Joe Douglas got to work in a big way today for the New York Jets front office by making three major additions: Rex Hogan, Chad Alexander and Phil Savage. Let’s take a quick look at the three…
Rex Hogan, Assistant GM – The most surprising/interesting move of the day was bringing back Hogan, who was the team’s Director of College Scouting from 2015-2017 under Mike Maccagnan but then left to join Chris Ballard in Indianapolis as the VP of Player Personnel. Hogan was well regarded around the organization during his time with the Jets and they never really replaced him after he left. He has no previous history with Douglas but knows his way around this organization and is clearly more interested in working with Douglas here than he was with Maccagnan, who ultimately made Brian Heimerdinger his number two over Hogan. The concern about Hogan? He was the Director of College Scouting during two porous drafts for the Jets (2015 and 2016). The positive? He learned under Ballard the past two years, who has been among the best GMs in football and was part of a masterful 2018 NFL Draft for the Colts. It is also good to see Douglas isn’t afraid to hire somebody he doesn’t have previous experience with.
Phil Savage, Senior Adviser – This had been rumored for awhile but became official today. Savage and Douglas spent time together in Baltimore in the early 2000s, prior to Savage becoming GM of the Cleveland Browns and then a Personnel Executive with the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, he has been the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl and did a brief stint with the AAF. Savage is loaded with front office experience in a variety of situations, some very successful like being Ozzie Newsome’s right hand man in building a Super Bowl winner and some less successful, like his time with the Cleveland Browns. It is understandable Douglas would want somebody like Savage around who has held a GM job previously and also has ties/viewpoints on every player who passed through the Senior Bowl from 2012-2018 and is now in the NFL.
Chad Alexander, Director of Player Personnel – Alexander is leaving the Ravens for a promotion (he was only the Assistant Director of Player Personnel there). He had been with the organization for nearly 20 years, where he spent a large chunk of time with Douglas (and time with Savage) and worked his way up from a pro personnel assistant and scout. He will now be one of the top 3-4 executives in the Jets organization and serve a somewhat similar role to Douglas, that he served to Howie Roseman.
It does not appear the Jets are going to bring over Champ Kelly from the Chicago Bears, who was widely considered the runner up to Douglas. Yet, ultimately the Jets had a good day, adding two personnel executives from 2018 playoff teams (Colts, Bears) and bringing in a seasoned veteran with deep NFL/college ties to support Douglas as he acclimates to the new role. This is a front office that will be way more plugged in league wide than previous iterations of what the Jets had under Mike Maccagnan and John Idzik.