Le’Veon Bell, welcome to the #GaseFreedomWatch.
The Jets are full-on embracing the tank in Year 2 of the Adam Gase era, and to say it’s gone rough is a bit of an understatement. Gase’s track record of coaching talented players to their full potential is, shall we say, not great, Bob. With the surprise release of Bell on Oct. 13, fans are eagerly anticipating the former All-Pro’s next landing spot.
Bell joins a long, established list of former Gase players who have blossomed away from the “brilliant offensive mind” of the much-maligned head coach, which has come to be known as the “Gase Freedom Watch.” It hasn’t taken Gase a long time to make his presence felt on the Jets, ousting talented running back Bell and others in just over a year on the job.
There’s plenty left in the tank for Bell, who is going to be able to sign with a contender who will likely use him to his full talents. And if past history is any indication, then Bell will get back to form.
Jarvis Landry, Browns
Landry’s split with Gase was probably the most public (until the Bell fiasco), and while the wideout showed out with the Dolphins at times, he’s found a home with the Browns as a 1A receiver. Landry’s 2016 was his best year on record, until Gase’s scheme dimished returns the next year.
After being traded to Cleveland, Landry has had to split receptions with Odell Beckham Jr. for two seasons and had to deal with general ineptitude of head coaching (deja vu) between Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchens. In 2019, he did set a career high in receiving yards, notching six touchdowns in the process.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Adam Gase’s reputation as an, ahem, quarterback whisperer, doesn’t particularly hold up well when you consider what has happened to Ryan Tannehill after escaping Gase’s clutches.
While people seem to forget that Tannehill had four seasons of relatively average quarterback play under his belt for the Dolphins before Gase showed up in South Beach, his time with Gase was slightly fruitful, heading to the playoffs in 2016, the only season that the Dolphins made the playoffs under Gase. Tannehill then missed the 2017 season, then missed time in 2018 with an injury leading to Gase’s infamous “tired of answering questions about this guy” press conference.
It was what came after Gase that makes Tannehill’s Miami production (or lack thereof) eye-opening. The Titans and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith have done wonders with Tannehill, utilizing an excellent mix of play action and deep-ball prowess to tap into Tannehill’s skillset, playing to his strengths as a passer. In 2019, Tannehill lead the league in yards per attempt, scoring 22 touchdowns in just 10 games as Titans starter. Through four games this season, he’s on pace to set a career high in passing TDs, evolving from Gase “failure” to successful reclamation project.
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Jay Ajayi, Eagles
Statistically, Ajayi had his best season with the Fins in 2016, which is why it’s confusing to see why and how he fell off with the Dolphins in Year 2 of his partnership with Gase, ending up in Philadelphia in 2017. Oh, he would be a piece of the Eagles’ championship-winning team that year.
Ajayi was never quite the same player following his ACL tear, but it’s weird to see Gase’s usage go from heavy to not in under a year.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
It should be unsurprising that Gesicki is popping off with the Dolphins now, considering that Adam Gase uses tight ends about as much as he does social media.
Gesicki is having a career year in 2020 with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his QB, currently on pace for career highs in every receiving category after improving those stats under Brian Flores in 2019. Not bad for a tight end.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins
It truly is incredible to see Parker’s emergence after the departure of Gase, who has become a receiving threat across the board. Sometimes the numbers are what they are, and that’s the case with Parker: just look at the difference in games and numbers above.
It wasn’t just the production for Parker, though: he was yet another player who seemingly butted heads with the coach, with Parker’s agent calling Gase incompetent and a liar amidst Parker trade rumors in 2018. While Parker refuted some of that, agents just don’t talk to talk, you know. They talk to make a point or send a message.
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Kenyan Drake, Cardinals
A recurring theme: Adam Gase doesn’t seem to work well with running backs — well, unless your name is Frank Gore.
Drake’s numbers with Gase were unspectacular, averaging 3.7 yards per carry in 2019 before he was traded to Arizona. The Cardinals utilized his talents well, upping his rate to over five yards per rush, hitting pay dirt eight times on the ground that season. Aside from that, the bulk numbers are drastically different in a much smaller sample with the Cardinals (and half of 2019 with Miami without Gase).
While Drake is off to a slow start in 2020 (averaging 3.7 yards per carry once again), he’s just another former Gase running back who found success elsewhere. Take notes, Le’Veon.
Robby Anderson, Panthers
While the Jets letting Robby Anderson — colloquially known as “Da Sun God” — walk was more a question of money over production, the former Jets receiver and No. 1 target for Sam Darnold has turned into just that for Teddy Bridgewater in Carolina.
Through five games, Anderson is en route to crush his career high in yards, and currently holds career highs in yards per game, and receptions per game, becoming a top target like everyone but Gase saw and thought he would become.
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