Earlier this week the Jets made the decision to part with the offensive coordinator after just two years on the job. Whether you believe that Woody Johnson had little impact on that decision or not, the reality is that the next hire could make or break Saleh’s long-term future with the Jets.
Woody Johnson said that he doesn’t do mandates, he doesn’t believe they work...but that the team is loaded and is ready to win now. So it’s not an out-and-out playoff mandate, but really it is. How I love management talk.
Frank Reich is the name on everyone’s mind and unsurprisingly, reports suggest he’s on the list of potential candidates, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get another head coaching job during this cycle, a career 41–35–1 record is a very hirable record.
One name that keeps creeping up in conversations I’m having with friends is Bill Callahan, the former Jets assistant head coach under Rex Ryan and widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) offensive line coaches in football.
Yesterday The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt said that he’s heard the Jets are “interested in some candidates that have a background in coaching the O-Line”.
Well the first thing to say here is that you're not going to find too many people out there with more experience coaching offensive linemen.
He started his coaching career at Illinois all the way back in 1980 before taking his first positional coaching job (OL) at Northern Arizona.
He’s coached offensive lines with the Wisconsin Badgers, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns.
I have fond memories of Callahan here in New York, back in 2008 and 2009, three of his offensive linemen went to the Pro Bowl (Ferguson, Faneca, Mangold). In 2009 we led the league in rushing and also broke the franchise record for rushing yards with 2756.
He moved on to Dallas and created helped the likes of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick flourish. I believe the last time he called plays was during that 2013 Cowboys season, 9 years is a long time in the NFL, and hiring him as offensive coordinator could be a risk.
That 2013 Dallas team ranked 16th with 341.1 yards per game and 5th with 27.4 points per game, so he did have some real success there, built on a strong offensive line.
The Jets need to fix that leaky offensive line, if they don’t it won’t matter who the OC is and who the QB is. I like Callahan and I’d love to have him back in the organization, I don’t know if we could tempt him with the old John Benton title of Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator, but if we could that would be ideal.