Who will the New York Jets pick to lead them out of the Adam Gase and into the Playoff Race era? Gase was the first hire by the Jets who wasn’t a “first-time head coach” since Bill Parcells in 1997, but Parcells went 12-4 in his second campaign while Gase became the resident go-to “joke coach” for twitter through his sophomore New York season.
On Sunday, the Jets interviewed three potential first-time head coaches, including LA Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. They also interviewed Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Staley is also expected to interview with the LA Chargers this week. Staley had two stints as the defensive coordinator at John Carroll University, the alma mater of Chargers general manager Tom Telesco.
The Jets have also spoken to Robert Saleh, Marvin Lewis, Eric Bieniemy, Joe Brady, and plan to speak to Arthur Smith and Aaron Glenn, at least.
Would the Jets be wise to hire Staley, orchestrator of the NFL’s best defense in 2020 and coming off of another dominant performance?
Some Jets history...
Following the departure of Parcells (and defensive coordinator Bill Belichick) in 1999, the Jets promoted linebackers coach Al Groh, who resigned at the end of 2000 to take the same job at the University of Virginia. Also known as a “lateral move.” He now works at ESPN.
They next hired first-time head coach Herm Edwards, the assistant head coach under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay for five seasons. Edwards posted three winning seasons in four years, going 2-3 in the playoffs, but was fired after going 4-12 in 2005. He spent almost a decade at ESPN and is now the head coach at Arizona State.
He was replaced by Eric Mangini, who won three Super Bowls as the defensive backs coach for the New England Patriots. Mangini spent only one season as Belichick’s defensive coordinator, the 2005 campaign in which the Patriots went 10-6 and finished 17th in points allowed.
Mangini was only 34 when he was hired and only 37 when he was fired after losing four of the last five games in 2008. Today also happens to be Mangini’s 50th birthday. He currently works at FS1.
Next came first-time head coach Rex Ryan, who had spent four years as the defensive coordinator at the Baltimore Ravens prior to passing his interview with the Jets. Ryan was 37 when he started coaching Baltimore’s defensive line in 1999 and he put 10 seasons in as an assistant for the Ravens prior to getting his opportunity in New York. Ryan led the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship games to start his career, but was fired after four lackluster seasons that followed.
Ryan now works on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.
Todd Bowles had technically been a head coach before, spending three games in the interim role for the Miami Dolphins in 2011, but he was the defensive coordinator in Arizona for two seasons prior to being hired by the Jets. Bowles had the defense right where he wanted it during his first campaign and the Jets went 10-6. But both sides of the ball fell apart and Bowles went 14-34 in his final three seasons.
Now serving as the defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay, under Bruce Arians just as it was with the Cardinals, Bowles is in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Same as Staley.
There is a lot of risk when it comes to agreeing to coach the Jets. It could be the start of your career as a head coach ... or the beginning of your journey towards becoming a TV analyst.
Think about it, Staley.