Adam Gase’s former boss says the Jets got a good one.
“I think they’re getting a heck of an offensive-minded guy,” former Panthers, Broncos and Bears coach John Fox said Thursday. “I think it’s a great matchup with Sam Darnold as far as being a young quarterback. Adam can help him fundamentally with mechanics as well as the system. He has good answers for what defenses do.”
Fox, who is now an ESPN analyst, gave Gase his first offensive coordinator job in 2013 with the Broncos. He then hired him in 2015 as his OC with the Bears. Fox said Darnold will thrive under Gase, whom the Jets hired to replace Todd Bowles on Wednesday.
“I think he’ll blend in with Sam pretty well,” Fox said. “I think Sam will be fired up. Adam’s an aggressive personality. Guys just like fire. They want that. They want to be coached. They want to be pushed.”
Gase was on the Broncos staff in 2011 when Fox was hired to replace Josh McDaniels. Fox kept him on the staff and moved him from wide receivers coach to quarterbacks coach. That first year, Gase helped create the Tim Tebow magic that got Denver to the playoffs.
The next year, the Broncos signed Peyton Manning and it was Gase’s job to help Manning come back from the neck injury that cost him the entire 2011 season.
“It was not an easy transition for Peyton or anybody because he was coming off a pretty serious neck injury,” Fox said. “We were developing a system that our guys were comfortable with as well as one that Peyton felt comfortable in. That first year I thought Adam did a great job of working with Peyton as far as the quarterback coach.”
After the 2012 season, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy left to become the head coach of the Chargers and Fox promoted Gase.
“When Mike McCoy got hired, it was a very popular job,” Fox said. “I could have gone out and gotten some big name. I elevated Adam because I was so impressed with him.”
Manning wound up breaking the NFL record for touchdown passes (55) in 2013 with Gase overseeing the offense.
“It was very beneficial for Adam and very beneficial for Peyton,” Fox said. “They were a great team in what they both accomplished.”
Fox said it is not fair to just dismiss what Gase did in Denver because Manning was the quarterback. He said Gase also did a great job with Jay Cutler in Chicago in 2015.
Gase left the Bears after one year to take the head coaching job in Miami. Fox said he thinks the Jets made a good choice hiring someone with experience.
“The advantage the Jets have is Adam has been a head coach before,” Fox said. “I’m not saying they were Super Bowl contenders [in Miami], but they went to the playoffs. They were competitive. I’m not sure they had the best deck of cards in his stay either.”
Fox said the experience of being a head coach is huge when you get the second job and have to run an entire team.
“You don’t do any of that as an assistant coach. You’re locked in a room, developing game plans,” Fox said. “As a head coach, you have to worry about what the training room is doing, you have to worry about what the strength and conditioning people are doing, you have to know what the personnel department is doing. All that stuff is new when you’re a first-time head coach. Adam’s done that.”