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Jets Coaching Candidate of the Day: Zac Taylor

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With Todd Bowles likely on the way out at the end of the season, we are going to take a look at some of the potential candidates to replace him. Whenever we do something like this, there are some typical criticisms that always pop up like, “Why profile this guy? He stinks!” and “He won’t be interested.” We aren’t just profiling the good candidates or suggesting these people are all likely to take the job. We are simply looking at people the Jets could reasonably expected to call.

Today’s candidate: Zac Taylor

Category: NFL Assistant

Current Job: Los Angeles Rams Quarterbacks Coach

Years of NFL Coaching Experience: 6

Head Coaching Experience: None

Pros:

  • Part of the Sean McVay offensive coaching tree.
  • One of the minds behind the Rams offense.
  • Exposed to a number of interesting offensive systems dating back to his playing days.

Cons:

  • Minimal coaching experience. Never a head coach, one year of experience as a college coordinator, and a few games as an interim coordinator in the NFL.
  • Lacking much of a coaching record of success prior to his Rams days.
  • How much credit does he get for what the Rams are doing?

The Bottom Line:

A lot of NFL teams are going to be looking for the “next Sean McVay.” It isn’t clear whether that’s a smart idea because there might not be another Sean McVay out there. Still, Taylor is likely to get a look. At 35 he is young and has been part of one of the hottest offensive coaching staffs in the league. Based on some of the buzz he is getting, there seem to be people in the NFL who think he is ready.

It’s always a roll of the dice when somebody is this young and inexperience. You can’t tell whether you are getting the new great coach or somebody who will be in over his head.

Youth and inexperience aren’t automatic dealbreakers per se. On some level being a great coach requires innate skills. You’ll never find anybody with better experience on paper to be a great head coach than Romeo Crennel. He worked his way up from position coach to coordinator and won five Super Bowl rings as an assistant working under two Hall of Famers. When he got the chance to run his own team, he was terrible. It isn’t just about resume and experience.

With that said, one of the concerns I’d have about a coach like Taylor is whether he has enough of a Rolodex to hire the right coaching staff. The top assistants start networking years in advance of getting a head job, introducing themselves to other coaches. By the time they get a top job, they know exactly the people they want filling out their coaching staff. If Taylor is going to get an NFL head coach, I think he’s going to need to surround himself with an experienced staff.