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Jets Coaching Search: Candidate Power Ranking

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here is the way I would currently rank the Jets' coaching candidates in order of my preference. I am only ranking current confirmed candidates.

1. Todd Bowles

Many of the candidates are retreads, but I am not blown away by any of them. I prefer the unknown with a theoretical higher ceiling than the known moderate ceiling. For me Bowles is the best guy available. He's got plenty of experience. Bowles has worked in the league for a decade and a half. He has worked his way up from position coach to coordinator. He even had a brief stint as an interim head coach for the Dolphins three years ago during which he went 2-1. He started his NFL career working for the Jets in 2000 so he has a bit of a taste for working for this franchise in this market. He has done a great job in Arizona, particularly after losing a number of key parts to injury, suspension, and free agency. Bowles is a creative schemer. He seems to be highly respected. How good will he be? Nobody knows how somebody will handle the new responsibilities of the top job until he lands it. Bowles does seem to have all of the qualities a good head coach needs, though.

2. Dan Quinn

Quinn is an interesting candidate. Much of his candidacy is based on his current job as Seahawks defensive coordinator. Much of his success as a Jets head coach would likely have little to do with that. I don't think Quinn can install the Seattle defense and expect to have success in New York. The Seahawks don't outscheme their opponent. Their defense is rather basic. The opponent knows what is coming. They just can't beat Seattle's talent. Can Quinn adjust? One thing you hear frequently is he is adaptable. I think back to when Mike Tomlin started in Pittsburgh. He was a Tampa 2 guy, but the Steelers had a defense that worked under Dick LeBeau and the players to run it. Tomlin was adaptable enough to keep LeBeau. I'm not sure keeping Dennis Thurman would be the right move, but if Quinn is as adaptable as people say he would hopefully hire a defensive coordinator who does something different from what Seattle runs. Like Bowles, Quinn is a former Jets assistant. He also is getting a ton of positive press talking up his aptitude for being a head coach. That is probably a credit to his agent Mike Tannenbaum. Sometimes these stories don't pan out, but sometimes they do.

3. Gary Kubiak

I think Kubiak is squarely in the good coordinator/mediocre to bad head coach category. His eight year run as head coach of the Texans was middling. From adjustments to game management there was a lot about Kubiak as head guy I didn't love. He knows how to run an offense, though. He would fix the Jets' offensive line in a snap and make the run game very effective with his zone system. Late in his tenure with the Texans, he had success because he hired a strong defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. If Kubiak could hire a similarly strong defensive coordinator and focus on the offensive side of the ball, that might work reasonably well. The Jets do have ideal young personnel on the defensive line to run Phillips' defense.

4. Frank Reich

San Diego's offensive coordinator rates this high on the untapped potential theory. I do rank him below the retread Kubiak, though, because it seems like most fans want him out of San Diego due to his playcalling. Reich was the quarterbacks coach during Philip Rivers' bounceback 2013. With an offensive minded head coach and a strong offensive coordinator, it is unclear how much Reich had to do with it. Maybe there is something untapped here, though. Can he choose a staff and manage it well? Would he be an effective CEO? We don't know. This one might be filed under the "Maybe he's the next Mike McCarthy" theory.

5. Doug Marrone

I'm a little worried about all of this buzz Marrone is getting because hiring him seems like a very Jetsy move. If you aren't paying close attention there's enough on the surface to talk yourself into this. "Hey, Syracuse stunk when he took over, and he had a winning record this year with the Bills!" It doesn't take Vince Lombardi to win 8 games in a season at Syracuse, and going 9-7 with a more talented than you think Buffalo team isn't anything to get too excited over, particularly when his team lost its biggest game of the year to Oakland. I like coaches who are adaptable. I like coaches who study trends and are open to new ways of thinking. I like coaches who come up with creative ways to maximize their talent. When I have watched the Bills under Marrone, I have seen a conservative coach set in his ways who doesn't put his players in the best position possible. This would feel like a very underwhelming hire.

6. Tom Cable

His tenure in Oakland included a 17-27 record and a ton of baggage. Now he is responsible for what many consider the weak link of the Seattle juggernaut. It's tough to figure this candidacy.

7. Anthony Lynn

It seems like his candidacy was a favor to raise his profile because Lynn has not gotten very much buzz. It is difficult to say a lot about him. What I do look for assessing the quality of position coaches are some of the finer points. With that in mind, it does bother me how little young Jets backs have developed in pass protection.

In what order would you rank these seven?