This certainly won't do anything to brush aside the rumors of a potential partnership between Bill Belichick and Adam Gase.
When asked about Sam Darnold on Wednesday morning, not only did Belichick go into detail as to why Darnold is a "good prospect," he also went out of his way -- unprompted -- to praise the coaching Darnold has received as a member of the Jets.
"I know he's getting good coaching, and has a good system that works through the quarterback," Belichick said. "Adam's always had an offensive system that's really given quarterbacks all the tools they need to be successful.
"I don't think you could have anybody better coaching [Darnold] than where he's at. He's progressing as you'd expect he would."
This is noteworthy for several reasons.
- The Patriots just lost their quarterbacks coach, Jedd Fisch, to the head coaching job at the University of Arizona.
- Josh McDaniels is annually in the mix for head coaching positions around the NFL and recently reiterated his desire to become a head coach again one day.
- Gase could be on the move after the Jets put together one of the league's worst seasons this year; in his two seasons there, he's gone 9-22.
The Patriots could very well be looking for some help on their offensive coaching staff this offseason. And according to The MMQB's Albert Breer, Gase "could factor into the new setup."
Gase worked under Belichick friend Nick Saban at LSU as a graduate assistant. He later coached under Josh McDaniels -- who worked for Saban at Michigan State -- as the receivers coach in Denver in 2009 and 2010. He's familiar with the Patriots system, and clearly Belichick has mounds of respect for him.
On Tuesday, in chatting with Jets reporters, Belichick said, "I think Adam’s done a great job this year of continuing to improve the team with coaching. As usual, his excellent game plan and play calling are problems for the defense. This is a team that’s gotten better. How many guys are on some kind of injured list? It must be 20. It’s a long list. They continue to plug guys in there and play very competitively in all three phases of the game."
Belichick added: "He’s a good coach. They have a good system. He’s a good play caller. He puts a lot of pressure on defenses in the way he sets things up and uses personnel. His players improve. They get better. They execute better, gain confidence and perform better over the course of time. That’s weighted offensively. But you see it through the team. You saw that in Miami as well . . .
"His offense is well designed and well called. Fundamentally you can see the improvements that they are making steadily through the course of the season. Coach Gase and his staff have done an outstanding job. The plays have individually gotten better and collectively they’ve performed better. They’ve done a good job there."
If Gase is relieved of his duties following Sunday's season finale for both the Patriots and the Jets, might Belichick be willing to bring him aboard? Based on his public comments, sure sounds like he wouldn't be opposed.