The New York Jets are less than a week away from finally terminating the contract of head coach Todd Bowles. The move, which should have been completed over a month ago, puts the team in a position to completely change the direction of their struggling franchise.
The obvious mandate for the Jets’ franchise is to put together a staff that will maximize the potential of their prized quarterback Sam Darnold. The rookie quarterback has the tools to become a Pro Bowl caliber winning player, now it is a matter of establishing a program where he can flourish.
Many believe that the Jets should look to one of the league’s innovative offensive coordinators to right their ship. Names like Matt LaFleur and John DeFilippo have been mentioned along with Kansas City play caller Eric Bienemy. While I respect the desire to find the next Matt Nagy or Sean McVay, I just do not think that this is the direction that the Jets should go.
Let’s face it, the New York Jets job is more than coaching Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams. The next head coach will have to completely change a losing culture while dealing with a ridiculously impatient fan base and a media group that is ready to expose any flaw in your program. The next leader will have to bring respect and credibility back to the organization. The next head coach will have to be a strong, stern, prominent voice of the organization that has been there, done that and truly understands what it takes to win in the National Football League.
At this point in time the New York Jets cannot afford to have another head coach learn on the job. Gang Green cannot afford to endure the growing pains and learning curve as another HC tries to find his way. The Jets need a man with a proven plan to bring this franchise back to contender status. The current state of the organization is reminiscent to 1995-1996 when the Green and White had to make a power move to land Bill Parcells. This job is too big for a first-time head coach, whether we would like to admit it or not.
So if not a first timer, then who? Well, there are obvious candidates like Mike McCarthy, Bruce Arians, and Jim Harbaugh. Then you have to wait to see what happens at the end of the season with coaches like Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden, and Ron Rivera. There are always surprise firings which could end up benefiting the Jets.
The Jets have a top 5 draft pick, $100 million in cap space and a young franchise quarterback so this job will be coveted by a veteran coach that wants to implement his program. Jets’ ownership must identify their guy and make it happen, no excuses. This is a franchise altering move and the organization cannot blow this hire. First timers need not apply.