The New York Jets are likely to fire Todd Bowles immediately after the season. As it stands today, it the Jets are unlikely to fire Mike Maccagnan (they should) but who knows where things will stand after the upcoming six games. Here is a run down of prospective replacements for both and a few thoughts on potentially putting an Interim Head Coach in for the remaining games in 2018 and why it isn’t likely to happen.
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens – It sounds like Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens are headed to a divorce this offseason, which could make him arguably the most overall attractive candidate on the market. Harbaugh built a consistent winner with the Ravens, won a Super Bowl and has navigated Joe Flacco’s recent surge of incompetence to keep the Ravens in the playoff hunt every year. He is not a perfect coach but nobody is and unlike a current coordinator has a wealth of experience in the head role. There is a major difference between calling plays and game planning as a coordinator and running an entire staff, game management and handling the other elements of being a Head Coach. We know Harbaugh is capable of handling these things. It would not be surprising to see Cleveland in the mix for him as well.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma Sooners –The most popular name in college football. It remains unclear if Riley is going to jump to the NFL but there is already rumored interest from the Dallas Cowboys and Browns if he does. The Jets will have an uphill climb selling themselves against those two options but it is worth a swing, as Riley is a forward thinking coach with the necessary connections to the college game as the Jets look to rebuild their drafting process.
John DeFilippo, Minnesota Vikings – A wildly popular name with Jets fans who they have pursued in the past for an Offensive Coordinator role. DeFilippo has done impressive work over the past few years and would be a smart, creative offensive mind to pair with Sam Darnold. However, it is always a risk promoting a coordinator, as we’ve seen in recent years with the Jets. He does seem like a more realistic target than Harbaugh or Riley though.
Matt LaFleur, Tennessee Titans – Another popular coordinator name as every team looks for the next Sean McVay. LaFleur worked with McVay in 2017 and is doing solid work so far this year with the Tennessee Titans. It seems almost impossible for the Jets to consider anybody with a defensive background after how the recent years have gone so every hot name at OC is going to be linked to them.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State – An increasingly popular name to make the jump to the NFL. He will be 39 years old next year and has a progressive offense that should translate well to the NFL. This would be a big swing and unconventional hire for the Jets, which is a good thing.
Dave Toub, Kansas City Chiefs –The Chiefs Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator since 2013. Toub has been around the infrastructure of a successful organization and worked alongside Andy Reid, who despite his clock management issues, is one of the league’s most consistent HCs. Special teams coordinators should not be overlooked as they are required to work well with both offensive and defensive players and offensive and defensive staffs, which is critical for any HC.
Pete Carmichael, New Orleans Saints – The Saints OC who has been working alongside Sean Payton and Drew Brees for an extended period of time. Similar to Toub, he has been around the infrastructure of a successful organization and has been involved in crafting one of the league’s most creative and explosive offenses.
Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs – Another coach from the Andy Reid tree and another popular offensive coordinator name. Similar to LaFleur and DeFilippo, you are hoping that they can bring their offensive innovation but also have the ability to build and manage an entire coaching staff.
Brian Heimerdinger, New York Jets – Would be a bold swing for a guy who is just turning 30 and considered a rising star around the league. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what Heimerdinger has been responsible for over the past few years but the conventional thinking is that he’s helped evolve the Jets into some of their (few) recent smart personnel decisions. This is unlikely but he may get swiped soon if Jets don’t promote him.
Here a few links/blurbs on other potential candidates. We’ll do a deeper dive in the unlikely scenario of the Jets moving on from Maccagnan:
Joe Douglas, Philadelphia Eagles – Rising star in the Eagles organizaiton.
Mike Borgonzi, Kansas City Chiefs – Rising star in Chiefs organization.
George Paton, Minnesota Vikings – Jets have tried to reach out in the past (unsuccessfully)
Duke Tobin, Cincinnati Bengals – Popular name floated around whenever GM searches come up from a Bengals team never short on talent.
Interim Head Coach
This is why the Jets are not making a coaching change in season
2 reasons #Jets wouldn’t make in season HC change (they should)
– CJ doesn’t have authority & WJ is far enough away not to feel pressure
– Front office doesn’t want it. Company/media line is stability. Real reason is no TB scapegoat next 7 wks. Magnifying glass moves to them
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) November 12, 2018
…And here were your media distributed talking points from the front office:
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 12, 2018
My understanding from last night was that the #Jets were not planning on making a coaching change right now.
It would be the smart move given the current makeup of the staff. The key is to minimize in-season disruption for Sam Darnold.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 12, 2018
Bowles isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After the season figures to be a much different story if this continues. The entire building knows they have to get Darnold on the right track down the stretch. That’s of the utmost importance. https://t.co/zbFHziCUsY
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 12, 2018
As we have discussed endlessly on this site, Mike Maccagnan has been shrewd with the media and pushing a narrative that gives him an excuse to not field a winning product year after year. During the final weeks and after this season, I’d anticipate a war of leaks from the coaching staff and front office. The prevailing narrative from the front office will be that Bowles was never their guy and they deserve to pick their own coach. After this coach is picked, the seeds will be planted that year 5 for Maccagnan is a year to be patient with a new coaching staff and system and that they really can’t expect to turn things around until 2020. Rebuild 1.0 in 2015-2016 was Woody’s fault. Rebuild 2.0 in 2017-2018 was Bowles fault, so of course they deserved 2019-2020 for Rebuild 3.0.