Adam Gase moving on from Jets' breakup with Jamal Adams: 'We want guys who want to be here'

Bruce Irvin can't wait to play with Jamal Adams (1:13)

Bruce Irvin gives high praise to new Seahawks teammate Jamal Adams and expresses his eagerness to play with Adams. (1:13)

New York Jets coach Adam Gase called Jamal Adams an "incredible talent," but he didn't sound broken up by the messy divorce with the star safety.

"We want guys who want to be here," Gase said Tuesday on a conference call, commenting for the first time on the blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks. "Obviously, he didn't want to be here anymore."

Adams, who requested a trade when it became apparent he wouldn't receive a contract extension this year, lashed out at the organization in recent weeks. He saved his harshest criticism for Gase, whose leadership he questioned in a New York Daily News interview last week.

For the most part, Gase took the high road, shifting his attention to the current roster.

"The decision was made to move on," he said. "It's a team game. We have a bunch of guys that are excited to get going and those are the guys I'm going to focus on. I'm extremely fired up to [coach] this roster ..."

As much as he tried to distance himself from the Adams breakup, Gase took issue with one of the player's claims. Adams told the newspaper Gase didn't address the team as a whole at halftime when it was playing poorly.

"As far as the alleged addressing at halftime, we had only two times in the second half of the season when we were down," Gase said. "One was the Cincinnati game. I addressed the team at halftime. One was Baltimore. I addressed the team at halftime.

"One game he was [injured] in the training room, at Cincinnati. One he wasn't playing. So it's hard for me to answer a question like that when I know the correct answer."

Gase didn't reference the first half of the season, when the Jets trailed in six of eight games at halftime.

Quarterback Sam Darnold defended his coach's leadership.

"He's the right leader for this team, for sure," Darnold said on a Zoom call. "For me, personally, he's helped me grow a ton as a quarterback in learning this offense."

The Adams drama dominated the offseason. It culminated last Saturday, when the Jets and Seahawks completed their trade. The Jets received a package that includes 2021 and 2022 first-round picks and safety Bradley McDougald, who likely will replace Adams in the starting lineup.

The Jets dealt their best player, but Gase called it a "win-win for both sides."

"I really loved playing with Jamal," said Darnold, who reported to training camp Tuesday and entered the facility after testing negative for COVID-19. "I can't speak for Jamal's experiences or the comments he made, but what I can say is I'm really excited to be part of this organization. I think we're going in the right direction."

The franchise also is dealing with the fallout from owner Woody Johnson's alleged racist and sexist comments from overseas, where he serves as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. In recent days, team CEO Christopher Johnson -- Woody's younger brother -- called almost every player on the roster to allay concerns.

According to Gase, Johnson explained to the players "what the Johnson family stands for."