These five coaches could replace Adam Gase as the New York Jets’ head coach.
The miserable season for the Jets is over and it has cost Adam Gase his job. A regular candidate for the worst head coach in football, Gase was officially sent packing as New York looks to start over again with a new regime.
The hire was questionable when the Jets made it and now GM Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him to find a new head coach who can turn around a franchise that is sitting on a 10-year postseason drought, one of the longest in the NFL. New York has an unusual power structure where the GM and head coach are equals who both report to owner Christopher Johnson, which could potentially limit the candidate pool a bit.
There is still a lot to like about this position, including Douglas’ ability to draft talent, as evidenced by a strong 2020 haul that netted the Jets a franchise left tackle in Mekhi Becton, a capable wide receiver in Denzel Mims and a potential starting cornerback in fifth-rounder Bryce Hall. The Jets have extra draft picks and a ton of cap space to improve quickly, with the biggest asset being this year’s no. 2 overall pick, which could allow a new head coach to make his choice of which non-Trevor Lawrence quarterback he wants in the draft.
For the purposes of this exercise, we aren’t including any coaches who were employed as of Week 17, which disqualifies Doug Pederson, who would probably shoot to the top of New York’s wish list due to a pre-existing relationship with Douglas. Let’s take a look at five good candidates for this job, beginning with Titans’ offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
5. Jets head coaching candidates: Titans OC Arthur Smith
Whoever the Jets hire as a head coach needs to have a good offensive plan to either fix Sam Darnold or develop a young quarterback. Smith certainly fits the bill thanks to his excellent work in Tennessee with Ryan Tannehill, who looked like a bust after spending the last few years of his Dolphins’ tenure with Gase.
Miami dumped Tannehill for a pair of mid-round draft picks last year and Smith turned him into a strong quarterback. Tannehill’s completion percentage increased to 70.3 percent in 2019 as he threw for 2,742 yards with 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions, with the TD to interception ratio improving again to 32 touchdowns against just seven interceptions over Tennessee’s first 15 games this season.
The Titans have demonstrated tremendous offensive creativity under Smith, who could do wonders for a Jets’ team that has some pieces on offense and the capability to add more in free agency. Interviewing Smith should be a top priority for Douglas this winter.