Sam Darnold and Adam Gase spent some time Monday night chatting on FaceTime. The Jets can only hope it is the first of many fruitful conversations.
Gase was tapped Wednesday to be the franchise’s new head coach and to develop Darnold, the 21-year-old the Jets hope is their quarterback for a long time.
Gase’s background working with quarterbacks appealed to the Jets.
“Gase is unbelievable with quarterbacks,” one NFL source said.
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The Jets had better hope so.
Gase’s track record is a mixed bag statistically. As the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, he had a lot of success with Peyton Manning. As the Dolphins’ head coach, he was not as successful with Ryan Tannehill.
It is easy to dismiss his success with Manning, believing anyone could succeed with the future Hall of Famer as his quarterback, but Manning had his best season in the NFL in 2013. Manning threw for a career-high 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. The offense set several NFL records and looked unstoppable until the Seahawks crushed the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
A year earlier, Manning was coming off neck surgery and had not played in two years when Gase was the quarterbacks coach in Denver. Manning threw 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and for 4,659 yards. In their final year together in 2014, Manning completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 4,727 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
The Broncos offense was No. 1 in yardage and points in 2013, and No. 4 in yardage and No. 2 in points in 2014.
Gase spent one year as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015, when he helped Jay Cutler slice his interception total from 18 the year before down to 11. Cutler threw for 3,659 yards that year with 21 touchdowns. The Bears offense was No. 21 in total yards and 23 in points.
His tenure with the Dolphins is tough to evaluate because Tannehill struggled to stay healthy. In 2016, Tannehill played 13 games. He completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,995 yards with 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He missed all of 2017 and then in 2018 he played 11 games, completing 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,976 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The Dolphins’ offensive rankings under Gase were nothing to celebrate. In total yards they ranked 24th in 2016, 25th in 2017 and 31st in 2018. In scoring offense they were 17th, 28th and 26th, respectively.