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NFL’s post-Adam Gase all-time team: Sam Darnold hops aboard

Sam Darnold, Adam Gase, NY Jets, Carolina Panthers
Sam Darnold, Adam Gase, NY Jets, Carolina Panthers, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

The legend of post-Adam Gase success stories continues

It’s no secret at this point that once players escape from the clutches of Adam Gase, they tend to improve … drastically.

It’s only been three games so far, but former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold looks to count as this unusual trend’s latest example.

Seeing as there is no shortage of players who have suited up for Gase at one point or another, we at Jets X-Factor wonder what a team composed only of these players would look like.

The bigger their breakout after their time with Gase, the higher their odds of making this team.

Without further ado, here is the unofficial NFL All-post-Gase first-team offense.

Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill

Widely labeled a bust during his time on the Miami Dolphins, the Tennessee Titans likely did not expect much when they traded for Ryan Tannehill.

However, when Marcus Mariota went down with an injury, Tannehill seized the starting job and hasn’t looked back since.

Former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold takes on the backup role for now.

Running back: Kenyan Drake

In fairness, Kenyan Drake isn’t seen as one of the league’s premier backs. But with that being said, during his time under Gase in Miami, Drake was flat-out bad.

Once he was traded to the Cardinals, however, he finished the 2019 season incredibly strong and was even widely taken within the first two rounds of fantasy drafts the next year.

Wide receivers: Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker

The problems that existed between Jarvis Landry and Adam Gase on the Miami Dolphins were well known. Landry’s two seasons under Gase are best summarized by this receiving stat in 2017: 112 receptions for less than nine yards per reception.

Jets fans are well-versed in Gase’s love for horizontal passes and bubble screens. Landry was vocal with his criticism, feeling his talents were being wasted.

Since Gase traded him to the Cleveland Browns in response, Landry has proven himself one of the league’s most talented receivers.

DeVante Parker’s situation was a bit different. He behaved himself publicly under Gase, but it was obvious that he was more talented than the offense was allowing.

It’s no coincidence that Parker’s first season without him resulted in 1,202 receiving yards and nine touchdowns — by far the best of his career.

Tight end: Mike Gesicki

The Dolphins drafted Mike Gesicki in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft. Coming out of college, Gesicki’s strengths were centered around him being a seam-busting receiving tight end.

However, inexplicably, Gase utilized him mainly as a blocker. That one season (his only under Gase), Gesicki was PFF’s 107th ranked tight end in pass protection and 131st ranked tight end in run blocking.

With Gase out of Miami in 2019, Gesicki snagged more than double the number of receptions and yards as he did the previous year, and found the endzone five more times.

Left tackle: Laremy Tunsil

Make no mistake, Laremy Tunsil actually wasn’t bad during his time playing for Miami. But what lands him the starting left tackle spot here is the fact that his pass protection numbers got a lot better once he departed for Houston.

Tunsil was very good, even under Gase, but leaving him still proved beneficial for the lineman’s play. In his final season under Gase, Tunsil ranked as PFF’s 13th-best left tackle in pass protection.

After getting traded to Houston in 2019, Tunsil ranked as PFF’s third-best left tackle in pass protection.

Left guard: Billy Turner

Billy Turner was cut by Gase in the middle of his third season with the Dolphins after they used a third-round pick on him in 2014.

His play has been inconsistent since then, but he played well enough to earn himself a four-year contract extension from the Packers in 2019. Gase let him go for free.

Center: Connor McGovern

When the Jets signed Connor McGovern, the expectation was that he would be a reliable starting center like he was on the Broncos the season prior. However, under Gase, McGovern regressed badly, grading out as one of the league’s worst starting centers in 2020.

It’s too early to say that McGovern has fully bounced back, but McGovern’s numbers are already much improved this year now that Gase is out of the picture.

Right guard: Jesse Davis

This was the one position that doesn’t have any obvious example of a player who improved without Gase — maybe we should start labeling him a “right guard guru” — but Jesse Davis gets the starting spot.

Davis is still a starter on the Dolphins offensive line, as he was under Gase. His numbers have, at the very least, stayed relatively similar following the departure of Gase. He is now playing tackle, however, so we will count that as an improvement.

Right tackle: George Fant

George Fant, like McGovern, has already seen his numbers improve from last season under Gase. Of course, it’s still early in the season to say for sure that he is better than last year, but with Gase’s history, is it really a stretch to just write him in now?

It’s almost uncanny how many instances there are of players improving without Adam Gase. Now that Gang Green is finally without him, it seems like a very safe bet that there will be some major breakouts on the Jets offense as this season progresses.

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2 years ago

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