NEW YORK - The Jets will throw their proven losing head coach to the wolves when the brain trust feels the need to seek shelter from the avalanche of warranted criticism.
Adam Gase will be the sacrificial lamb at some point. He should be. But a larger concern remains for this wayward franchise. A frustrated fan base searching for a flicker of hope has placed its faith in another giant question mark. Joe Douglas has his fingerprints all over this mess, too.
While Gase has become an easy target and whipping boy among the masses, Douglas is hardly blameless for a string of choices that has turned the Jets into the NFL's unquestioned laughingstock.
Blaming Douglas' predecessor is convenient, lazy and predictable. Although Mike Maccagnan deserves blame for a piece of this train wreck, he's been gone for nearly a year and a half. It's time to close that chapter rather than bludgeon a guy who had nothing to do with the blunders since his ouster.
Gase's ineptitude as a professional football coach has provided cover for Douglas to this point. Fans are out for blood. Gase is terrible, but let's stop pretending that the general manager is an innocent bystander.
Although it's premature to cut the cord on the neophyte GM, it's time to actually hold him accountable for his actions. Douglas was the offseason architect who fostered the worst kind of environment for a talented young quarterback.
While Douglas' promise to Sam Darnold's parents last year that he was going to protect and help their son makes for a warm and fuzzy tale, the truth is that the GM didn't actually do that.
Darnold has the worst supporting cast of any young starting quarterback. Douglas' personnel blunders and general mismanagement have helped put the franchise in a precarious position with Darnold, who has regressed by every objective measure.
What was Douglas thinking when he shopped on the clearance rack for offensive linemen and decided not to re-sign Darnold's most dynamic young receiver?