The Adam Gase-Le’Veon Bell squabble is without a New York Jets hero, which means neither side should be applauded.
Team Bell or team Gase? Which are you?
Le’Veon Bell’s social media rampage over the last 24-or-so hours has caused quite the stir—one familiar around these parts. For those healthy adults not spending 18 hours a day on Twitter, Bell liked several tweets suggesting his misuse in the offense, as well as one suggesting the team should trade him.
Bell returned to the field Sunday after a three-week IR stint due to a bad hamstring. He collected 60 yards on 13 carries in the New York Jets’ ugly 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. Bell was targeted in the passing game just once, coming away with a single reception for seven yards.
Gase, long-rumored to not want Bell’s services in the first place, has never properly used Bell’s attributes. Worse yet, there always seems to be something brewing between the two men, despite any public sentiments to the contrary.
So which side are you standing firmly by, Bell or Gase?
Are you part of the 95 percent or so who’d do anything to see Gase on a bus crossing the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border heading west on I-80?
Why not? I mean, it’s the popular thing to do on Twitter. After all, Bell was a generational talent that elevated his game to an area that put him in a rare NFL class.
Or, are you one of the brave few who cannot stand Bell and will tolerate Gase?
This is the team that gathers the cynics, the naysayers who love to mix it up. It’s also the team that correctly points out offering a running back a lucrative four-year, $52.5 million deal at age 27 was a sign in itself this franchise was ready to put forth terrible seasons. In no hard salary-cap world is that a smart move considering backs age more quickly than any NFL position.
Bell or Gase? Gase or Bell? Pick one. It’s 2020 and you must represent an extreme view. Those are the rules.
Hopefully, in the end, it’s neither. This squabble features no winners.
The only thing the Bell-Gase feud demonstrates is that the entire operation needs to be blown up at its root. Neither individual is a long-term answer for the franchise.
On a Monday conference call, the Jets head coach touched on the squabble by discussing his usage.
“We try to get him the ball, sometimes when you got a guy inside-outside of you, it is what it is,” Gase told reporters. “Sometimes a defense takes guys away that we’re trying to get the ball to. I get it, an aspect of players, they get frustrated when they feel like they should either be targeted more, get more touches. I mean, there’s a lot of guys feeling that way. We just got to go back to work and figure out ways to get our guys involved.”
Gase explained that the Cardinals’ defense had a lot to do with Bell’s lack of touches in the receiving game. Instead of playing a ton of two-deep, Kliff Kingsbury‘s team dropped a safety low for much of the game.
More important than strategy is the communication aspect of the entire saga.
From the moment the game ended Sunday afternoon through early Monday afternoon, the two hadn’t communicated. Obviously, in a Gase-hatred-filled social media world such as this, not too many head coaches will actively tune-in to the headlines, and understandably so. (Gase has even mentioned in the past that he actively avoids opening up browsers on his computer and/or phone.)
Ignorance is not bliss.
Whether it should have been Gase who made the first move upon hearing about Bell’s social media activity, or Bell himself, who’s obviously frustrated, one or the other needed to reach out to the other man … like a man.
It’s not as though this should be a surprise.
Back in August, Bell was removed from a training camp practice for what Gase labeled as a hamstring issue due to precautionary reasons. Immediately after practice, Bell took to social media to tell the world that nothing was wrong with his hammies. Fast-forward a bit and suddenly Bell is leaving the Buffalo turf with a hamstring injury.
Communication has completely fallen apart in the Gase era, and the blame for that will always travel to the top, to where the head coach is standing.
“I mean, I hate that’s the route that we go with all this, instead of just talking to me about it, but (it) seems the way that guys want to do it nowadays,” Gase added.
If the Jets head coach is right about one thing, it’s that the average individual will take to social media these days to vent, share and express thoughts, oftentimes in a destructive fashion. It just can’t be anybody from your football team. That’s not anything a winning program represents.
The fans, however, own the ability to say what they want online with no head coach worrying about the repercussions. That’s why the fans need to police themselves and call out the silliness from every angle, individual.
Part of the reason so many are on the team Bell bandwagon is the idea his noise can ultimately doom Gase. While that’s certainly a possibility, a franchise cannot fire a head coach due to public sentiment. It must realize, on its own, that the head coach must go. Anything short of that will simply lead to the next bad coaching hire, and Bell pushing that issue will only further cloud the scenario.
Additionally, Bell just pulled the same move Jamal Adams did in the offseason, yet the majority of fans hold one in high regard and the other as plain evil. In what world is it not OK for Adams to play the social media game in order to get his ticket out of town all offseason, yet fine and dandy for Bell to do the same in-season?
Fewer hypocrites mean a better shot at clarity, unity—something a proactive fan base should always seek.
Team Bell? Team Gase? No. Hopping aboard either team is one more fan aboard the wrong team.
The only team right now should be the one gathering smart fans who want to see it blown up, simultaneously ridding themselves of both individuals who have proven not to be worthy of their respective jobs and salaries.
No head coach should suffer through as many miscommunication issues as Adam Gase has. No team-first football player should be taking to social media to vent as frequently as Le’Veon Bell has.
New York Jets fans need to start the smart, productive movement: “Team blow it up” or “team neither guy.”