When was the last time a Super Bowl winning coach knocked on the Jets door and said, “I want to coach your team?”
If you said Bill Parcells in 1996, you would be correct.
And now it looked like it was happening again, with Mike McCarthy wanting the Jets job so much, he refused to interview elsewhere.
It looked like a marriage made in heaven with McCarthy, owing a .618 winning percentage with the Green Bay Packers (125-77-2), and the Jets, who need veteran leadership to develop a young team and a star quarterback in Sam Darnold. Only the numbers needed to be worked out and certainly the Johnson Brothers wouldn’t cheap out on getting a franchise changing coach?
You can’t mess this one up. right?
Yes, the Jets did. Gang Green bypassed McCarthy to hire former Dolphins coach Adam Gase, he of the 23-25 career record and a reputation of classing with players and management down in Miami.
Well at least the Jets hired someone with experience and hired an offense-minded coach. In any other year, when there was no a possible future Hall of Famer knocking at your door, you could understand this move, but by bypassing McCarthy this makes no sense.
Sure McCarthy clashed with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but you have to think this was just time taking it’s toll. He won with Rogers over the year and won a lot. He developed that quarterback and made a successful transition from Brett Favre to Rogers, something that’s generally unheard of in football. Not may teams go from Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer at QB. McCarthy did.
But instead we get Gase, who comes to the Jets with the reputation of a quarterback whisperer. And to his credit, he did make Ryan Tannehill into a serviceable player caller when healthy and he did wonders with Jay Cutler in Chicago.
Even Peyton Manning speaks glowingly about Gase and made a phone call to Christopher Johnson recommending the coach. But seriously, what does the Jet organization owe Peyton? What’s next picking up Eli as Darnold’s backup, because Peyton wants it.
You have to wonder if this is about control. General manager Mike Maccagnan is on thin ice here and would be shown the door if he couldn’t get the players McCarthy wanted. Gase, who had player personnel control in Miami is in no position to clash with the Jets general manager.
So now the Jets are stuck with Gase. Is he a step up from Todd Bowles? Sure. But he doesn’t come to Florham Park with great credentials and if it doesn’t work out here, then Gase will probably never get another head coaching position.
It’s a tremendous risk for the Jets and the Johnson Brothers. There could be a high upside, but hiring Gase comes with a lot of red flags.
McCarthy would have been the safe pick and the smart pick. He would have immediately brought in a professionalism to the organization desperately hoping for one.
Super Bowl winning coaches don’t knock on your door too often. The Jets had one. They chose to go another direction.
Johnson and Maccagnan better hope they are right.