It appears Le’Veon Bell is finished carrying water for Adam Gase. Just over a season and a quarter of heaping praise on his head coach at every opportunity, despite historically pathetic production from the Jets, and it seems Bell has had enough. His head coach, who has led his team to six losses by 20 points or more since joining Gang Green prior to the 2019 season, has worn out his welcome.
After an offseason of promises from Gase that he would get Bell more involved in the passing game after failing to do so last year, Bell saw just one target in his return from IR in the Jets 30-10 blowout loss. The result? Bell refused to meet with reporters via zoom after the game, opting instead to take to social media to “like” several posts criticizing Gase’s use of the once great running back, including this from Jets beat writer Connor Hughes.
Le’Veon Bell, whom the #Jets stressed the need to involve in the passing game this season, had 1 catch on 1 target for 7 yards.
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 11, 2020
If Bell has in fact had enough with Gase’s ineptitude and dishonesty, the team may not be able to do much about it. His production hasn’t warranted his $13 million salary, but is that a case of Bell being bad, or of Gase being Gase?
Just look around the NFL and there’s no shortage of former Gase players who have significantly elevated their game once away from Peyton Manning’s favorite caddy.
For the fourth time this season, former Jets receiver Robby Anderson was targeted 8 times or more in a game this weekend. In sixteen games under Gase in 2019, Anderson saw 8 targets just 4 times all season. The result? Anderson is currently on pace for over 1,600 yards receiving.
Then there’s Mike Gesicki. A Dolphins tight end who was all but ignored by Gase while with the Dolphins but is now on pace for over 800 yards in 2020. The plight of Ryan Tannehill is also well known. After playing some decent football under Gase for a year or two with the Phins, he earned himself a mega contract with the Titans after the Dolphins sent him packing.
Devante Parker is another receiver who comes to mind. An average player under Gase, Parker has become one of the top receivers in the NFL following his departure. Meanwhile, can anyone name an average player who became a superstar under the watchful eyes of Adam Gase? The correct answer is no, but we can think of at least one player whose trajectory was pointing straight up until Gase was hired, and that’s quarterback Sam Darnold.
After looking like the future of the franchise late in his rookie season under Todd Bowles and Jeremy Bates of all people, we’re no longer seeing Darnold operate with confidence. He’s no longer scanning the field as he once did. He locks on to a single receiver and panics if things aren’t looking as he expects, and his body language is that of a young player with tons of questions to ask, but with nobody to answer them.
This is what Adam Gase is. This is what he does. It’s what he has done any time he hasn’t had Peyton Manning to carry him. Hopefully teams realize that Bell’s lack of production is more about the talent around him and the hapless head coach who is probably cluelessly flipping his play card from one side to another and staring blankly even as we speak.