It helps to have references when applying for a job. Adam Gase had an influential one.
Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning called Jets CEO Christopher Johnson on Tuesday night to recommend Gase for the team’s head-coaching opening. A day later, the Jets hired him.
Manning spent three seasons with Gase from 2012 to 2014 with the Broncos. Gase was the quarterbacks coach in the first season and the offensive coordinator in the final two years.
The two were part of a record-setting offense in 2013 that got all the way to the Super Bowl before a loss to the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium.
Manning and the Jets have a complicated history. He chose to stay in college at Tennessee in 1997 rather than enter the NFL draft when the Jets had the No. 1 overall pick. He also rebuffed advances from the Jets in 2012 when he became a free agent, ultimately landing with the Broncos.
Manning handed the Jets a painful loss in the AFC title game after the 2009 season, but the Jets beat his Colts a year later in the playoffs.