Adam Gase being brought on to be the head coach of the New York Jets began as an uncreative hire, but has since blossomed into one of the more entertaining storylines of the NFL offseason through his own design. When we last caught up with Gase, his hypnotic eyeballs distracted us from some of his concerning comments like “we sacrificed statistics to get wins.” Since then, he’s managed to increase the total of melted football-brains on his staff by adding former Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams.
It’s a bummer to see someone who had so many totally real job offers to become a head coach have to settle for a coordinator position, but the good news is that he’ll have “friends” and family alongside him throughout the year to lift his spirits. The Jets announced their 2019 coaching staff on Friday and two names in particular stand out: Blake Williams and Joe Vitt.
Blake worked with his dad Gregg last season on the Browns as the linebackers coach, and the guy who called defensive plays towards the end of the year. Gregg understandably wanted to bring his son along with him to New York, but Gase reportedly “balked” at the idea of bringing him on, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. Gregg was upset with the call, but Gase had good reason to dismiss the idea of hiring Blake. The younger Williams apparently screamed at a prospect in a scouting-combine interview during his tenure with St. Louis, and he was known to sit in seats reserved for senior staff members while on the bus. (The second issue is dumb, but when you’re a football coach, these things sometimes matter for one reason or another). Gase eventually agreed to bringing Gregg onto his staff, but as an assistant as opposed to a positions coach.
Joe Vitt, senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach, is another hire who has a familial connection to a Jets coach—he’s Gase’s father-in-law—but his more notable tie to current members of the organization is with Gregg Williams. You see, Vitt and Williams were both working in New Orleans during the bountygate scandal and were each handed separate punishments from the league for their respective roles in it. Williams was given an “indefinite” suspension (one year in actuality) while Vitt was given six games. Vitt’s sentence was reportedly reduced because he testified against his former coworker, a move that is theoretically the last time the two coaches seriously interacted.
None of this is to say that conflict is inevitable within this staff, but it’s hard to imagine how all of these notable football guys manage to tip-toe around such topics without suppressing anger that eventually bubbles up and causes an emotional explosion. What happens if Vitt and Williams get into an argument that Gase needs to intervene in? No matter who’s right it’s a lose-lose scenario. He either sides with his family, which Williams will take exception to considering how Gase initially dismissed Blake, or he’ll be siding with Gregg fucking Williams and pissing off his own family. At best, this set up will just be incredibly awkward for all involved. It’s not an ideal position for him to be in, but it’s a great place to watch someone else stand in from a fan’s perspective as the season progresses. This might be the most fun 7-9 season ever.