Macc and Bowles – How Did The New York Jets Do?

Joe Caporoso with observations on the New York Jets GM and HC search, which culminated with the hiring of Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan

Now that the dust has settled on the New York Jets decision to hire Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles as the new duo to lead their organization, here are a few reflections on the process and ultimate decision…

1. The biggest complaint about the Jets previous search for a GM was the use of a paid search firm, Korn Ferry, to lead the process. The demand was for Woody to hire “FOOTBALL GUYS” to take charge, which is exactly what he did by putting the search in the hands of Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf. Casserly has a mixed resume and mixed reviews, while Wolf is a more widely respected individual and is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They ran a thorough, detailed search for both positions before ultimately settling on Maccagnan and Bowles. There are previous ties to Casserly for both but Maccagnan interviewed without Casserly present, so Wolf could clearly evaluate him and he signed off. Bowles impressed the Jets initially and seemed to settle in as a 1B option behind Dan Quinn. However, there were concerns about losing both options by continuing to wait and Maccagnan was high on Bowles leading to an expedited second interview. Bowles was able to seal the deal and here we are. Both guys have resumes that merit them receiving this opportunity and both have received fairly wide acclaim since being hired. Nobody knows how they will handle their new roles but the league seems to respect both and believe they are ready.

2. Here is an encouraging read among many on Bowles. It sounds like he carries an understated confidence and is beloved by his players while maintaining a bit of a disciplinarian reputation. He is a Parcells discipline, which should always be music to the ears of a Jets fan. The Cardinals ran a base 3-4 but like many NFL defenses varied their fronts depending on personnel and situation. Bowles was terrific at adjusting to injuries last year and getting the most out of certain players, including Deone Bucannon, Frostee Rucker and Larry Foote. We will dive deeper into his defense throughout this off-season but here is your initial hot take: Quinton Coples is going to have the best year of his career and Calvin Pryor is going to take nice strides in year two after a disappointing rookie year.

3. A few unconfirmed reports that sound nearly certain to happen: Chan Gailey will be the next Offensive Coordinator, Kacy Rodgers will be the next Defensive Coordinator. Mike Caldwell will be the next Linebackers coach. Rodgers was a highly regarded Defensive Line coach in Miami, who has his departure being treated like Karl Dunbar’s departure here.

4. CHAN GAILEY? His name initially is going to inspire some skepticism because of his record as a Head Coach but as an Offensive Coordinator and playcaller? The resume isn’t too shabby. I spoke with our friend Chris Trapasso of NFL.com and CBS Sports about Gailey and he had this to say

Chan Gailey’s knows offense, there’s no doubting that.

His philosophy seems to be centered around the spread offense, and creating huge running lanes from those spread formations.

I think that’s partly why Bowles is looking for Gailey to be his offensive coordinator. The spread’s been around for years in college, and is obviously quite popular today.

While in Buffalo, Gailey didn’t have much top-level offensive talent with which to work, but he did get some relatively decent production out of guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, David Nelson and Donald Jones.

With the aforementioned running lanes created by his spread, Gailey’s presence is a boost to most rushing attacks, as evidenced by C.J. Spiller’s emergence in 2011 and 2012.

However, Gailey ran into problems with the Bills because he loves featuring the short passing game to negate pass rush — which worked — but defenses were about to cheat, come downhill frequently and severely limit the aerial attack.

You can also check out the TL of Nick Mensio and Ben Allbright for further discussion of Gailey. Personally, I think his resume is better than many are giving him credit for and it makes sense that Bowles wants somebody experienced alongside him but I dislike that he has been out of football the past two years.

Random but intriguing Tweet from a few years ago:

5. There is chatter that Maccagnan will be cleaning out the scouting department, including Terry Bradway which is a move that will be met with cheers from everybody who follows this team. It will be interesting to watch the extent of the changes and who is brought in to fill out college scouting and pro personnel. Bradway has to go but who will fill his shoes? (Please, not Gene Smith).

6. A few free agents to watch based on the hiring decisions: RB CJ Spiller, RT Derek Newton, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Kareem Jackson, CB Antonio Cromartie, LB Sam Acho, LB Brooks Reed.

7. Overall? I think the organization made the changes they needed to this offseason and went through the process in a way that is nearly impossible to pick apart. Nobody knows how it will work out but good for the organization for finally, truly shaking things up after four straight years without the playoffs.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Dobermite

    The first sign that Idzik was a personnel illiterate was that he did not fire Bradway and upgrade the scouting department. Its a good sign that Maccagnan recognizes the need for a complete overhaul in scouting, assuming these reports are accurate.

  • TheeLidman

    If they win this will be a big success, but I don’t see how anyone can rate it now. As for getting Casserly and Wolf on board, versus Korn Ferry, the only difference is who is advising. The guy who runs KF’s division was coach under C Knoll, B Grant and Bo Schembechler, so I’m guessing he has high level connections that he uses to assist teams with searches. They placed Mark Murphy in Green Bay, and that’s worked out.

    I’m not overly crazy about the Gailey hire. I wonder if his head coaching experience was a factor that Woody wanted in one of the coordinators. When the NYJ hired MM all we heard was: “he knows how to develop QBs (one of my favorite phrases) and call a game”. Like any OC, MM was consistently criticized for his play calling (as was Sparano, Schotty…heck you can go back to Bruce Coslet who was the last offensive HC..oh wait Kotite). I think Gailey might be able to work to Geno’s strengths, but to win in this league you need to ‘take shots’ downfield and that’s not wasn’t his calling card. Bowles is an aggressive defensive coach. I’d have liked to seen them go for a young, up and coming, aggressive offensive coach.

    But, if Gailey ‘develops’ Geno and the NYJ win, I’ll love him. I’m a fan…by definition a front runner.

  • John Hunter

    Excellent article Joe.
    Nothing feels better than a fresh start, a brand new opportunity, and to fulfill a role you were destined to fulfill.

  • Anthony

    Lidman knows how to win games inthis league… Hire Him, NOW!!!!!!

    You win in this league by scoring more points than the other team through a combination of scoring point and preventing your opponents from scoring points. That is the closest someone can come to making a blanket statement about how to win football games consistently.

    There are teams that win by taking constant shots downfield (Ravens, Steelers) and teams that take almost no shots (Patriots, Chiefs).

    Most teams are in the middle somewhere, and Gailey is in the middle. You think he cant take shots, but his last 3 QBs were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Fiedler and Tyler Thigpen…

    Go back to Georgia Tech and he took shots downfield. When he was with Pittsburgh Yancy Thigpen went for 1400 yards on 17.7 YPC. Hard to do that without taking shots, no?

  • TheeLidman

    My own view is with the way the rules are set up, you should be taking at least 2 vertical shots per quarter. Yes, Brady is certainly an exception, but if you look at the league leaders in yards per attempt, you’ll se a number of playoff teams: http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/yardsPerPassAttempt/seasontype/2
    Sure, some of that is simply because who you have at QB (interestingly, everyone looks at Flacco as a big deep ball thrower; at least this year that’s not necessarily true).

    BTW, I appreciate the confidence in me (assuming the first line isn’t sarcasm), but having opinions is easy. Getting results is a lot harder. There is a lot of luck that goes into this. Getting that top level QB is paramount. You look at teams like Green Bay and Indy, who will basically go 25yrs with elite level QBs and then you look at a team like KC, who hasn’t started a QB they’ve drafted since Todd Blackledge. Talent eval is a big part of it, but ‘being bad’ at the right time is just as big.

  • John Hunter

    Listen to Colin Cowherd’s podcast this morning……his opening statement about Rex’s press conference is the INCONVIENT TRUTH…..he nailed it…it’s a must listen.

  • TheeLidman

    I love The Herd. Unlike many hosts he makes you think. You can tell he takes time to prepare the show. That said, he’s doing the same thing he criticizes Rex for. He tells you he doesn’t need Rex to ‘pat him on the head’, yet that exactly what Cowherd does. He creates an argument, something for you agree or disagree on.

    It’s unfair to compare Rex, or any HC, to a HC who has a top level QB. They aren’t playing on the same playing field. BB was 16 games under .500 and in his 7th season. He was about to get fired, and he’d never had gotten a job again. Then Mo Lewis crushed Drew Bledsoe…

    Todd Bowles is here. No reason to rail against Rex. The fact of the matter is, guys like Cowherd exist because of Rex..Rex creates noise. In the end, this is entertainment…a game. Bill Belichick might be a great HC, but he’s not great for the game. I mean, does he actually think what he does is important? Listen to his pressers…guy it’s entertainment….Love Herd, but couldn’t disagree more with him.

    If Todd Bowles finds a QB and wins, he’ll be great. If not, you’ll be jumping for joy at the next coach, who will likely have the opposite personality that Bowles does.

    Rex got another job…How’d that Idzik guy do?

  • John Hunter

    His point is he’s selling the same product that proved doesn’t work. Time to win, then talk shit. On top of his same old guarantees, he took an obvious shot at Morrone. Then without even knowing subtlety insulted Schwartz.
    To Buffalo it’s nice, but to us who’s heard this song before, it’s wack. Rex is a great DC & Salesman, a great HC is still a big question mark IMO.

  • TheeLidman

    I think that’s only part of his point. Nevertheless, what would you like your coach ‘selling’? Should he go up and say:

    “We’re going to work hard and see how things go?” Is that inspiring? Is that going to get your players to run through a wall for you? I get the view that you should just shut up and play, and if everything were equal, I could understand that.

    As far as him taking a shot at Marrone, who cares? Marrone took a risk, and right now that risk isn’t looking good. Look at all new hires; Rex is the only one so far to get 5yrs. He also got $27.5mm-only Garrett’s 5/$30mm tops him (how many times has he made the playoffs or conference title game..and he has a top 6 QB). Marrone played like a dead fish. If you’re a new owner, do you want your HC out there selling the product? I would.

    Colin also discussed how the media should simply leave M Lynch alone. How, when he was covering teams, the guys who always talked with the media, are now in the media or have opened another phase of their career. Well, look at Rex: a media darling…never lost a press conference and he’s got the top contract for a new replacement. Fox, Marrone, Shanahan, Allen, Sparano, Mike Smith, Mark Trestman…any of these guys getting another HC job? No, but the guy who knows how to use the media not only got a job, he got a raise.

  • John Hunter

    I don’t wanna be sold a damn thing. How about just coach my team to the SB. Then say whatever. My point, I believe Colin’s too, is don’t tell me shit I wanna hear, be more genuine. His bark use to have some bravado to it, now it sounds more like what it really is (BS).

    Do you realize how silly that sounds? He never lost a press conference? Lmao

  • TheeLidman

    Another ‘Colin-ism’: “That’s a you problem”. Rex isn’t out there speaking to you, he’s speaking to the masses. The masses like it.
    Again, one of things I see differently, from a lot of guys here is first and foremost, this is a business. This is how all these people make a living. Colin Cowherd does what he does, because it creates ratings and advertising dollars…so, it gets him paid. Rex wants to win as much as anyone, I have no doubt in that. I also think Rex likes making money, so you ‘sell what sells’. Rex sells…