After a coaching search that lasted only 10 days, the New York Jets have hired Adam Gase as their head coach. Gase has been the head coach of the Miami Dolphins for the past three seasons. While fans may not like seeing a former division-rival patrol the sidelines, there are reasons to be hopeful.
The Case for Gase:
Despite a losing record as the man in charge in Miami, Gase’s resume holds a lot of promise. He’s the first coach of the Jets since 1997 who has prior head-coaching experience. He’s the first coach with an offensive background since 1995.
With a healthy Tannehill in his first year in Miami, he made the playoffs. In 2013, in his first year as offensive coordinator for the Broncos, he helped Peyton Manning have the best season of his career. It was a recommendation from Peyton Manning himself that gave Gase an advantage while interviewing this year.
Gase also has the seal of approval from the current quarterback of the Jets. A day after the hiring, Darnold said that “with his offense and with his mind for the game and our ability to go out there and score touchdowns, the sky is the limit for us. I really do believe that.”
The Other Candidates:
The Jets seriously considered several candidates in their interview process. Among the top applicants was Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken is considered a great offensive mind with top level experience going back to his days coaching at the collegiate level. Apparently, the Jets also really liked Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule. Taking a chance on Rhule would have been a mistake. The chief concern is his lack of experience, specifically, the ability to put together a coaching staff.
The clear choice by the fans was Mike McCarthy, the former head coach of the Packers. McCarthy is a Super Bowl winning coach, and those are hard to come by. He is also often credited as a great offensive mind who tutored Aaron Rodgers. At one point, late in the Jets search it was reported that McCarthy only coveted the Jets job. This left fans’ scratching their heads as to why he wasn’t hired.
Clearly the Jets organization did not feel comfortable with McCarthy. It could be argued that McCarthy did not have enough success as a coach. Winning only one championship with the person who is considered the greatest natural thrower of the football on the planet, is questionable. As recently reported, the talks ultimately fell apart over putting together a staff.
Another popular choice was Kansas City Chief’s offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. Bienemy benefited from an explosive offense in Kansas City this season. Having learned from head coach Andy Reid is also another highlight on the resume. However, Bienemy does not call plays and has only been a coordinator for one season. Ultimately, the Jets and other teams felt Bienemy needs a little more experience.
Was Gase the Right Choice?
Whether or not Gase was the best choice right now, he is most definitely last head coaching hire that Mike Maccagnan will be involved in. The Jets didn’t like McCarthy or Bienemy, and apparently only seriously considered Monken and Rhule as alternatives.
Gase has the offensive football knowledge to help mold the most important player on the team, Sam Darnold. Darnold himself has given him the seal of approval. Adam Gase has the potential to be a good hire, but ultimately a lot will depend on the staff he puts together.