A day after the Jets season came to an end, a few of the team’s wide receivers expressed their frustration with offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.
The Jets finished 29th in total offense this season, struggling to move the ball in Bates’ first season as coordinator. Both Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse said Bates’ system had issues.
“Guys were put in boxes, and I think that it kind of affected how defenses played against us,” Enunwa told The Post. “It’s not easy as a receiver when you’re told that this is the only route you’re gonna run, and then the defense also knows that. It didn’t lend to a lot of variety.
“When you keep defenses on their heels, it makes it that much easier for the offensive players, and we weren’t capable of doing that. It was very predictable. That kind of makes it hard as a player, and it makes it easier on the defense.”
Enunwa said the problems were expressed to Bates, but nothing changed.
“Yes. I think small things were said throughout the year,” Enunwa said. “Injuries kind of slowed some stuff down, with Sam [Darnold], with myself, so we had some issues, but I think that there still wasn’t much of an excuse as to why you have guys doing certain things when they’re able to do more or they’re not able to do certain things. It just wasn’t favorable.”
Enunwa finished the year with 38 catches for 449 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. Kearse played 14 games and had 37 catches for 371 yards and one touchdown.
“I felt that I wasn’t a part of it as much,” Kearse said of the offense. “I felt like I kind of got put on the back burner a bit, which can happen. For me, coming off my best year statistically the year before, I had some really high expectations. It was just really frustrating and unfortunate that things didn’t go the way I expected, which happens some times. Do I think it played a role? Yes. But, like I said, I hold myself accountable. At the end of the day, I have to go out there and perform.”
Asked to assess Bates, Kearse said, “I’m going to pass.”
Kearse, who is scheduled to become a free agent in March, stressed he was taking the blame for his poor season and not just blaming Bates.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Kearse said. “I’m not going to sit here and put all the blame on him. I hold myself accountable. I’m out there on the field. It weighs on me, too. It wasn’t a match. It just didn’t match. The year before, I was able to showcase a little bit more.”
Additional reporting by Steve Serby