New York Jets coach Adam Gase, trying to keep his winless team from fracturing, wasn't pleased that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took a veiled shot at the offense when speaking to reporters Friday.
"I wasn't happy about it, but we talked about it," Gase said. "Right now, our players are doing such a good job as far as trying to get things righted. It's just that everything we say, it matters. He understood that we have to set the right example."
With the season spiraling, the coaches have emphasized to players the importance of not pointing fingers. Williams seemed to do just that with a cryptic remark about the struggling offense, which is run by Gase.
On Friday, Williams was prompted by a reporter who noted the Jets were allowing 32 points per game. The fiery defensive coordinator replied, "It's not a very good number -- and a lot of it's not all defensively."
Asked to elaborate, he said, "You'd have to figure it out."
Gase was irked. At first, he tried to downplay it, saying, "He was trying to talk about complementary football, all three phases playing together."
Nevertheless, it prompted Gase to call a meeting with Williams to discuss it. Gase insisted the matter is resolved.
"I felt like we were good after we talked," Gase said.
Gase also offered a harsh rebuke of Williams in the CBS production meeting on the eve of the game. According to the telecast, Gase told the CBS crew, "That's not what we need. No one is pointing fingers. We all need to pull in the same direction. Everyone needs to shut up and play."
Williams wasn't available for comment after the game.
Gase and Williams, who worked together last year for the first time, have an odd dynamic. Williams has autonomy to call plays and make lineup changes. It has created the perception of a disconnect between offense and defense.
"I disagree with that," Gase said. "I know what you're saying, but me and Gregg, we talk so much. We talk through a lot of things, not just football. We talk through things, and the majority of the time, we're thinking exactly the same thing. We'll have discussions if we're not.
"We're just trying to get guys to focus on doing things better. Us as coaches, we have to do the same thing."
The latest loss did fall greatly on the offense. The defense played well in the second half, limiting the Dolphins (3-3) to a field goal. The offense didn't convert a third down until the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Joe Flacco, who started for the injured Sam Darnold for the second straight game, was ineffective.
"We can't wait to the f---ing fourth quarter," running back Frank Gore said. "We can't f---ing wait to the fourth quarter to f---ing wait to start playing ball."
Gore said he is "sick of it" but defended the embattled Gase, claiming the problems aren't scheme-related.
"We haven't done anything well this year at all," Gase said. "We just hurt ourselves so much. Last year, we trended in the right direction. We improved. ... This year, we have to figure out a way to improve really quickly, from top to bottom, coaches, players, it doesn't matter, everybody. We have to get things better."
Gase said he is not concerned about CEO Christopher Johnson making a coaching change.
"I'm not even thinking about it," Gase said. "I have to focus on making sure our guys are ready to go when we get back in the building on Monday ... and getting ready for this next game."