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Is it time for the Jets to find new leadership?

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With the season all but lost should the Jets act now?

New York Jets Introduce General Manager Mike Maccagnan and Head Coach Todd Bowles Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

Tick, tick, tick

As the clock ticks towards another failed season by the Jets, should the management team installed by owner Woody Johnson change the direction of the franchise with a bye week here? You would think that the owner and his top executives would have a plan in place to “right the ship” so to speak after another season of disappointment.

The Jets lost to a previously 2-7 Bills team that had scored a total of 33 points in the last four games before today. To give up 41 points to Matt Barkley, who was signed less than two weeks ago is almost untenable. Barkley was wearing a sleeve with the plays numbered from 1 to 60. The OC would call in a number, and then Barkley would call the play off that sleeve. To lose to a QB who is with his 6th team who doesn’t even know the plays is mind boggling.

Also the Jets mentioned all week about how important this game was to the team and their coach yet they came out with no emotion and seemed to be going through the motions. The game announcers noticed how the 2-7 Bills were full of energy, and the Jets were listless.

I don’t know how you can continue with this GM/Coach team after a performance like that. The lack of playmakers was evident, and the neglected offensive line was dominated by the Bills. The Jets started the game with numerous 3 and outs which show a lack of cohesive offensive plan. You need leadership to build a team when it underperforms, and I just don’t see the leadership from this coach and the GM.

Every team should have a plan in place for the succession of power when their franchise is underperforming. They risk losing a fan base when their team becomes irrelevant in Playoff discussions for consecutive years. They become “also rans” who are mocked by fans of other teams, causing their faithful to be disinterested, which is the most disastrous situation for a NFL franchise.

Such a move is never made casually. It is a last ditch effort to ‘reboot” your team and get it started on the road to a future championship. Stability is what every team strives for, but there comes a time when management realizes the current group steering the ship won’t get it done. The question is has the time run out on the current GM/Coach?

Every team wants to be like the Pittsburgh Steelers who have had 3 coaches in the last 49 years. The Steelers run pretty much the same system (with a few tweaks) during that entire stretch. Tom Brady is the self-professed “GOAT” but he has had the ability to play for one coach and in one offensive scheme for 19 years. Teams like these build on their rosters every year because they don’t change philosophies (either offensive or defenses) from one year to the next. Their players are well versed in the schemes they run, and players who have been with the team are like coaches on the field for new players. They don’t need to think about what they need to do; they just react.

I realize that Maccagnan sacrificed a great deal to draft Sam Darnold. He scouted him and sent numerous draft picks to the Colts to even have the most remote chance of drafting his anointed savior. He dumped players like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to tank the season (although he did a poor job of it) in hopes of landing his “guy”. In the end he prevailed, but the question is, “Did he do enough?”

Sam Darnold isn’t playing this week because he has been beaten like Beetle Bailey after Sarge got through with him week after week. He had a chance to draft numerous offensive linemen to protect his “savior” since he started this crusade over two years ago. Instead he has drafted two offensive linemen in four years and not a single one before the 5th round.

It is unconscionable to believe a GM would sacrifice so much but not develop the proper protection for his prized selection. He had more than 26 draft picks at his disposal (He traded some.) but refused to build a strong wall for his prized selection.

Remember, he had cap space since he didn’t have a franchise QB to pay. Of course he spent the huge cap space left to him by John Idzik so fast he ran out of money and forced one of the Jets all-time best offensive linemen to retire rather than take a huge pay cut after free agency had all but ended. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was always there for ten years taking every snap (but one) and was a quality blind side protector. Maccagnan treated him like garbage, and I for one will never forgive him for that.

Still the question is on the table. Should the Jets make a move now? And if they do who should they target to become the next leaders?

Lets look at the pros and cons of such a move.

Pro - A move now allows the Jets to have first crack at all the GM candidates and allow them to properly use the vetting process. With the trading deadline having come and gone the Jets could let Neil Glat (president) run the show until a successor is found. Similarly the Jets could use one of their coordinators or Mike Caldwell (asst. head coach) to run the team for the final 6 games. A move now also keeps the GM/Coach from altering the roster on a significant basis (like the release of WR Pryor). You don’t want someone who is not in your future plans changing your team.

Con - A move now puts the entire organization is a flux with no definitive direction for the future on the short term. Players and coaches could start “playing for themselves” to accrue stats that may keep them with the team or show another team their worth. There are still six games to go in the season. It also puts the Jets back to square one, the same position the Jets were in when they hired Maccagnan and Bowles.

Pro - A move now shows the entire league the urgency the Jets have in putting a winner on the field. This will make players work extra hard in the off season for fear of losing their jobs. Also if the team hires a new GM before the end of the season he will be able to better evaluate his talent base in real games rather than on tape or preseason. The new GM would be able to dictate some snap counts to better evaluate the players he has the most interest in, making the process easier and more definitive.

Con - A move now means the organization has “thrown in the towel” on this season, and attendance and interest in the Jets will seriously wane. Income in the sales of jerseys and such will dry up, giving the Jets less capital to work with as a franchise. I realize most people don’t care about that, but a move could be done later in the year and not incur such a drop in revenue. Teams are businesses, and any loss of revenue filters down to the team in many ways unseen by fans.

Pro - A move now allows any new GM to evaluate not only his team but players on other teams (possible free agents). The Jets will have around $100 million to spend in the off season, and we don’t want another situation like in Maccagnan’s 1st year when he spent $ like a drunken Eagles owner at the blackjack table. He could make confident decisions knowing he had the time to dissect his teams needs and the free agent market for players.

Con - Players (like I said before) may start to play for themselves skewing the evaluation process. Also top free agents may shy away from the Jets knowing a new coaching staff and ideology may take time to transform the Jets into a winner, if ever. Top players want to win, and the Jets starting over looks like a “rebuilding” job that most top flight players would not want to be a part of.

Pro - Getting a new GM this early would allow him to shape his front office and have first crack at the best scouts available. Having more time to set up his staff will allow him the freedom to make informed decisions on his new coaching staff and what type of offense and defense he wants the team to run. He may be able to interview possible candidates during the playoffs and have a new coach in place before the Super Bowl.

Con - Coaches may view the Jets as a long-term rebuilding process and may want to wait for other jobs with a better talent base to open up. There could be numerous coaching changes this year and the best young coaches might want to wait and cherry pick the team that gives them the best chance to succeed right away. You may hire a coach rather than wait for the other candidates to come free (from the playoffs) not knowing if they are looking for a job elsewhere.

Pro - Getting a new GM early (especially a young one) would signal the Jets have made the decision to change from the old guard of defensive-oriented play and be able to hire a young coach on the cutting edge of the new offenses proliferating in the NFL. There are not a lot of candidates that fit that bill so if you can start early you may be able to jump the gun on securing a young head coach with profound knowledge of the new systems being run in the NFL. That would accelerate the development of Sam Darnold quicker than anything else. Plus many of the new systems are similar to the offenses Darnold ran in college and he could pick up the system easier than than say a Gruden system.

Con - Putting your franchise QB into two completely different offensive systems in his first two years is not conducive to his development. He has only 9 NFL starts and he has to absorb a new offense while still trying to figure out the basics to being an NFL QB. Reading defenses, fixing blocking schemes, making correct reads and calling audibles is still like a foreign language to him and this may be too much on his plate at once. The pressure for Darnold to be the “savior” is only going to grow and a change now may be severely detrimental to his development.

You have to decide what is best for the Jets. What would you do?

So who could we get to be the next GM with the ability to lead the Jets to the promised land?

My vote would be for Eliot Wolf who is the assistant GM for the Cleveland Browns. He is the son of Ron Wolf who is a HOF GM and the genius behind the great Green Bay Packer teams in their heyday. He is 36 years old and almost grew up in the NFL, plus he has worked with Ted Thompson and John Dorsey who are both well established GM’s with impressive resumes. He has been in the scouting/pro personnel position of the NFL since 2004 and has extensive knowledge/resources of scouts and coaches.

Some of the top head coaching candidates include:

Dave Toub - asst head coach and special teams coordinator for the KC chiefs

Eric Bieniemy - Offensive coordinator of the KC chiefs

John Defilippo - Offensive coordinator of the Minn Vikings

Lincoln Riley - Head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners

“Fortune favors the bold,” is a Latin proverb that is used in the US Army and on the coats of arms of individual families and clans for centuries.

The Jets need to be bold and start a new chapter of the Jets existence with a provocative move that will change the destiny of the franchise forever.

Now is the ides of March (although it’s not really March)

The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. Well the Jets owe a debt to their fans and that is to put a winner on the field.

What do you think?

Poll

What should the Jets do?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1) stand pat, the Jets are on the right course
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    2) Fire Bowles but keep Macc
    (109 votes)
  • 1%
    3) Fire Macc but keep Bowles
    (9 votes)
  • 49%
    4) Fire both Macc and Bowles
    (412 votes)
  • 18%
    5) Hire Eliot Wolf now and he can hire a coach
    (159 votes)
  • 0%
    6) Hire a coach 1st and then the GM
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    7) Hire a different GM
    (15 votes)
  • 14%
    8) Wait until January to make a move
    (121 votes)
839 votes total Vote Now