Gase both Report to ownership. It’s a recipe oftentimes tough to overcome. As experienced this past summer with the Maccagnan ouster, madness ensues if individuals are on different paths. Backchannels to ownership come from many different areas (rather than just a singular individual).

Johnson’s reaffirmation of Douglas’s final 53 control is a step in the right direction.

While Gase, no doubt, will offer input, it’s Douglas’s show. He’s placing complete trust in one man, the way it should be in this league.

The fans, who have constantly suffered, should hold onto this rare glimmer of light with a death grip.

”Look, I understand it,” Johnson admitted his frustrations over the 2-7 mark. “I’m frustrated too. I hate to lose. I hate to lose. Every player on this team hates to lose. Talk about Jamal (Adams). He’s never been on a team that lost. He’s like a lot of these guys. They’ve been superstars all their life. Losing is a whole new thing and it’s terrible and I want it to stay terrible.”

There’s no question of the matter Gase still has to get the job done. But there’s also incredible hope in entrusting one man full personnel control.

This is a hardened salary cap league. Big-boy, unemotional financial decisions represent the recipe for NFL success. One vision, one plan spearheads it all. As great as collaboration sounds on the surface, it’s a tough deal when so many livelihoods are at stake.

Arguments will always naturally surface.

Frustration is apparent. Improvement must occur. And the fans can go nuts about Adam Gase’s job security all they want. But, from Christopher Johnson’s words on Wednesday, the most important aspect to team building in the NFL is solidified at Florham Park.

Joe Douglas is the boss, and that’s the most important aspect of starting a winning program. It’s the first critical step. It’s the way it needs to be for the New York Jets to find true prominence.


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