New York Jets head coach Adam Gase is currently the subject of more than a few unflattering Twitter threads, many of which are focusing on his former players that have since gone on to have career years while being under the tutelage of other head coaches. But now, he’s in the spotlight for non-comments on his current team’s star running back.
The subject of Bell was brought up to Gase in a media session Monday, and his response when asked if he wanted Bell on the team next year was both bizarre and telling.
Gase on Le’Veon Bell’s Return in 2020: ‘I’m Not in Charge of Personnel’
“He’s under contract for three more years. You can ask Joe tomorrow,” Gase said, referencing Joe Douglas, the Jets GM. Gase was then asked directly by a reporter if he, the head coach of the New York Jets wanted Bell back on his team next year. “You can ask Joe tomorrow,” Gase repeated, before adding “I’m not in charge of personnel.”
Not only was Gase short and blunt when talking about Bell, he defied general NFL head coaching decorum by not speaking positive, or at the very least seeming neutral on the subject of one of his star players. As Gase noted, Bell just finished the first year of his four-year contract with the team, so it’s unlikely he would be traded after the Jets just went out and signed him.
With the video of Gase’s comments making the rounds on Twitter, it eventually made its way to Bell, who in turn responded on social media.
Le’Veon Bell Tweets Response to Adam Gase
A few hours after the video of Gase’s press conference and comments were released, Bell tweeted out a link with the video coupled with a gif from The Office featuring the face of a very angry Steve Carrell:
Bell has not responded other than that single tweet, but, like Gase’s press conference, much can be inferred.
As Kleiman noted, Bell had a bit of a down year in his first season under Gase. He had 245 carries for 789 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 66 receptions for 461 yards and one score, which are solid numbers, but he gained just 3.2 yards per rushing attempt — and that was a career-low.
Bell, for his part, has been incredibly positive about his experience in New York despite what has clearly been a down season. When he was the subject of trade rumors around the trade deadline, he handled it well, posting a video on social media in which he addressed Jets fans, saying he was “happy as hell” to be a Jet, while asking kindly for their patience as the team rebuilds.
The Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52.2 million deal with $35 million guaranteed this offseason, and he has seemingly been embraced by his teammates — maybe just not as much by his head coach. Jets safety Jamal Adams took to Twitter to say the following about Bell in October:
“Here’s one thing I gotta say. There was a lot of talk before we signed Le’Veon about what kind of guy he was. The media painted him out to be a horrible person, bad teammate, lazy player, but I can’t tell you enough how first class of a teammate he’s been. Real one!”
Jets general manager Joe Douglas will most certainly be asked about Gase’s comments when he speaks to the media on Tuesday. His response should be telling, as well. The Jets finished 7-9 in Gase’s first year with the team.
Previous Adam Gase-Led Players Having Success
Reporter Dov Kleiman noted on Twitter Monday that players like Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled under Gase specifically, but have had excellent years in 2019 — with other coaches.
“Under Adam Gase, players like DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, etc. have struggle (sic) to reach their full potential and have thrived under new coaches this season,” Kleiman wrote. Kleiman also noted that Tannehill had the best QBR in the league this year in Tennessee:
One interesting thing Kleiman also noted at the end of his tweet about Tannehill’s career year was his comment about running back Le’Veon Bell. “Meanwhile, an All-Pro player like Le’Veon Bell has had career low production this season,” Kleiman wrote.