NEW YORK — Frustrated fans woke up Monday morning to the reality that things remain the same for the New York Jets.In a word: painful.Adam Gase is still the coach. The offence is still struggling. So is the defence. Special teams, too. But, hey, at least the 0-6 Jets are now “winning” the slow crawl to the No. 1 overall draft pick. Whether that ends up being Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence remains to be seen.One thing's for sure, though: This season has been tough all around.“You can get all caught up in the emotions of this game and the outside noise of the fans, but no one cares more than the guys in the locker room,” guard Greg Van Roten said. “This is my job. I get paid to play football. I love this game and I want to go out there and play a perfect game every week. It's incredibly frustrating when you lose a game."It's even more frustrating when it's not even close because you have a short window to do this as a professional athlete.”Van Roten, a native of Long Island, grew up a Jets fan and said his father Thomas has followed the franchise for nearly 60 years.“As frustrated as the fans are, I understand that, but I'm way more frustrated than you are because this is a year of my playing life that's not going the way that you want it to go,” said Van Roten, in his first season with the Jets. “Dealing with that, you allow yourself to do your job and this is what you get paid to do, so you've got to find a way to stay positive, block out that noise and just play a good game the next time you get to go out there."Because, eventually, there's not going to be a next time.”Van Roten credited the embattled Gase with trying to find different ways to turn things around, from when they've met to how they've communicated and who has attended meetings. He said the coach showed about 30 plays Monday of Sunday's 24-0 loss at Miami to understand what the players were thinking in those situations and how they can all improve moving forward.“You don't want to show up on a Monday and it's the same as last week and the same as the week before that when you're not being successful on Sundays,” Van Roten said. “He is doing everything he can do to make sure we're all set to go for our next opponent.”WHAT’S WORKINGJoe Douglas' cellphone. With the Jets' season spiraling, the fire sale is officially on.Last week, the general manager tried finding a trade partner to move Le'Veon Bell before ultimately releasing him last Tuesday. After the game Sunday night, Douglas agreed to deal veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon to Tampa Bay. The Jets also sent a 2023 seventh-rounder to the Buccaneers in exchange for the Buccaneers' sixth-rounder in 2022.Douglas is likely not done, especially with plenty of time before the NFL's trade deadline on Nov. 3.WHAT NEEDS HELPWell, everything. But one key area that has been brutal: third-down efficiency. The Jets were an awful 2 of 17 in those situations at Miami, a major reason for their inability to get on the scoreboard.“Hey, man, it was a tough game and the only thing you can do in these situations is just hold your head up high and keep on fighting and fighting and fighting,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “It was ugly."But it hasn't just been that game. New York is last in the NFL with a 30.23% conversion rate on third downs.STOCK UPMarcus Maye. The safety provided one of the season's lone highlights when he intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick by pinning the ball against his backside while on the ground — The Butt Pick — and then securing it behind his back. It was an athletic play for Maye, who was moved this week to the deep safety role while Bradley McDougald was switched to the strong safety spot.STOCK DOWNFlacco. The 35-year-old quarterback hasn't been able to do much in Sam Darnold's place to get anything going on offence. Against the Dolphins, he was 21 of 44 for 186 yards with an interception and two penalties. He also lost 28 yards on one of his three sacks.“I definitely made some mistakes and have got to clean some things up and keep on going,” Flacco said. “But we’re playing in some really tough conditions right now and we’ve just got to keep getting better.”INJUREDIn addition to Darnold and LT Mekhi Becton, LG Alex Lewis has what Gase says is “multiple” shoulder issues and is week to week. ... OL Chuma Edoga has a calf injury. ... S Matthias Farley has a sprained ankle. ... LB Frankie Luvu could miss time with a groin injury.KEY NUMBER0 — The number of points the Jets scored against the AFC East-rival Dolphins. It marked the first time New York was shut out by Miami since losing 14-0 in the AFC championship game in January 1983.NEXT STEPSCould things get worse? Oh, yeah. The Jets' schedule is tough over the next several weeks: home vs. Buffalo, at Kansas City, and at home vs. New England on a Monday night before the bye-week break. For the record, no Jets team has started 0-9. Not even the 1996 squad, which opened 0-8 on its way to a franchise-worst 1-15.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLDennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The New York Jets agreed to terms on a trade that sent veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.According to a person with direct knowledge of the deal, Tampa Bay also acquired New York's 2023 seventh-round draft pick for the Buccaneers’ sixth-rounder in 2022. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced terms of the trade.The deal that was agreed upon Sunday night reunites McLendon with Buccaneers defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles, who was the Jets' head coach from 2015-18. McLendon will add depth to Tampa Bay's defensive line, which lost Vita Vea to a season-ending broken ankle on Oct. 8.“Sometimes it takes 5-10 years to get that 1 year that changes your life,” McLendon wrote on Instagram on Monday. "This journey has been nothing but great to me. I have the pleasure of meeting so many new friends, teammates, brothers, loved ones but most (of) all family.“I want to thank you all for your constant support and with you all God doesn't make any mistakes. As one road comes to (an) end, another one begins.”The 34-year-old McLendon becomes the second veteran player to part ways with the Jets in the past week. New York released running back Le'Veon Bell last Tuesday after he and coach Adam Gase didn't see eye to eye on how he was being used in the Jets' struggling offence.“It's something that evolved over the weekend,” Gase said of the McLendon trade. "Obviously, we talked with him and they ended up getting it finalized. It was an opportunity for him to go to compete at a place that is challenging to get in the playoffs. I know it wasn’t an ideal situation for him as far as leaving this group since he has put so much into this team and he was a great leader for us.“It does give our young guys more opportunities, but it was just kind of one of those things where both sides thought it was the best thing to do.”With the Jets 0-6 for the first time since 1996 and the NFL's only winless team, New York could be far from finished dealing. Some might consider this the start of a fire sale in which the Jets sell off players and reshape their roster before what will likely be a busy off-season.“This, to me, was a different deal,” Gase said. “I just think it was something that came up and then after talking to Steve and those guys kind of working things out with Tampa, we just felt like this was the right thing to do.”McLendon spent his first seven NFL seasons with Pittsburgh before signing a three-year, $12 million contract with New York in 2016. He quickly became one of the team's locker room leaders, with several of the young defensive players, including Quinnen Williams and Folorunso Fatukasi, crediting McLendon with helping them adjust to life in the NFL.McLendon was re-signed to a one-year deal by the Jets in March 2019, and then given a one-year extension last October. He was scheduled to become a free agent after this season and was unlikely to be re-signed by New York.McLendon has been one of the league's most consistent run stuffers during his 11-year NFL career. He has 226 total tackles, 12 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLDennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press
The Jets' missteps are all smashing together when the best QB prospect of the past 20 years will likely be available. Why shouldn't they keep Gase around for now?