- New York Jets fired head coach Adam Gase after 2-14 regular season
- Jets search for a head coach begins immediately
- There are a lot of good candidates out there – who will the Jets hire?
The New York Jets awkwardly stumbled their way into a two-win season and they finally fired Adam Gase, drawing to a close his second year with the team, when they fired him on Sunday night.
The 2-14 campaign was the Jets’ worst record since 1996. A new head coach will be looking to continue the rebuild.
Gase’s tenure featured a 9-23 total record, and yet somehow their biggest loss was that of the number one overall pick this year.
New York is not the most attractive job in the league, but they do have the second pick in 2021’s NFL Draft which means a guaranteed pick of quarterbacks Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, or literally any player except Trevor Lawrence.
Statement from Jets’ CEO Christopher Johnson: pic.twitter.com/BUWvY1C9oo
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
The ability to take the reins of a team with the draft capital of the Jets, and of course for some people to take the next step in their career – whether it’s a coordinator to an HC, or from the college game to the NFL – so we’re going to take a look at some of the options for the Head Coaching vacancy.
Eric Bieniemy – Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs
The odds are incredibly low that this would happen, as he is probably at the top of the pile for most HC-less teams, but Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs is a hot commodity in the league right now, as the OC for the high-flying Chiefs offense.
New York actually interviewed him before they hired Gase, so it seems they missed their shot, but he will definitely be getting a call from the Jets, among the numerous other interested parties.
Brian Daboll – Offensive Coordinator, Bills
If the Jets decided that they would want to go for a quarterback in the draft, which I think would be wise, Brian Daboll would immediately jump up to the top of the list after his stellar effort not only as a successful offensive coordinator in Buffalo, but for his success developing Josh Allen. Allen went from a big-arm wildcard, who hurdled linebackers and had no fear, to being one of the best QBs in the league, and one who has formed a fantastic partnership with Stefon Diggs.
Diggs said this season that he doesn’t want Daboll to be taken away from Buffalo, but it seems like he would have to turn down a lot of opportunities for that to be the case. It was reported today that the Jets have already requested an interview with the Bills OC, but it won’t take place until after their playoff campaign has at least started.
Matt Eberflus – Defensive Coordinator, Colts
Another coordinator who is very much in play for an HC position is Matt Eberflus, who has done a great job with the Colts defense over the last couple of years.
The Jets shortcomings fall on both sides of the ball, but they interestingly (per Adam Schefter) reached out to Eberflus first for the start of their HC search, clearly indicating a lot of interest in the Indy DC.
Leslie Frazier – Defensive Coordinator, Bills
While the Jets are chatting with one Bills coordinator, they might as well also reach out to Leslie Frazier, the DC, too.
He was the head coach for Minnesota for three and a half seasons at the start of the last decade, and although he didn’t have a particularly amazing record, he took them to the playoffs in 2012, when Adrian Peterson won the MVP.
The Bills defense is a well respected one, and their coordinator would be worth talking with the possibility of a return to the lead role.
Robert Saleh – Defensive Coordinator, 49ers
If the Jets wanted to hire a defensive coordinator for their HC, it would be very likely that they reached out to Robert Saleh, who took over this role for San Francisco in 2016, and who turned them into a legitimately formidable outfit within just a few years.
The Jets’ defense is equally in need of an overhaul as that Niners unit was, so Saleh would be a strong candidate and another option who – like Bienemy – will likely be on every team’s radar.
Lincoln Riley – Head Coach, Oklahoma Sooners
The first of a couple of possible NCAA hires, Lincoln Riley has continually been considered an option – if not the option – from the college football pool, with his success as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners.
It should be noted that if Riley hasn’t wanted to leave the college game in previous years, he probably won’t change his mind for the Jets, but he at least deserves a call. It’s been suggested this week that Riley is already talking with Jacksonville, which means the Jets’ failure to get the number 1 pick could have had an even bigger impact if the Jags landed the top college HC.
Matt Campbell – Head Coach, Iowa State Cyclones
Another person that the Jets interviewed before settling on Gase – he turned them down – Matt Campbell has done a good job in his time with Iowa State, and if he wanted to make the jump to the NFL, it’s still very much possible that his previous disinterest could have wavered.
The Jets have the second pick. Mekhi Becton was a fantastic addition last year, and with an absence at GM to also be filled, it feels like a fresh start for the franchise, and he may be interested.
Arthur Smith – Offensive coordinator, Titans
Another person who will likely be receiving a lot of interest this year is Arthur Smith, who has helped to elevate the Tennessee offense to heights that you couldn’t have imagined five years ago.
Derrick Henry just rushed for over 2,000 yards, which is enough to take note of on its own, but the fact that Ryan Tannehill has also entered an unlikely prime under Smith, performing admirably in the passing game, makes it even more impressive.
Whoever the New York Jets hire, they have quite the job on their hands, but at the end of the day, they’re going to be in a position to do things how they want to, with the second draft pick and a rebuilding team that wants to create a football team that will be fighting to win each and every week, instead of one whose biggest downfall was that they stopped losing.