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Attitude, swagger attracted Adam Gase to Gregg Williams

New Jets head coach Adam Gase talks about his final days in Miami, his first impressions of Sam Darnold and more with Mike Florio.

Jets coach Adam Gase will run the offense in New York. He needed someone to run the defense. And he ran to former Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

“I’ve know him for 10 to 12 years,” Gase told the #PFTPM podcast. “He’s somebody that I’ve gone against multiple times. I’ve always enjoyed facing him because I knew what kind of team I was going to be going against. There was an energy that was brought any time we played a game where he was the defensive coordinator because I knew what he was bringing, he knew what my offense was going to bring as far as intensity and physicality and just the grind that we were going to put into that game.

“I’ve always wanted to work with him, I’ve always wanted to go against him in practice. I love the way that his players feel about him, the swagger, the attitude that he brings to his group. I love his experience and the fact that he’s been a head coach. He takes over Cleveland’s deal and they’re winning ball games over there and he’s acting like this is what it was going to be the whole time. Like he didn’t even blink an eye, he wasn’t surprised, and I love that about him. His attitude is just infectious.”

His attitude is infectious, but he also brings the kind of type-A personality that can create confusion or divided loyalties in a locker room regarding who’s in charge. Gase isn’t worried about that.

“We’re here to win,” Gase said. “That’s what we’re here to do. I don’t go into this thinking, ‘Hey I’m worried about this, I’m worried about this.’ I’m not worried about anything. I’m worried about how are we going to win football games? How are we going to get our guys ready? How are we going to put the best team possible? How are we going to put the best coaching staff together? And that’s why Gregg is the first guy that we’re getting on board right now. . . .

“I’m excited. I just keep picturing practice is . . . going to be the difference maker for us is, it’s going to be like a game every day. Because the competition and the competitiveness between Gregg, myself, the staffs, that’s what you want. That’s how you get that energy you want to where the players feel that, they’re practicing like that, they’re creating that attitude so now all of a sudden it becomes the fourth quarter, it’s a close game, our guys have been there before.”

Gase also isn’t worried about the bounty scandal from 2012, a controversy that immediately resurfaced on the back pages of the tabloids after Williams’ name emerged as the likely defensive coordinator.

“Gregg was penalized for that heavily and football was taken away from him,” Gase said. “He did his time and that’s what makes this country great, right? People get second chances all the time. He’s gotten a second chance, he’s done it right, he’s gone and he has worked extremely hard to do things right and for me or anyone else to hold that over his head to me is wrong. It’s just like when we give players second opportunities. It’s the same thing. People make mistakes, we’ve moved on from it, he did his time and to me that’s something I’m not even concerned about.”

It was a cultural phenomenon that the league eradicated by making an example of the Saints. And that cultural phenomenon has disappeared from the league in the seven years since Williams ended up out of football for a full season.