The question that Jets’ next head coach must ace

The focus in the Jets universe right now is on who will be the team’s next coach. The focus inside the Jets should also be on whom that new coach will bring with him.

One thing that gets overlooked at times during these coaching searches is the importance of the coaching staff a candidate believes he can assemble. It is a critical element that does not get talked about enough.

A head coach is only as good as his staff in many cases. I believe Todd Bowles was hurt by assembling a poor staff when he was hired and then not greatly improving upon it while he was with the Jets. Bowles fell into a trap that many coaches do — he hired buddies instead of the most qualified person for too many positions.

Rex Ryan had a terrific coaching staff during his first few years with the Jets, but it slowly eroded over time with the loss of offensive line coach Bill Callahan and defensive assistants Mike Pettine and Bob Sutton. By the end of his time with the Jets, Ryan’s staff had weakened considerably.

For the Jets, the biggest question for all of these Jets candidates is how each plans to develop Sam Darnold. Whom they are going to put in charge of coaching Darnold day to day as their quarterbacks coach and who will be calling plays if the head coach won’t are huge questions.

“The person doesn’t necessarily have to be an offensive- or defensive-minded head coach, per se, but we definitely want to make sure they have a plan in place to develop our young quarterback in Sam Darnold,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said last week.

The Jets are clearly leaning toward offensive coaches in this search. Of the eight candidates we know about, only one is a defensive coach. That would be Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Kris Richard, who interviewed with the Jets on Sunday in Texas.

For someone like Richard, whom he plans on having as his offensive coordinator is an answer he must ace. It is also something that Eric Bieniemy, who did not call the plays in Kansas City, must have a strong answer for.

It is possible one of the candidates who interviews with the Jets does not impress enough to be the head coach, but they like him as an offensive coordinator and suggest that person to their head-coach choice.

One intriguing name to consider is John DeFilippo. He was expected to be the hottest name in the head-coaching market this cycle, but a bad year in Minnesota with Kirk Cousins led to his firing last month and torpedoed his chance of becoming a head coach this time around. Still, he is expected to be a coveted offensive coordinator choice and could help Darnold like he helped Carson Wentz while he was the Eagles quarterbacks coach.

If the Jets go down the college coaching route with Kliff Kingsbury or Matt Rhule, their biggest challenge may be putting a coaching staff together. Kingsbury has never coached in the NFL and Rhule spent one year as a Giants assistant. That should be a major concern for the Jets with either of them.

For Adam Gase, Mike McCarthy and Todd Monken, I would expect them to call their own plays. They are going to have to give a plan for who is going to run their respective defenses.
Sean McVay is the flavor of the month in terms of head coaches, but not enough people talk about how important his hiring of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator has been to the Rams’ success.

As the Jets continue their coaching search this week, they need to focus not only on whom they want to be the leader of their building, but whom that leader will bring with him.

Source: Read Full Article