New York Jets: Breaking down 3 confirmed head coaching candidates

New York Jets, Eric Bieniemy

Here we go, New York Jets fans! The coaching search has begun, and the Jets will look to hire their next head coach. The Adam Gase era is in the past, and the team will now look at guys who can lead the Jets for, hopefully, the next decade. Here are three of the most popular confirmed candidates so far, a summary of their background and how they could impact the team.

Brian Daboll OC Bills

Brian Daboll has an extensive coaching background. He has had the privilege to learn under two of the greatest coaches in all of football history at Alabama with Nick Saban and in New England with Bill Belichick. His history includes multiple roles on both sides of the role, but predominantly as an offensive coach.  The 45-year-old has been a coach in football since 1997 and in the pros since 2000. With over 20 years of knowledge, he has hit his stride in Buffalo. Daboll has transformed the Bills offense and completely shaped Josh Allen. When he inherited Allen, he was a raw player who still missed simple throws and needs grooming. Now, Allen looks like a top-five quarterback.

Daboll is a football guy. He is well-liked and well respected, and with the mentors he has had, he obviously knows the game well. Daboll is a hot commodity on the coaching market, and landing him will be tough if he is who the Jets end up liking most. Daboll seems to fit the leadership and culture-changing mold on the surface due to the impact he has had on the Bills offense, but with no past as a head coach, you have to wonder how he will do leading a roster of 53 men. Daboll is likely a front runner for multiple jobs, and it will be interesting to see if the Jets can get him in for at least one interview and potentially make a run at him.

Arthur Smith OC Titans

Arthur Smith did not have to be an NFL coach. The former college guard could have easily taken a role in the family business, FedEx. Smith’s father owns FedEx, but rather than pursue money, Smith pursued a passion and is doing a good job at it. Smith started coaching in 2006 as a grad assistant at his alma mater, UNC. He then carried that into jobs as a defensive assistant for the Washington Football Team and Ole Miss.

Since 2011,  Smith has been a coach on the Titans. Despite four regime changes, Smith has been the constant. Smith is highly respected and has taken his time moving up the ranks, learning, and not rushing anything. Then, when he saw Matt LaFleur heading to Green Bay, he jumped on an opportunity and approached Mike Vrabel about a promotion from Tight Ends Coach to Offensive Coordinator. Since then, the Titans offense hasn’t looked back. Ryan Tannehill is playing the best football of his career and has gone from a backup QB to a top 10 one. Not only that, but Derrick Henry is finally being used as the beast he is.

Arthur Smith is a go-getter and someone who is well-liked by his players. He commands respect and is a leader. As a former offensive lineman, he is sure to be someone who clicks with Joe Douglas. Smith has no previous head coaching experience, but his impact has been more apparent than that of Daboll on the offense. Smith is a highly respected coach and has been requested to interview for every opening. If the Jets can get a shot at him and he prefers to come here, I firmly believe he is a favorite to land this gig.

Eric Bieniemy OC Chiefs

Rounding out our list of most popular coaching candidates confirmed for an interview is perhaps the most popular one: Chiefs Offensive Coordinator and Super Bowl Champion coach Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy has been a coach in the NFL since 2001, after taking two years off. He is a former pro running back and finished third place in the 1990n Heisman race. He has been an offensive coach and coordinator in both the college and pro ranks and has been a fixture on Andy Reid’s staff since 2013. Bieniemy is well-liked by his players and is highly regarded by Andy Reid. Bieniemy has reportedly played a key role in play-calling and in maintaining the offense.

Bieniemy is another real football guy. As another former player, there will be that admiration between him and Douglas. Here is the thing, I think their philosophies will lead to a massive disconnect. Where Smith and Daboll are more traditional football guys (Smith more than Daboll because of his playing days), Bieniemy is more modern. I think that Bieniemy will be a player first coach based on his reputation with the Chiefs and not the leader/CEO type the Jets need.

There are character issues with Bieniemy; he has faced harassment and assault allegations at multiple points in his playing and coaching career. He has also had a few issues driving, including a DUI in 2001. However, this was all 20 years ago, and Bieniemy strikes me as a guy who has turned over a new leaf. Still, there was a reason the Jets didn’t bring him back for a second interview a few years ago, and part of me wonders if it was due to the aforementioned character concerns. Nonetheless, Bieniemy has proved he deserves a shot as a head coach on the field, and if he interviews well and can explain his past, I think he ends up with a head coaching job; I just don’t think it will be for the Jets.

Nick Saban Praises New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The new head coach of the New York Giants, Joe Judge, has made a strong impression on fans so far. His no-nonsense attitude won the fans over during his introductory press conference. He then injected even more confidence into the fanbase by helping Dave Gettleman put together an excellent 2020 draft class.

Joe Judge was a bit of a surprising hiring. Many fans expected former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to get the job. Being that he was a former special teams coordinator for the Patriots, fans did not know much about Joe Judge. But Bill Belichick and Nick Saban did, two references that undoubtedly helped Judge land his job with the Giants.

Nick Saban recently discussed what he saw in Joe Judge and offered plenty of praise for the rookie head coach.

Nick Saban Praises Joe Judge

Joe Judge has made it clear that he wants to form strong relationships with his players and “teach” them rather than “coaching” them. Saying it is one thing, but doing it is another. And Nick Saban claims he has seen Joe Judge do it. Saban praised Judge’s teaching skills and relationship-building skills:

“When Joe was here, he was a young guy, very bright, enthusiastic, great teacher, really good relationships with the players, had lots of leadership qualities about him because of the example that he set and the energy and the enthusiasm he had on a daily basis.” – Nick Saban on Joe Judge

Fans should be excited to hear about Joe Judge’s “energy and enthusiasm.” There are two qualities that were lacking in the New York Giants’ last two head coaches. Saban also described Judge as “really smart” and said that he “did a fantastic job” at Alabama. Judge won three National Championships during his time with Saban and the Roll Tide.

“No surprise to me that Joe has gotten to this point in his career, and we certainly wish him well” – Nick Saban on Joe Judge

NFL Draft Top 5 QB Rankings

New York Giants, Patrick Queen

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, over the next few days, I plan on breaking down the best and brightest talents in this year’s class. The QB position has a lot of name value at the top of the class, but with concerns for each guy, who is the best in the class!

1. Joe Burrow LSU

Pro Comparison: Tony Romo

Joe Burrow is the Heisman winning perineal number one selection. Burrow is a talented, charismatic, franchise cornerstone. Burrow put up absolute video game numbers last season with 60 touchdowns and only 6 INTs. Burrow is destined to lead the Bengals, however, the Ohio kid will have his hands full. The stigma around the Bengals, weather and the young unproven coach could all play a part in Burrow’s downfall. Burrow needs to stay humble and stay grounded, and not let mistakes dwell on him. His injury at Ohio State led him to LSU. He played poorly at first. Then, Joe Brady, his hard work and Ed Orgeron led Burrow here. Now, all he’s going to have is his work ethic at the next level. If Burrow can stay grounded, he’s going to be a good Quarterback, if not there is just potential. Tony Romo always had an exciting feel, just like Burrow.

2. Tua Tagovialoa Alabama

Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson

Tua is the opposite of Burrow. He is charismatic and incredibly talented, but the comparisons end there. Tua gained notoriety from his clutch championship debut. He’s a leader and a game-changing talent. Tua is a star. I admittedly like Tua better than Burrow. However, Burrow is the much safer pick. Tua has a very sketchy injury history with his ankle and knee problems. Tua is a beast and has proven himself against elite SEC talent, but injuries and his mobile skill set may not translate to the next level as well as Burrow’s skill set. Russell Wilson is a leader, and mobile, Tua is both of those things, making them an easy comp.

3. Justin Herbert Oregon

Pro Comparison: Blaine Gabbert

Herbert is the most pro-ready of these three guys. Burrow is going to have a big adjustment period, Tua has injury questions and transition questions as well. Herbert is a clean-cut, comfortable prospect. Herbert is an excellent pocket passer, with a unique skillset and he’s an absolute gunslinger. His throws have great velocity. He also throws one of the cleanest and balls in this class and he impressed me with his mid-range accuracy. Herbert is a good QB, in the right spot, he could be a very good starter. The Blaine Gabbert comparison seems fair to me. He’s a safe prospect, who could be a great backup if all else fails, but if with the right coaches to bring along his development, it could be much better than Gabbert.

4. Jordan Love Utah State

Pro Comparison: Josh Allen

Love is incredibly intriguing. He’s got an absolute cannon for an arm. He had a very good season a year ago, but last season was very average. His Sophmore year, he had 32 touchdowns, last year he had 20. The talent drops off is to blame, because Love had no true viable weapons. Love is a small school prospect with question marks just like Josh Allen was, he’s got a great deep ball and is very mobile. Love is a good QB, he has a lot of potentials and if all goes well, he could be the best in the class, if he struggles, he’ll be a forgotten prospect.

5. Jalen Hurts Oklahoma

Pro Comparison: Dak Prescott

Hurts is a very solid QB prospect. He needs at least a year of development before taking over as a starter. However, he could develop into something special in the right system. Hurts is a leader with a team-first attitude. Hurts can kill you with his legs and his arm. The fact Tagovailoa took his job, and he struggled at times at both Bama and Oklahoma, is worrisome. In the ideal system, Hurts could be the next Dak Prescott. He can be a gem on Day 2, or a solid backup like RG3 someday.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Gordon

To clarify, Gordon is not my number six guy, that would go to Eason or Fromm. Anthony Gordon deserves recognition and has shot up my draft board. He’s a developmental prospect entirely. He impressed in Mike Leach’s Air Raif offense and he could be a suitable backup at the next level. Where he shined and deserved a mention is because I think he’s a good leader who had to fill in, in a tough situation after the tragic passing of Tyler Hilinski, and he stepped up and impressed. That’s a leader and a guy who deserves a mention.

New York Giants: Getting To Know New Head Coach Joe Judge

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants have officially found their head coach. No, they did not land Matt Rhule, as all fans hoped and expected them to. Instead, the Giants went with a much different candidate- Joe Judge from the New England Patriots.

The Joe Judge hiring came as a massive surprise to many fans and reporters alike. Rhule was expected to be the Giants’ top choice, followed by the likes of Josh McDaniels and Eric Bienemy. However, the Giants must not have given out accurate information since it is now being reported that they were working on a deal with Judge last night before even meeting with Matt Rhule (Adam Schefter).

This is a shocking hire. The Giants did have the opportunity to match Matt Rhule’s contract offer, but they declined (Ian Rapoport). Instead, the Giants hired Joe Judge, the New England Patriots special times/wide receivers coach whom they interviewed just yesterday. As one of the lesser-known names in the pool of candidates, Giants fans will need to read up on Joe Judge and get to know the man that is replacing Pat Shurmur.

A Ringing Endorsement From Bill Belichick

According to Tom Rock of Newsday, the Giants did call Bill Belichick about their vacant head coach position. However, they were not calling Bill to lure the 67-year-old legend back to New Jersey. Instead, they were calling for Bill’s opinion on prospective 38-year-old candidate Joe Judge. As Tom Rock states, “Bill gave a glowing recommendation to the Giants on Joe Judge.”

Bill Belichick recognized early on what he had in Joe Judge. He knew that Judge was head coach-material. According to Ian Rapoport, Belichick met with Joe Judge “on a regular basis to go over program-building and what it takes to become a head coach.” Albert Breer points out that Belichick likely had this in mind when increasing Judge’s role and making him the wide receivers coach.

A Top Coordinator

All football fans know that the New England Patriots have been among the top teams in the NFL for the last twenty years. The Patriots accomplish this with strong attention to detail and consistently efficient football in all three phases of the game.

Joe Judge was promoted to be the Patriots’ special teams coordinator in 2015 after serving as a special teams assistant from 2012 to 2014. Since this promotion, New England has had the most consistent special teams unit in the NFL. The unit has ranked in the top ten every year since:

Joe Judge was working two jobs this season, remaining the Patriots’ special teams coach and expanding his priorities as the wide receivers coach. 2019 was Judge’s first year serving as a wide receivers coach. New England’s receiving corps faced much criticism this season, but ultimately, the lack of talent was the reason for the group’s ineptitude.

Regardless of how the Patriots’ wide receivers performed this year, it is still worth noting the amount of time required to work two major coaching jobs. Judge had a huge role in New England, and the Giants’ hiring will leave two holes in the Patriots’ coaching staff.

Learned From And Respected By The Best

Ask your friends: who is the best NFL head coach of all time? They will say, Bill Belichick. Then ask them, who is the best college football head coach of all time? They will say, Nick Saban. Now, what two coaches did Joe Judge learn from? Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.

During his last ten years of coaching under Belichick and Saban, Joe Judge has learned what it takes to be a champion. Judge has won three Super Bowls (XLIXLILIII) and two BCS National Championships (2009, 2011). Being part of two of the greatest coaching staffs in the world, at both the professional and collegiate level, says a lot about the respect that Joe Judge garners.

Judge not only garners the respect of his coaching peers, but he has earned the respect of his players, too. According to Art Stapleton, players in New England “raved about Judge’s attention to detail and his intensity.” This should be music to Giants fans’ ears after they’ve dealt with two head coaches that lacked these traits for the past four years.

But What About His Coaching Staff?

One last thing to note with Joe Judge (and this could be a positive or a negative) is the uncertainty surrounding his coaching staff. It was initially reported that the Giants were considering former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for their offensive coordinator position. However, that report has been debunked. Joe Judge will get to pick his own staff, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

Still, it is hard to make any guesses as to whom Judge might bring onto his staff in other key positions, such as offensive/defensive coordinator and offensive line coach. But for a young and inexperienced first-time head coach, getting the right pieces around him will be crucial.

Joe Judge is a well-respected coach that has learned from the best head coaches in all of football. This is a risky, forward-thinking hiring by the New York Giants, taking a chance on a first-time head coach. But if Joe Judge can successfully install the Patriot Way in New Jersey and get an adequate coaching staff around him, the Giants will reap the rewards of their progressive decision.