Moeller: Gase’s Demise Rekindles Thoughts of McCarthy, Rhule, Arians and Others

There are numerous published reports indicating Jets’ head coach Adam Gase will be fired after the game by owner Christopher Johnson in New England Sunday.


Previous head coach Todd Bowles received his firing in the same manner after a 4 p.m. start in New England in Jan. 2019.


Even if the Jets (2-13) end the year with a three-game winning streak and defeat the Patriots, there is too much debris  and baggage just after this season alone and two years to allow Gase to come back even if quarterback Sam Darnold has stated his support for him.


Some questions will linger. A major one is whether this was all Gase’s fault or did he have all the necessary pieces to play with during his two-year tenure that saw him win nine games?


Nearly two years ago when Gase was hired on Jan. 11, 2019 under former general manager Mike Maccagnan, there were some interesting candidates rumored to be in the mix.


Did the Jets hire the right guy? Here’s a look at the presumed short list of candidates and you can decide. 


Mike McCarthy– The ex-Packers boss who had a fallout with quarterback Aaron Rodgers loomed as the fan favorite for his overall success that included a Super Bowl trophy. Sources and reports indicated that the Jets broke off talks with him due to coaches and staffing issues, as McCarthy wanted everything aligned his way.

He consequently was hired by Dallas this season, and the early returns were a disaster with locker room issues, a porous defense, as well as the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott and the ineffectiveness of running back Ezekiel Elliott. Since then, the 6-9 Cowboys have won three straight and can capture the NFC East with a win over the Giants Sunday with some help. McCarthy also has been assured that he will be back next season.


Matt Rhule – Within the same week of ending talks with McCarthy, the Jets broke ties with the highly coveted Baylor coach over coaching issues. Rhule stayed for another year at Baylor before he was hired by Carolina in January after supposedly in the running for the Giants’ job.

This season, Rhule has had a good season from ex-Jet wide receiver Robbie Anderson, but stud running back Christian McCaffrey has played only three games, and has been among a core of players hurt all year. Rhule, who has a seven-year contract, brings his team into the final week with a 5-10 record.


Bruce Arians – He also was one of the fan favorites to come in and run the show. Arians had a successful run with Arizona before he retired after the 2017 season. Arians was intrigued with the Jets, but he preferred to be in a warmer climate and chose Tampa Bay a year later.

Arians stated “Super Bowl or bust” before the season, but he hasn’t exactly enjoyed the same type of Bill Belichick relationship with Tom Brady this season. However, the Bucs can be a dangerous team in the postseason, and they will be interesting to watch.


Todd Monken — Are you asking the same question about who he is? Monken reportedly was on the finalist list. He was a hot commodity back in 2018 as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator before Arians took over and let him go. He spent 2019 as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland under former head coach Freddie Kitchens, and currently is the offensive coordinator for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Maybe his name will resurface next month.


As for the rest mentioned?  Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Stanford’s David Shaw, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, and Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have been the prohibitive favorites to land jobs the past few years, but they haven’t.


They all may be back in the grinder in a few weeks.


Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury, fresh from Texas Tech, and Green Bay’s Matt LeFleur, Tennessee’s offensive coordinator — both of whom apparently interviewed with the Jets — were both hired by their respective teams three days before Gase.


Think about the possibilities. Would McCarthy, Rhule, Arians, Monken, Kingsbury or LeFleur have made an impact with the same surroundings as Gase?


Gase will bring a 9-22 Jets’ record  and a 32-47 career slate as a head coach into Sunday’s game. He did orchestrate the hiring of GM Joe Douglas and the firing of Maccagnan.


You decide.


You will have to rethink everything if Gase is still employed by the Jets next week.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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