One thing that's been impressive about Adam Gase in his short time in the Jets' cockpit is his detailed support for the players he's inherited after he came aboard in January. That came through in Gase's remarks about the Jets wide receivers and specifically Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa at the start of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
"There's a lot of players that I didn't know about, probably more on the offensive side than the defensive side," Gase told newyorkjets.com's Eric Allen in a sitdown inside Lucas Oil Stadium this week. "There's been a lot of things that are more of a pleasant surprise to where, 'Hey, this guy's got more speed, better ability, route concept.' With that receiver room, there's some talent in that room."
Regarding Anderson, Gase said the surprise was in how the third-year wideout combined his speed with his control in catching the ball in stride.
"I was very impressed with Robby's speed. You don't see a whole lot of guys that have what he has," the coach said. "And the way he tracks the ball downfield, I don't think I've been around a player that does it as smooth. When he sticks his hands out and at the speed he's running, you see him just pluck the ball and keep on going.
Gase has a phrase for what he and his coaching staff want to do with Anderson and others in the offseason and training camp: "We want to make sure his variety is great."
"We want to think of ways to get him the ball, ways to create variety in his routes," he told reporters earlier in the day. "Instead of just doing one or two things, maybe we can open that up to five, six, seven things to where he's a threat on multiple levels, whether it be underneath, intermediate or down the field."
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Gase also talks about variety and levels when he describes what he's seen in Enunwa, in person during his time as Miami's head coach and on video in the last month-plus.
"Obviously Quincy's had a lot of good games against us. He's the type of guy who you just want to get the ball in his hands and you really don't care how you do it, because his physicality as a runner is unique," Gase said. "He's a big guy for a wide receiver. You almost don't realize it, especially when you see him on the field or in person You realize this guy can be a factor on a lot of different levels.
"Really for us, it's going to be about the variety of routes we try to do with him and see how far he can take that, give him all those options and let him sort it out."
Then, of course, the one who's pulling the trigger on all those options for Robby, "Q" and the rest of the wideouts is Darnold. Allen asked Gase what he's seen of his young QB that he didn't know that much about before he arrived.
"I think Sam's mobility really strikes me as something I didn't know was as great as it was last year, his ability to move outside the pocket and make throws on the move," he said. "You normally don't want that to happen because that's when the protection breaks down. But that's really the NFL. It's hard to stand back there, just hold onto the ball and wait for guys to get open. You have to be able to move in the pocket, and when you get a lane, break free, maybe head off to the right, stay behind the line and throw the ball downfield.
"Sam has that ability, and I think he improved as the season went on. You could see his clock slow down a lot toward the end of the season. He was comfortable back there and did a lot of things that were really impressive."