Adam Gase addressed the media for the first time on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine since he was introduced as the Jets' new head coach in January.
Gase has now had some time to evaluate the players he is inheriting and was able to expand on his feelings on how he will utilize them and the potential he sees.
Here are the takeaways from his latest press conference:
On Sam Darnold:
Gase has spoken highly of Darnold in the past and his potential, but on Wednesday the Jets head coach was able to how Darnold's injury could be beneficial to him going forward.
"Coming in, everybody was excited about it," he said. "To have the year he had last year, where he saw improvement throughout the year, saw a guy who went through some tough times, where he goes down with the injury, comes back and had a chance and really got the ideal situation where he was able to take a step back and watch and then go back in without making any kind of change at quarterback.
"I know at time he probably hated it that he was hurt, but it was probably really good for him. Now I'm looking forward, he knows things he needs to work on and we're going to progress from there."
On Leonard Williams:
Gase confirmed on Wednesday that the Jets plan to stick with a 3-4 base defense under Gregg Williams, which allows Leonard Williams to remain in his position as a 3-4 defensive end.
Yet Williams has not exactly been a sack machine as the team's pass-rusher, but Gase says he looks beyond the sacks when evaluating Williams.
"He was always very challenging for us to go against [in Miami]," he said. "We always accounted for him, tried to double him and he was hard to size up. Basically, we could not run the football because of him. … We struggled against him in pass protection as well. He was very disruptive.
"For me, I never look at sack numbers, I always look at pass disruption, how many hits on a quarterback, quarterback pressures and then throw in the sacks and now the numbers are going to look the way you want it. A lot of times we have a defensive lineman causing pass disruption you're going to get interceptions, fumbles and quarterbacks making wrong decisions and I think he does a good job disrupting the quarterback."
On Robby Anderson
Many believe the Jets will look to add a wide receiver to the roster this offseason, but Gase likes what he has in Anderson and sees multiple ways of using him rather than just a deep threat.
"Impressed by his speed. Unique. Not a lot of guys have what he has," Gase said. "The way he tracks the ball down field, I have not been around player that does it so smooth. ... we're just going to try and think of ways to get him ball, add variety in his routes. Instead of one or two things maybe open it up to five, six, seven things so he is a threat on multiple levels. Whether underneath, intermediate or down the field."
On Josh McCown
The Jets' 39-year-old quarterback served as a mentor to Darnold last season and Gase sounded open to wanting him back, but said it is ultimately up to McCown on whether or not he wants to retire.
"I did speak with him briefly when I first got to town," Gase said. "I'm going to give him some distance. It's a tough decision to get up there in age, your family, he has older kids playing high school sports. That's a tough decision for him to make whether or not he wants to be away from his family still. I'm trying to give him some space."
On Chris Herndon:
The Jets rookie tight end showed some promise in 2018 and while the Jets could target a tight end again in the draft, Gase certainly seems to like what he sees in Herndon.
"Chris is unique. I don't think you find a lot of tight ends on field all three downs," he said. "He's very good in run game, pass protection and receiving. … You don't see a lot of these guys that can do all three phases of the game. With a guy like that, if you need to implement a guy that's a blocking tight end or receiving tight end, it gives you flexibility and it helps those other guys."