There were a number of things that Rich Kotite during his reign as the head coach of the New York Jets. When you finish with a record of 4-28, you're hardly a pin up for sound tactical football advice.
However his personnel management was perhaps the most puzzling of all. First of all when he was hired by the Jets he made the mistake of hiring his merry band of misfit friends to join the staff. The off-season workouts were like spring break for the coaches, beers, late nights and if you believe all the rumors, not much discipline.He then played a part in selecting Kyle Brady over Warren Sapp and we all know how that turned out.
However it was his decisions on the field that were perhaps the most puzzling and if you want to sum up his lack of tactical awareness, you just need to remember two names, Vance Joseph and Everett McIver. If you ever want to explain to friends or family why Kotite was so bad at what he did, then bring up these two names.
First of all Vance Joseph was a college quarterback who went undrafted, the Jets signed him as a free agent and immediately converted him to cornerback. Changing position at any level is difficult, changing position at the highest level is extremely difficult. Now when you're trying to become a cornerback, that's about as tough as you can get. Kotite didn't see it this way.
Jospeh was a very poor cornerback, and you really can't blame him for that. However Kotite thought it would be a good idea to put him in man coverage against the Oakland Raiders Tim Brown, the same Tim Brown who would land in the Hall of Fame. If you have to play an undrafted quarterback at the cornerback position against a future hall of famer, you need to give him safety help and a lot of it. He barely got any, the Jets lost 47-10, Tim Brown put on a show on his way to two touchdowns and the Jets fans started chanting "Lets Go Raiders"!
Then we come to Everett McIver, a left tackle who got his first career start against the Buffalo Bills, a Bills team that included Bruce Smith, one of the best pass rushers of all time, in fact he holds the record for most QB sacks and he's a member of the hall of fame. Rich Kotite wasn't worried, he put the inexperienced McIver in one-on-one coverage. The result? A field day for Smith, a bit hit on Esiason that knocked him out of the game and a lot of puzzled looks around the stadium. Boomer would comment that he couldn't remember the hit at all, Smith would say that it was the most violent incident of his career and he was surprised the Jets left him in one-on-one coverage with McIver.
There were many things wrong with Rich Kotite, his personnel decisions was definitely one of them.