The New York Jets created headlines this afternoon by firing long time personnel executive Terry Bradway and Director of College Scouting Jeff Bauer. Bradway had been the team’s GM up until 2005 but maintained a prominent and influential place within the organization after being demoted, with his most recent job being Senior Director of College Scouting. He spent 14 total years with the team. Bauer had spent 13. The New York Jets are finally, truly clearing house. There has not been this much organizational change in well over a decade. It was time, with four straight non-playoff seasons in a row. Where do they go now? Let’s crack open the 12 Pack…
1. There has been major concern about former Jacksonville Jaguars GM Gene Smith assuming a prominent role with the organization. However, a team source has confirmed that nothing is official with Smith yet and if he does get hired it will not be for Bradway or Bauer’s previous role. Former St. Louis Rams scout Brian Heimerdinger is expected to be brought over for a prominent role in the front office. Current Director of Football Administration Rod Graves is not expected to be brought back.2. On the coaching front, the Jets are expected to bring in Falcons coach Joe Danna to run the secondary and interview Raiders Quarterback Coach John DeFilippo for the same position here. Mike Caldwell is coming over from Arizona as an Assistant Head Coach and Linebackers Coach. Chan Gailey and Kacy Rodgers are all but done deals as the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, respectively. The Jets put in a request to interview Keith Armstrong for their Special Teams Coordinator spot but the Falcons denied it.
3. Look for the Jets to have their introductory press conference in the middle of the next week, after more of the coaching and personnel decisions are finalized.
4. The greatest gift of John Idzik’s time here (outside of Sheldon Richardson) may end up being showing Woody Johnson that he needed to fire his entire coaching staff and scouting department. All of these changes should have been made after 2012. Rex, his coaching staff, Bradway and Bauer should have been out the door with Tannenbaum. Credit to Mike Maccagnan for pressing for all these changes and making sure the Jets would pay up for the new scouting department needed.
5. I discussed all of the Jets’ changes on The Jets Blog Podcast, thanks to Brian Bassett and Corey Griffin for having me on! You can now find the TOJ Podcast conveniently located on our home page or follow it right here.6. What could the new staff mean for quarterback? Unless the Jets take a quarterback with the 6th overall pick (a very real possibility), Geno Smith remains the favorite to start week one. Brian Hoyer was substantially worse than Smith in 2014 if you compare their final eight starts so why are you paying for him? Kirk Cousins is no better than Smith either, so why are you trading for him? Mark Sanchez seems destined to join Rex’s 7-9 Bills in Buffalo. Sam Bradford is probably staying in St. Louis. Ryan Mallett, Matt Moore and maybe considering a trade for Mike Glennon seem like the Jets best veteran options. We know Maccagnan is familiar with Mallett, Bowles is familiar with Moore (his starting QB when he was an Interim Head Coach) and Glennon is mildly intriguing for a late, conditional round pick. However, as of now Smith or either Mariota/Winston (if the Jets decide to take one of them or if they are available at all) seem like the safest bet to start week one.
7. Running Back? Not hard to connect the dots on Chris Johnson getting cut and CJ Spiller receiving serious free agent consideration. Spiller did his best NFL work under Chan Gailey, will be a free agent and the Jets need a speed/spread back to compliment Chris Ivory. This would be far from a surprising move and could have immense upside at a reasonable cost.
8. Pass Catchers? Percy Harvin is probably coming back somehow and he would look awfully nice in some of the spread looks Gailey has used in the past. Jace Amaro is more likely to be used properly as well. Theoretically, a spread look with Eric Decker, Harvin, Amaro, Spiller and Jeremy Kerley with Chris Ivory as an option to turn to when you want to play physical sounds awfully nice. You throw in a true Y tight end for when you want to run the ball, you have the makings of a dangerous offense if you can get competent quarterback play.
9. Offensive Line? With their money and draft picks, the Jets have the ability to make a few upgrades here. Is it taking an offensive lineman at #6? Is it signing a tackle like Derek Newton or Doug Free and bumping Breno Giacomini inside? Is it signing Mike Iupati? Whatever they do, the Jets need at least two solid additions to this positional group.10. Front Seven? Quinton Coples has a chance to break out in this defense (since he won’t be out playing press corner and be asked to drop in coverage) and it will also be interesting to see how a guy like IK Enemkpali will be used. Muhamamd Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are going to be great no matter how Bowles implements them. Last year in Arizona, he got great production out of Frostee Rucker, Tommy Kelly and Larry Foote when many thought they were done. Let’s see what he can do with Demario Davis, TJ Barnes and David Harris, if he is brought back.
11. Secondary? Calvin Pryor should be spending plenty of time in the box and near the line of scrimmage. This will be a friendly defense for him and maybe Antonio Allen, if he isn’t completely shell shocked after last year. Bowles did great work with rookie safety Deone Bucannon last year, now let’s hope he can have the same impact on Pryor. The Jets are likely to be aggressive looking for additional safeties and corners. Kareem Jackson, Kendrick Lewis, Antonio Cromartie, Brandon Flowers and Buster Skrine could all be targets. A push for Devin McCourty would be terrific but New England is unlikely to let him leave town.
12. What else? It is very hard to have any idea of the exact approach Maccagnan and company will take. You could sort through ten mock drafts today and find ten different reasonable picks for the Jets at #6. They could trade back. They could trade up. They are likely to be aggressive in free agency but at what positions? It is a wide open off-season.