Two New York Jets defensive players have questioned the team’s practice habits amid an 0-2 start, prompting head coach Adam Gase to address the criticism on Wednesday.
Safety Bradley McDougald lamented the Jets’ “slow practices” in the aftermath of Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and linebacker Avery Williamson said Tuesday that the team doesn’t “start fast at practice” after being asked about McDougald’s comments.
“I definitely can agree with him at times; sometimes in practice, guys are missing tackles or we’re not doing things right, we haven’t been as crisp as we should be at times,” Williamson said during an interview on WFAN.
“Or starting fast — he’s definitely correct that at times, we don’t start fast at practice. We haven’t the last two weeks, but that’s something we have to fix ourselves, because you can’t come out sluggish in games and expect to win. It’s tough to recover when a team you’re playing is that good.”
Gase, who said he got a text from Williamson about his comments, didn’t agree with the sentiments.
“Nobody said anything during the week,” Gase said Wednesday. “I felt like we had really good tempo to practice. Sometimes an individual guy, if he wants to change something, we talk about it every week. It’s not like it’s not an open forum. If somebody doesn’t like the way something is going, we can easily speak up.”
The Jets have trailed 21-3 at halftime in both losses to open the season.
“We had some slow practices. … It correlates to the game,” McDougald said on SNY after last Sunday’s loss. “We need to have a complete full week of just great practices. And I don’t think we’ve had that yet. Until we can dominate in practice Wednesday, Thursday, Friday … Sunday is going to be a toss-up.”
The Jets play the Indianapolis Colts on the road on Sunday.