FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Adam Gase is calling a timeout on the perceptions that he won a power struggle with Mike Maccagnan.
The New York Jets coach — and acting general manager — said he was surprised when team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson told him Maccagnan was being fired as the GM last Wednesday.
There had been rumors and reports during the NFL draft that there was tension between Gase and Maccagnan, which both denied. When Johnson made the stunning announcement that the Jets were parting ways with Maccagnan, many viewed it as Gase coming out on top in a clash of philosophies.
“I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle,” Gase said Monday while speaking briefly at the team facility. “Whoever is getting hired is going to have the same role: control of the roster, control of the 53. I will coach the football team. That’s what I’m going to do.
Gase is entering his first season with the Jets after three in Miami, where he made the personnel decisions with the roster but went 23-26, including 0-1 in the playoffs, with the Dolphins before being fired. He was hired in January by the Jets — with Maccagnan involved in the decision — after Todd Bowles was fired following four seasons. Johnson opted to not clean house, instead decided to keep Maccagnan in place as the GM.
But Johnson had a change of heart in recent weeks after taking what he called a “deeper dive” into the inner workings of the organization.
“In this business, (stuff) like that happens all the time,” Gase said, referring to Maccagnan’s firing. “It happened to me last year. I think that’s what it is. I mean, I work for (Johnson). That’s how we’re aligned is the head coach and the GM both report to the owner. That’s the way it is.”
Gase took only one question from reporters about the situation and deferred additional questions to his news conference Thursday after the team’s organized team activities.
The Jets are in the beginning stages in their search for a new general manager, and Johnson said last week that Gase would “assist” in the process.