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:
Geno Smith would look good in Chan Gailey’s offense. #BillsMafia
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 7, 2012
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.