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New York Jets Head Coach Candidate: Pete Carmichael, Jr.

Sean Gardner

Name: Pete Carmichael, Jr.

Current Job: New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator 2009-present

Other NFL Experience: Cleveland Browns Tight Ends Coach 2001; Washington Redskins Offensive Quality Control Coach 2001; San Diego Chargers Offensive Quality Control Coach 2002-2003; San Diego Chargers Assistant Wide Recievers Coach 2004-2005; New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks Coach 2006; New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks Coach/Passing Game Coordinator 2007-2008

Head Coaching Experience: None


  • Has presided over prolific offenses in New Orleans as coordinator. In four years, Saints have led the league in yards twice and have never finished lower than sixth.
  • Saints offense in 2012 has remained at the top of the league as Sean Payton's suspension forced Carmichael to take bigger load, including playcalling.
  • Drew Brees went from good quarterback to elite quarterback under Carmichael.
  • Has learned from one of the game's most brilliant offensive minds, Payton.
  • Son of a coach. Has been around the game his entire life, making him wise beyond his years studying the game.


  • How much of Saints' success is due to Carmichael? Walked into dream situation. Saints were number one offense in the league the year before he became coordinator with a franchise quarterback and excellent system already in place overseen by offensive genius head coach. This is Payton's offense.
  • Can he develop his own talent? Brees took next step under Carmichael, but he already was a successful NFL quarterback.
  • Can he adapt system to personnel? Saints throw it as much as anybody and run it less than almost anybody. Would he adapt playcalling to talent better suited to run the ball or a quarterback who needs play action to get it down the field?
  • Can he implement a system? He walked into Payton's offense. Even with Payton out this year, everything was already in place.
  • Why was he passed over for interim head coaching job by team that knows him best?
  • No head coaching experience.

Bottom Line:

If Rex Ryan is fired, I want Carmichael at the very top of the list of candidates the Jets interview. Even if he isn't the primary architect, he has been one of the most influential people behind one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Even before he was offensive coordinator, he was a big part of developing routes and protections on offense.

Payton may have called the plays in the past, but Carmichael was an integral part of game planning. The Saints have an extremely complicated offense with an enormous playbook. Only about one hundred or so of those plays make it onto the card for use in any given game. Carmichael crunched the film and determined what plays those would be. With him taking over the play calling this year, the New Orelans offense has remained at the top of the league.

Almost all of the questions about Carmichael deal with how he would do away from his surroundings with the Saints, but he's been wildly successful. He was a really hot candidate a year ago. Oddly, he doesn't seem to be getting much buzz this year after adding another year of success with added responsibility to his resume. I think he was passed over for the head coaching job with the Saints out of fear they would have to choose between him and Payton if he was successful this year.

I was rooting against the Dolphins hiring him a year ago and was pleased they did not. I think he merits serious consideration in the event the Jets get into the market for a head coach.