NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Gase is doing all he can to tune out all the negative talk and criticisms aimed directly at him.
And there’s lots of it.
With the New York Jets off to a second straight 0-3 start, the heat is on the head coach in a major way. But his priority is the task — and not all the talk — at hand.
“It’s something, I can’t focus on that,” Gase said Tuesday. “It’s wasted energy for me. It’s not going to help me at all. All I can do is make sure I get our guys in the right head space to go out there on Thursday and play well.”
Gase recently joked that he tries to not open any internet browsers, clearly aware that what he’d see isn’t exactly flattering. So, as far as friends or family trying to give Gase a heads up on what people are saying about him and the Jets? Don’t bother.
“I just don’t respond to any of it,” he said. “If somebody tries to tell me something, I’m like, it doesn’t help me. It doesn’t do anything for me.”
The Jets are taking on the winless Denver Broncos at home on “Thursday Night Football,” and they have a chance to make some dubious franchise history. No Jets teams have ever opened consecutive seasons at 0-4.
“We’ve got so much stuff we’ve got to get in over the next two days to get ready to play this game, that’s got to be my focus,” Gase said. “If I waste my energy on anything else, it’s just counterproductive to what we’re trying to do.”
The problem is, there’s so much to do.
The Jets have been outplayed in each of their first three games in lopsided losses to Buffalo, San Francisco and Indianapolis. The offense has been inept, ranking last in the NFL in several categories. Even the defense, which was supposed to be a strength despite not having safety Jamal Adams or linebacker C.J. Mosley, has been shaky.
“I never like to lose,” defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said. “It’s always about winning. That’s all of us. It’s not only me. Nobody likes to come in second place.”
Or, in this case right now, dead last.
The Jets have been cast by fans, media and casual football viewers as unwatchable. And, for good reason. They have dug themselves into double-digit holes at halftime in all three of their losses.
“I think the psyche right now is just win, man,” wide receiver Jamison Crowder said. “We’ve just got to find a way to win. Any way we possibly can.”
Several players have insisted the problems are on them, not the coaching staff. They say the coaches have been putting them in position to succeed, but they simply haven’t executed.
While there haven’t been any players-only meetings, Gase has liked how they have been openly encouraging with each other and discussing how they can, as a group, improve on the field.
“I think guys are trying to figure out the little details of like, ‘Where are we going wrong? How can we fix this?’ Gase said. ”I like the fact that guys are looking for solutions instead of just complaining and kind of not really working in the right direction.
“I feel like our guys are looking for the right things, looking for the solutions to the problems.”
That’s not to say they’re not angry about losing. Gase senses it among his players and noted that the entire team feels it.
And, he believes they can turn things around together. No matter what anyone else outside the facility is saying.
“There’s valuable information that we learned over the first three weeks,” Gase said. “We’ve just got to get better this week, and then we’ve got to go out on Thursday and do a good job of calling the right stuff, executing the things the right way, and then, at the same time, guys just going to make plays. Be loose, make plays, have fun. You’re playing on Thursday night — enjoy the moment.
“I just want our guys to be present and just go after the win.”
NOTES: Crowder has missed the past two games with a strained hamstring, but could return Thursday night. “I’m confident that I can go out there for a whole game without any re-injury,” he said. … WR Jeff Smith was designated to return from injured reserve after hurting a shoulder in training camp. He could be in line to play against the Broncos. … WR Breshad Perriman and DL/OL Jordan Willis are not expected to play because of ankle injuries. … WR Lawrence Cager and DB Javelin Guidry were protected by the Jets on the practice squad this week.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL