There are no reasons why Adam Gase would not be telling the truth about Le’Veon Bell’s hamstring tightness, about keeping him off the field as a precaution, and maybe it wasn’t the worst idea in the world to take a longer look at promising rookie La’Michel Perine anyway.
On the day when the temporary post-Jamal Adams peace in the wild and wacky world of the Jets was shattered as Le’Veon Bell took to Twitter and called his head coach a liar:
“Ain’t nothin wrong with my hamstrings.”
Everything wrong with going public with it and creating the illusion of a rift — if it is an illusion.
This is no way to convince your head coach and playcaller to Just Give You the Damn Ball and make you a bell cow … on the contrary, it is udder madness.
It is no absolutely no way to convince your general manager, Joe Douglas, and your head coach that Adams mouthing his way out of town marked the end of the Jets’ culture crisis.
It is a fumble.
And for a 28-year-old back coming off his worst (3.2 yards per carry) season as a pro, it runs the risk of being viewed around the league as the beginnings of professional suicide.
What Gase has to do immediately, with the regular-season opener two weeks from Sunday, is sit down with Bell and nip this in the bud before it becomes the kind of distraction that Adams had threatened to become.
There is no trade market for Bell, who is due $13 million this season, so this should be viewed by both sides as a marriage of convenience that is now certain to end in divorce at the end of the season.
Gase, who clashed as Dolphins head coach with receiver Jarvis Landry, needs to step up his relationship and communication skills to survive and advance, and indications are that he has.
But Bell suddenly looms now as a test case for him.
Gase should also solicit Frank Gore as his invaluable lieutenant to help mediate and defuse the possibility of any firestorm that could jeopardize the 2020 season.
Could you imagine Saquon Barkley calling Joe Judge a liar?
Bell’s bombshells came out of the blue and must have blindsided Gase, who has been gushing about him all training camp reporting in the best shape of his life. Bell has played the part of the good soldier, even when Gase admittedly deployed him erratically last season.
Bell had talked as recently as Monday as soaking up every bit of wisdom the 37-year-young Gore brings to the building. Something obviously slipped through the cracks. Gore hasn’t lasted 16 NFL seasons by tweeting: “its tough to stay loose when you do a bunch of standing around……& I’m used to GOINGGG”
And: “I PRACTICE for a GAME!!! I need to PRACTICE to be great in GAMES!!! duh.”
Bell, for reasons known only to him, decided to hit send not long after Gase had told the media why he was on board with the trainers limiting Bell to two series in Wednesday’s intrasquad scrimmage. (And not long after Gase mentioned that Gore looks the way he did in 2008, and no one should have been surprised by Perine’s 79-yard TD romp.)
“We didn’t want anything with the amount of soft tissue [injuries] that we’ve had,” Gase said.
Bell, a prideful man, has plenty to prove. He maniacally trimmed his body down to 210 pounds in an attempt to prove it.
“I feel better at 28 than I did at 21,” he said Monday.
There could be an element of insecurity at play here. A star running back hellbent on giving the league hell again … if he still can. If Gase will let him.
But on this day for Gase, and for the Jets, he was Le’Veon Hell.