Joe Douglas was introduced as the newest general manager in the history of the New York Jets on Tuesday.
The union of Douglas and Gang Green reunites the GM with coach Adam Gase with whom he spent a year with the Chicago Bears: Douglas as director of college scouting and Gase as offensive coordinator in 2015. It was in the Windy City where the two struck up a bond that helped facilitate Douglas’ hire in New York last week.
"I’m excited to be working with Adam again after building a special bond in Chicago," Douglas said in his opening statement Tuesday. "We share a vision of building a team and I look forward to partnering with him and getting this program to a place where we’re consistently competing for championships every single year."
Douglas elaborated on their friendship later: "I don’t think you can talk about that relationship without talking about Chicago. … I’ll never forget Adam was the guy who came and reached out to me almost immediately and we struck up a friendship. He invited us over his house, we were able to share dinner, we were able to talk ball and it just was apparent from the very beginning that we share a lot of the same visions about team work, about team building that was going to build a championship program."
Also comfortable with his new team-building partner, Gase told reporters of Douglas, per the New York Daily News, "He probably likes my insanity a little bit."
Douglas’ sunny language about his relationship with Gase illustrates a departure from the Mike Maccagnan-Gase union that lasted less than four months. Gase was hired to replace fired coach Todd Bowles in January but Maccagnan was kept on, leading to an arranged marriage that did not work out, to say the least.
When New York fired Maccagnan following the draft, Douglas was named as a favorite to succeed the GM within an hour of the news breaking. Douglas, a product of the Ozzie Newsome scouting tree, was seen as one of the rising general manager prospects. The Jets interviewed four candidates, but fell in love with Douglas and reportedly ended up paying him double what they initially offered on a six-year deal.
Despite turning down the Jets’ initial offers, Douglas said Tuesday that New York is where he wants to be, partly because of Gase.
"I think my relationship with Adam played a great part in this but also just the opportunity to spend quality time with (Jets owner) Christopher Johnson," Douglas said. "I can’t tell you how special that was for me. I think we share a lot of the same vision of what it takes to win. of partnership and teamwork."
That vision includes a hunt for players that "never stops." Douglas made a point to emphasize the Jets’ No. 3 place in the waiver order, saying, "We’re going to comb through every waiver wire that’s out." He’s already made a transaction, too, releasing tight end Neal Sterling on Tuesday.
It was his first of many moves as the general manager of Gang Green, most of which he said will be collaborative inside the Jets’ facility.
"I’m not a yes man and I have a lot of conviction when it comes to belief systems and players that I like," Douglas told NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones. "It’s not just me. I expect that from everyone on our staff, scouts and coaches. If you do the work, if you have an opinion, we should all hear it. At the end of the day, we should hash it out.
"We might not all agree, but we’re going to do what’s best for the New York Jets."
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