FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase may be the Jets' new interim general manager, but he insisted that he did not engineer a power play to get the job and push Mike Maccagnan out the door.
In his first comments since Maccagnan was fired last week, Gase quickly dismissed the idea the notion that he had anything to do with that decision. "I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle," Gase said.
"Whoever is hired is going to have the same role (Maccagnan had) -- control of the roster, control of the 53," Gase said. "I will coach the team. That's what I'm going to do. Nothing has changed with that structure."
Technically, that's true. Even Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said that once a new GM is hired, the organizational structure -- where both the coach and GM report directly to him -- will remain the same. But that hasn't doused the perception that Gase was behind the ousting of Maccagnan and that he wanted the same kind of control over personnel that he had in Miami.
Gase dismissed that idea, saying he wasn't interested in anything more than coaching the team. And that may be true, but team sources did insist that a rift had developed between Maccagnan and Gase over personnel decisions -- including how much the Jets paid running back Le'Veon Bell, their decision not to aggressively pursue free agent center Matt Paradis, and how involved Gase was in the pre-draft process. Johnson, during his "deep dive" into the organization, saw those issues develop and they were part of why he fired his GM.
Gase, in his brief remarks to reporters, did not address that rift or anything about his relationship with Maccagnan. But he did insist he was surprised when Johnson told him he had decided to let Maccagnan go.
"He told me. That's what it was," Gase said. "He's the owner. In this business, s-t like that happens all the time. It happened to me last year (in Miami). That's what it is. I work for him. How we're aligned is the head coach and GM both report to the owner. That's the way it is."