“It was a difficult decision, but I presume Gase and the things he is ready to complete, how he is ready to lead, I presume is the best thing for all of us,” Darnold said Thursday in a telephone interview with ESPN.
Darnold diminished to mention each offender, but he singled out Todd Monken, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator. He was impressed with Monken and predicted he can soon be a powerful head coach one day, however, Darnold said he clicked with Gase.
They spoke to 10 minutes Monday night via FaceTime, covering everything from team-building to Xs and Os.
“I’m really, very excited about the opportunity and all the things Adam could attract this team,” Darnold said. “For us, it’s all about winning. How do you do this? You score more points than the other team. I’m very excited about the chance to get to work with him, and score a lot of points. I believe that it’s going to be really enjoyable .”
Darnold expects that to change quickly.
“I actually don’t believe that they’ll be angry when we start winning games,” he said matter-of-factly.
The Jets interviewed eight famous applicants, including former greenbaypackers coach Mike McCarthy. Gase, Monken, Baylor coach Matt Rhule and McCarthy have been the 4 finalists.
“Adam is a great dude. To start with, a really trustworthy guy,” Darnold said. “He simply knows ball. He is very, very passionate about it. I believe that is what’s going to be awesome concerning this whole idea.
“His fire will be super, super contagious. Guys will want to really go around and play the game all the time. I believe that is sort of the leadership style, and I believe that is where he is going to thrive. I believe our guys will accept that sort of attitude.”
CEO Christopher Johnson said at the beginning of the search that getting a coach with a history of developing quarterbacks will be”a plus.” Darnold, coming off a solid conclusion to his rookie season, may be the center piece of the Jets’ future.
Darnold was in high school in 2013, when Manning threw a league-record 55 touchdown passes for the Denver Broncos, with Gase calling the plays.
“When Peyton was doing all of those activities in Denver, he was there behind the scenes doing every thing,” Darnold said of Gase. “Just him orchestrating this offense and receiving it to how he wants it, and to be able to manipulate a defense how you want to achieve it, it’s just going to look awesome. It’s going to be interesting too.”
Gase has lots of work in front of him. Despite Darnold’s late-season progress — he posted a league-high QBR over the last four games — that the Jets still finished 29th in total offense.
The Dolphins struggled, too, as they ranked 31st following a season where they finished 7-9. That’s one of the reasons why the group of followers is angry with this decision. But Darnold thinks in Gase’s background.
“I’m very excited to work with him because of the fantastic things he’s accomplished,” Darnold said. “I have to continue to push the guys and allow them to understand,’Hey, we’re going to do things like this which is how it will be. We’re going to log off to a fast start.’ And you believe we will win games doing that, too.”