North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Shepherd, who hails from Canada, will have a chance to compete on a Jets defensive line that needs some remodeling since the departures of Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson.

But there was a time when Shepherd wasn't even thinking about a career in the NFL. He was just trying to make it by day by day. 

Shepherd intially went to Simon Fraser Univeristy in Vancouver, which was the only school that offered a Division II football program in Canada. However, he was forced to withdraw due to financial issues. Shepherd, then, found any job he could and worked out whenever he could.

"First I worked at a plant nursery, then I worked construction," he told TSN's Dave Naylor. "In the spring of 2014 I made my way back to Toronto, moved back in with my family and got a job in a printing factory. It basically was like printing off boxes, beer or pop cartons. Then I'd work out either before or after."

Shepherd waited patiently for his next opportunity, and it finally came with Fort Hayes State who had three seniors on their defensive line in the 2015 season. He used money he saved for tuition in the spring of 2015, but would earn a scholarship for the next three seasons. 

The 24-year-old was invited to the Senior Bowl this year as NFL scouts jumped on his raw athleticism and potential. And with the Jets pulling the trigger on Shepherd, he became the first player from Fort Hayes State to be drafted in more than 30 years. 

"I'm always going to be someone where nothing's guaranteed," Shepherd said. "And whatever happens, I'm going to have a free-agency mindset. And once I get there, god-willing, then I can reflect and I definitely will. And use that to continue to propel myself through my career and know that whatever barrier you have in your way you just knock that thing down one at a time."


Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

His growth-spurt was enormous -- he was about 200 pounds in high school - so his game is still trying to catch up for his body. But his game is pretty good, particularly his skills as an interior pass rusher in a 3-4. Right now, the Jets line up the 32-year-old Steve McLendon in that spot. In a year or two, the hope is Shepherd will be ready to take over.

It won't be right away, though. This will be a big step up in competition and defensive scheme for him, and there's no guarantee his raw talent will make an impact in the NFL. But with so many good, young defensive players on the rest of their roster, and while they're still building over the next couple of years, there's little risk to the Jets in taking on a project like this, especially since the payoff could be huge.


Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Adam Gase wants to be in New York for the long haul.

The new Jets head coach has seen his fair share of quarterback injuries from his time with the Miami Dolphins. Gase adjusted to the injury bug's brutal reality by changing his quarterback 10 times in 49 games as Miami's coach, NBC Sport's Peter King notes. Now, he wants nothing more than to build consistency and endurance with rookie Sam Darnold and the Jets. 

A team's character is built from confidence in its quarterback. Game to game and week to week, plays are dictated by a strong team culture and the offense's dependency on the shot caller. Gase lacked that good fortune with the Dolphins, dealing instead with injuries to first-round pick Ryan Tannehill in his first year as Miami's head coach. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets kicker Jason Myers kicks a field goal during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets kicker Jason Myers kicks a field goal during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

New Jets head coach Adam Gase is moving swiftly in the process of replenishing New York's coaching staff.

The Jets reportedly hired Frank Pollack on Monday to be their new offensive line coach, according to Yahoo Sport's Mike Florio. This is a good indication that New York's existing O-line coach Rick Dennison, a hire by former head coach Todd Bowles, is out. 

Pollack, 51, spent 2018 as the Bengal's offensive line coach. He spent five seasons with the Cowboys prior to his stint in Cincy.

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Pressure of Gase, Maccagnan 00:00:28
Former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas doesn't believe Adam Gase has proven he?s a QB 'whisperer' but all pressure shifts to GM Mike Maccagnan

SNY's Jets analyst Ray Lucas is a big fan of the team hiring defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But what about new head coach Adam Gase?

Williams has the experience and track record necessary to deem him a solid replacment to Kacy Rodgers next season. But, given the Jets' priority to build the team around Sam Darnold, Lucas isn't too keen on Gase being the guy to develop him.

Lucas explained why on "Loud Mouths..."

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New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) catches a pass during warmups before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) catches a pass during warmups before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

The Cowboys are taking a shot on a failed second-rounder for the Jets in WR Devin Smith, signing him to a futures contract on Friday. 

Smith was drated 37th overall by Gang Green back in 2015 after having a superb collegiate career at Ohio State. However, the injury bug wasn't too friendly to the now 26-year-old. 

During his rookie season, Smith tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Titans, ending his year with only 115 yards and one touchdown. In 2016, Smith didn't see much playing time, playing in only four games after starting the year on the PUP list. 

Tags: Devin Smith
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The Jets have shored up their new head coach and defensive coordinator, but an offensive coordinator still needs to be brought aboard. And on Friday, another potential candidate surfaced in Scott Linehan

The Cowboys let Linehan know they are going in a different direction, and the decision comes merely days after head coach Jason Garrett said he didn't believe any big changes were coming to his staff for next season. 

In an official statement, Garrett said it was mutual that both sides parted ways.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

It's never too early to look at Super Bowl LIV odds.

According to BetOnline.ag, the Jets find themselves with 66/1 odds to win their first Lombardi Trophy since 1968. The Bills, Bengals, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Bucs and Redskins all share the same odds. The Giants are in the middle of the pack, owning 40/1 odds.

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New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks during a news conference in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks during a news conference in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

After his introductory press conference, Jets new head coach Adam Gase has been the subject of numerous memes that have gained some popularity on social media.

So has Gase seen them? Not in the slightest.

"I don't have Twitter or Instagram. I don't read the Internet. I don't watch TV," Gase said on ESPN's "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." "All that stuff is irrelevant to me. It's poluttion of the brain. I really don't care. That's not how I operate. I'm here to do one thing and that's to help this organization win."

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Jets dream offseason wishlist 00:00:18
SNY's New York Jets analysts pick each of their top three free agents they want the Jets to sign this offseason.

The Jets have their new head coach in place, and as Adam Gase puts together his staff, the next big step is what Gang Green will do this offseason to improve their 53-man roster. 

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan will have almost $100 million ($99,387,909 projected by OverTheCap.com) to work with in free agency, and to explore trades. 

So who should they go after? The SNY Jets crew gave their dream offseason wishlist for the Jets, as they look ahead to the free agent class and players that could be on the market:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Mock drafts are continuing to pour in with three and a half months to go before the NFL draft, and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Jets taking a defensive tackle.

Kiper has the Jets taking Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 pick, shoring up a defensive line under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Though Kiper has the Jets missing out on the highly-touted Nick Bosa (No. 1, Cardinals) and Josh Allen (No. 2, 49ers), it's tough to diminish Williams' ability.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The day the Cleveland Browns named Gregg Williams their interim head coach after firing Hue Jackson, their former defensive coordinator made one thing perfectly clear: The Browns were lucky to have him.

"Since I left Buffalo (in 2003), I had 11 letters to interview for head coaching jobs," Williams said. "Four of them, I didn't even have to interview. Just show up and sign the contract."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Analyzing Gregg Williams hire 00:00:57
SNY's Willie Colon believes new Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will improve defense but his personality might bother Adam Gase.

The Jets officially named Gregg Williams their new defensive coordinator under head coach Adam Gase on Wednesday.

According to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Williams has agreed to a three-year deal with the team. Williams is flying to the New York-New Jersey area to sign the contract and finalize the deal on Wednesday.

Speaking about Williams for the first time on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Gase said Williams' defenses have always been a tough challenge, mainly due to their intensity level...

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Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Todd Bowles is reportedly not the only Jets coach on Bruce Arians' radar to join him in Tampa Bay. 

Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers has officially joins the Buccaneers' staff as a defensive line coach, as the team announced numerous assistant hirings on Wednesday.

Rodgers, 49, spent the last four seasons as the Jets defensive coordinator under Bowles and also worked alongside the former Jets head coach in Miami and Dallas as a defensive line coach. 

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8 years, we still Can't Wait! 00:00:23
It's the 8th Anniversary of Bart Scott's famous "Can't Wait" moment, and now it's back, and going places!

It's the eighth Anniversary of Bart Scott's famous 'Can't Wait' moment, and now it's back, and going places!

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Nov 11, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams claps for his players during warmups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Nov 11, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams claps for his players during warmups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveTodd Bowles came to the Jets with the reputation of being one of the best defensive minds in football. And in his first season, it was easy to see why. After that, it was all a steady roll downhill towards the Jets becoming one of the worst defenses in the league.

That's startling considering how they had invested in their defense. For eight straight years, before they took quarterback Sam Darnold, they had taken a defensive player in the first round of the draft. And they had spent big money on defenders in free agency like corners Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne as well as linebacker Avery Williamson.

Yet they still had no pass rush and they wore down late in games. The Jets' defense was a remarkable group of underachievers.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets' long road from Todd Bowles to Adam Gase began in mid-November, long before either of them were fired from their old jobs. It started after a humiliating, 41-10 home loss by Bowles' Jets to the Buffalo Bills just before the bye week.

The week off gave the entire organization a chance to reassess itself. And the consensus inside the building became that the Jets needed a change.

What happened next was the beginning of what CEO Christopher Johnson later promised was an "extensive" search that over a two-month period included a look at Jim Harbaugh, a flirtation with Mike McCarthy, a push for Matt Rhule and a surprising inability to dismiss Todd Monken. When it was over, they ended up with a new head coach who wasn't on their original list because he was coaching a team in a playoff race with three weeks left in the regular season...

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Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams stands on the field before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams stands on the field before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

New Jets head coach Adam Gase touched on plenty of topics during his 15-minute press conference on Monday, but he omitted one key name.

The 40-year-old emphasized the importance of instructing a young quarterback like Sam Darnold, not being interested in total team control and, finally, filling out the remainder of his coaching staff. Gregg Williams is the defensive coordinator generating a buzz in New York and, though Gase did not specifically utter his name on Monday, reports say the Jets are close to bringing Williams in. 

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Dec 30, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 30, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Following the Adam Gase introductory press conference, Jonas Schwartz and Ralph Vacchiano deliver an all-new episode of The Jet Stream podcast!

They grade the new head coach's performance at the presser, react to Christopher Johnson's refusal to drop a playoff mandate, look ahead to the immediate future of the new coaching staff, and discuss what it all means for Sam Darnold

CLICK BELOW TO SEE LISTEN

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Christopher Johnson talks Gase 00:02:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley spoke with New York Jets chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson about why they chose Adam Gase as their new head coach.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is nothing new about the phrase "long-suffering Jets fan," because over the last 50 years there's no doubt they've all suffered enough. Right now, they're in the midst of a particularly difficult period. This is the longest stretch without a playoff berth for the Jets in almost 40 years.

That's why the biggest fear of those long-suffering fans who heard the Adam Gase press conference on Monday is that when it comes to this current playoff drought, eight years still may not be enough.

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Mike Maccagnan on Adam Gase 00:02:50
Jets GM Mike Maccagnan chats with Jeane Coakley after the Jets introduced new Jets Head Coach Adam Gase.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

If there was one word to describe new Jets head coach Adam Gase's introductory press conference on Monday afternoon, "understated" would be it.  

After a low-key introduction by CEO Christopher Johnson, Gase remained calm and measured, giving thoughtful and non-controversial answers to reporters as he reiterated that the organization would be patiently following a long-term plan.  

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Jets introduce Adam Gase 00:01:56
The Jets introduced Adam Gase as their new Head Coach. Here?s the best of what Gase and Jets CEO & Chairman Christopher Johnson had to say.

The Jets introduced new head coach Adam Gase during a press conference on Monday afternoon, with Gase speaking to reporters for roughly 15 minutes.

Here are the takeaways:

Why the Jets chose Gase

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Adam Gase with Jeane Coakley 00:04:08
SNY's Jeane Coakley spoke with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase about Sam Darnold and the team after his introductory press conference.

There may be a reason why things between the Jets and defensive coordinator candidate Gregg Williams have reportedly slowed down. 

Jets new head coach Adam Gase told SNY's Jeane Coakley at his introductory press conference on Monday that one of the things he learned from his time as head coach of the Miami Dolphins was not to rush into hiring the staff. 

"What I mean by that is you don't want to start grabbing guys that might be available," he said. "You might have to take your time, interview guys and I think we have the right mindset right now and heading in the right direction and hopefully soon we'll start getting guys on board."

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Oct 21, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase walks onto the field prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 21, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase walks onto the field prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Watch live today on SNY at 2 p.m. as the Jets introduce Adam Gase as the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Coverage will kick off from SNY's studios before shifting to Gase's press conference, which will be followed by exclusive interviews.

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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

As the rest of the NFL searches for the "next Sean McVay," Rams running back C.J. Anderson says he has only had one other coach who compares to him: 

Adam Gase

Anderson, who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Los Angeles' 30-22 NFC Divisional win over the Cowboys on Saturday, has seen a revival of sorts of his career under McVay since joining the Rams on Dec. 19. 

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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets have agreed to a contract extension with special teams coach Brant Boyer, reports Adam Caplan of SiriusXM.

Caplan notes that multiple teams would have been interested in hirnig Boyer, whose contract had been set to expire after next season. The 47-year-old Boyer has been with the Jets since 2016 after a stint as the Colts' assistant special teams coach from 2012 to 2015.

As the Jets look to fill out their staff under new head coach Adam Gase, here are the names being considered.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who was a candidate to become head coach of the Jets, will join the Cleveland Browns in his same role, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapaport.

Monken's name was speculated among other potential Jets offensive coordinator candidates after they hired Adam Gase as head coach.

Instead, he will join new head coach Freddie Kitchens and new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks in Cleveland.

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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

In a since-deleted tweet, Jets S Jamal Adams wasn't shy about one free agent he wanted the team to pursue this offseason.

"Yeah I like #55 Dee Ford off that end for us! Let's pay him what he wants!" Adams tweeted at 7:28 p.m. on Saturday as Ford and the Chiefs were crushing the Colts to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The 27-year-old Ford had a tremendous game on Sunday, with one forced fumble, one sack, and four tackles. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Danny Abriano
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Dec 31, 2017; Detroit, MI USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy (left) leaves the field their game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports (Mark Hoffman)
Dec 31, 2017; Detroit, MI USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy (left) leaves the field their game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports (Mark Hoffman)

The Jets found their 19th head coach in franchise history this week in Adam Gase, who they officially announced on Friday. But Gase's hiring came as a surprise to many, with former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reportedly having his eyes only set on the Jets' job. 

McCarthy is the more accomplished head coach compared to Gase, and having developed Aaron Rodgers during his time in Green Bay, the marriage with QB Sam Darnold seemed like a match made in heaven. 

But, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Confora, the Jets and McCarthy didn't pan out due to staffing issues. 

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The Guarantee 50th anniversary 00:01:18
On its 50th anniversary, Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath reflects on his famous promise of the New York Jets winning their first Super Bowl.

On the 50th anniversary of "The Guarantee," Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath sits down with SNY's Jeané Coakley and reflects on his famous promise of the New York Jets winning their first Super Bowl title.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

There is a lot Jets QB Sam Darnold likes about his new head coach, Adam Gase. 

Particularly, what Gase can do with the Jets offense. 

The 21-year-old quarterback told the Jets team website on Friday that he is "excited" about the new hire and added what he expects from the offense in the first season under Gase. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 3, 2018; Canton, OH, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath acknowledges the crowd during the Enshrinee's gold jacket dinner at the Canton Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Aug 3, 2018; Canton, OH, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath acknowledges the crowd during the Enshrinee's gold jacket dinner at the Canton Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Peyton Manning is not the only legendary quarterback vouching for Adam Gase

Joe Namath, who celebrated his 50th anniversary of winning Super Bowl III on Saturday, also spoke highly of the new Jets head coach. 

"I like him. I like what I've seen of him," the Hall of Famer told Steve Serby of The Post.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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