New York Jets: 5 leading head coaching candidates


When the New York Jets cleaned house this past week, firing general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan, owner Woody Johnson and his Metropolitan franchise did make some headway in the direction that this team will be going. Johnson was set to hire Charley Casserly, NFL Network analyst and former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans GM, last week as a consultant this offseason, pending the dismissal of Ryan and/or Idzik. Upon the firings of both men, Casserly and former NFL GM Ron Wolf were hired to help assist the Jets in making any decisions about the future of its franchise this offseason. 

Now that New York has two competent men pulling strings, the chances of finding suitable replacements for both Rex Ryan and John Idzik seem much more likely. The biggest name being thrown around even before the end of the regular season was San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. It didn’t take long for someone to snatch him up though, as he headed back to college to coach alma mater Michigan. So with his name out, let’s take a look though at five serious candidates who could be coaching the Green and White in 2015.

1 Doug Marrone Former-Buffalo Bills head coach

It seems pretty clear-cut at this stage that Doug Marrone will be the next head coach of the New York Jets. After opting out of his current contract with Buffalo, Marrone is free to field options from any interested party. It’s been no secret that Marrone has been a Jets fan for years, so the idea that he could the team’s next head coach will make him one happy man. He’s a New York native and was actually an offensive line coach for Gang Green from 2002-2005. During his time in Buffalo, Marrone went 15-17, but the Bills were much improved in 2014, finishing with a  9-7 record.

2 Dan Quinn Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator

Going from defensive mastermind to another might not be the direction that the Jets should take. Nonetheless, if New York do go after another defensive coach, Dan Quinn is the guy. Obviously the Seattle Seahawks are loaded with talent on the defensive side of the ball, but Quinn is a phenomenal coach. Quinn has a New Jersey connection, as he was born in Morristown. He too has a history with the Jets organization, coaching the team’s defensive line in 2007 and 2008. At the age of 44, Quinn would be one of the younger head coaches around the league, but that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t create success.

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3 Todd Bowles Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator

Todd Bowles has had his name thrown around all season long. It is very likely that he’ll have a head coaching job in 2015, but I don’t see him being the next head coach for the New York Jets. Bowles is an Elizabeth, New Jersey native and attended Temple University,  and he also served as a defensive backs coach for the Jets back in 2000. Bowles went 2-1 as a head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2011, following the firing of Tony Sparano, but that was a small sample size.  I do believe that Bowles will be a very good NFL head coach. He has the discipline and everyone knows what he can do on the defensive side of the ball. I just think that the Jets will opt in another direction, most likely Marrone.

4 Frank Reich San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator

Reich was actually a quarterback for the New York Jets during the 1996 season, starting seven games. Any Jets fans who remember him most likely have more bad memories than they do good. The fact that Reich was an unsuccessful NFL quarterback should in no way sway fans from wanting him to coach their team though. Reich has done a masterful job coaching in San Diego the past two seasons. While he has had Phillip Rivers as his quarterback, he could be the guy to help develop a young quarterback in New York next season. He’s ranked fourth on my list due to the fact that he’s unlikely to land the job, but make no mistake, he’s certainly qualified.

5 Gary Kubiak Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator

Of all the men on this list, Kubiak is the biggest name. Think about this for a second, Kubiak is a three-time Super Bowl winning coach. While in San Francisco, he won a championship in 1995 as the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach. He then won two more titles with the Denver Broncos in 1998 and 1999 as the team’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, respectively. As a head coach, Kubiak is right around .500, with a record of 61-64. Gary Kubiak only had three winning seasons while in Houston, but the man knows how to coach. Like Reich, Kubiak was a fairly unsuccessful NFL quarterback, but he gets the best out of his signal-callers. He’s currently the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, who will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.