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The latest on Jets coaching search: Gase is the guy

The Jets fired head coach Todd Bowles on Dec. 30 after the 55-year-old spent four seasons with the team. Bowles finished his tenure with a 24-40 record — winning 10 of his first 15 games at the helm. Bowles’ Jets finished 5-11 in 2016 and ’17, then went 4-12 this season. In hopes of turning a new page, New York isn’t wasting time hunting for a replacement.

Here are the latest updates on the Jets’ search for a new head coach:

Jan. 9, 8:40 PM:

SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano confirmed that the Jets will hire former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase as their 19th head coach in franchise history. Gase was fired after three seasons in Miami, where he went 23-25 overall including a 10-6 playoff team in his rookie season in 2016. 


Jan. 9, 7:31 PM: 

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule informed the players on his team that he will be staying at school, which takes his name out of the running for the Jets’ job. 

SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano furthered the report saying the Jets wanted to give Rhule a list of assistants with NFL experience to hire to his staff. But Rhule didn’t agree with that idea, and pulled his name from the running.

With Rhule out, that leaves Mike McCarthy and Adam Gase to choose from as their next head coach. McCarthy, the more accomplished between the two, has reportedly made it known that the Jets’ vacancy is the only job he wants to fill.  

Jan 9. 5:18 PM:

The Jets’ search for a new head coach has seemingly narrowed down to final few names, and much of the speculation on Wednesday centered around Rhule. 

And when the Jets finally do make their decision, he might be their choice. But don’t rule out McCarthy and Gase yet.

Both the former Packers coach and former Dolphins coach are still very much in the mix for the job, according to a source familiar with the Jets’ thinking. 

It appears that those two and Rhule are the final three, though at least one league source believes Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken might still be under consideration.

At the moment it’s not clear what is holding up the final decision.

The Jets know McCarthy wants the job, but since he made $6 million per year in Green Bay he could be very expensive. 

Rhule would be cheaper, but Baylor University might give him a significant raise in an effort to keep him if the Jets try to hire him away.

It’s unclear if money is a factor at all in the process or if negotiations with any of them are even under way. 

All that is clear is that the Jets apparently haven’t officially ruled any of them out yet. 

The expectation is the Jets will have a new head coach in place by the end of the week. So far five of the eight openings for NFL head coaches have been filled.

Jan 8, 5:06 PM:

The Cardinals announce Kliff Kingsbury as their next head coach. 

The Jets announce that their interview with Buc offensive coordinate Todd Monken is complete.

Jan 8, 3:15 PM:

After interviewing Kliff Kingsbury on Monday, the former Texas Tech head coach is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, per NFL Network. 

Ralph’s Take: That former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury landed with the Arizona Cardinals did not come as a surprise to the Jets, according to an NFL source. They knew the Cards had been trying to pry him from his new job at USC for a while, and they had been told he would likely take their job if it was offered.

They pursued an interview with him anyway for a couple of reasons: One, because you never know. He had emerged as a hot name on the coaching carousel with a reputation for developing young quarterbacks, and maybe he could have wowed them and vice versa. Or maybe, if the Cards job fell through and the Jets didn’t want him as a head coach, they could have lured him as an offensive coordinator.

And the other was to hear his thoughts on the Jets’ offense and their young quarterback Sam Darnold. Smart NFL teams often use the interview process not just as a way to find an NFL coach, but to get some much-needed outside perspective on their organization and their plan.

None of that is to say the Jets weren’t interested in Kingsbury. They were. They just knew he wasn’t likely to end up as their head coach.

Who will? Well, they have announced five candidates – Mike McCarthy, Jim Caldwell, Adam Gase, Eric Bieniemy and Kris Richard, and they are interviewing a sixth (Todd Monken) today. All of them have NFL experience. They also reportedly have talked to Baylor coach Matt Rhule, though it’s not clear if they formally interviewed him.

At the moment, there are no other known candidates, so the Jets’ choice might emerge in the next couple of days.

Jan 8, 2:01 PM:

Kliff Kingsbury left for Arizona Tuesday morning to interview for the Cardinals job, thus completing his interview with the Jets, per NFL Network’s Pete Schrager

Jan 7, 3:40 PM:

The Jets are meeting with USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury on Monday, according to FS1’s Bruce Feldman. Kingsbury was initially denied permission to interview for NFL jobs from the university but appears to have been granted that permission. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Kingsbury still employed by the university despite reports he may have resigned. 

Jan. 7, 2:43 PM:

The Jets completed an interview with Jim Caldwell on Monday. Caldwell was fired as Lions head coach after the 2017 season after four seasons as head coach, including two playoff appearances. 

The Jets will aslo talk to Baylor coach Matt Rhule before interviewing Bucs OC Todd Monken on Tuesday, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. 

Jan. 6, 8:04 PM:

Mike McCarthy is still a candidate for the Jets’ job, an NFL source told’s Ralph Vacchiano, and as far as the team knows, the former Packers coach has not made any big decisions about his future. There has always been a chance that he’d choose to sit out the 2019 season, as one report on Sunday said he planned to do. But after interviewing him on Friday and Saturday, the source said, the Jets believe he’s still interested in their job.

That could always change, but for now it does appear that McCarthy has “warmed” to the idea of coaching the Jets, as one source told SNY on Saturday. The only two jobs he’s currently planning to interview for are the Jets job and the Browns job. He postponed his interview with the Browns a few days ago, but it is expected to take place this week.

McCarthy does still appear to be a favorite, particularly of Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, according to a source. The Jets went into the search hoping to find an experienced head coach with an offensive mind and someone who could help develop young quarterback Sam Darnold and energize their fan base. The 55-year-old McCarthy would seem to check all of those boxes.

But the Jets are going to continue their extensive search at least through this week, before deciding whether they’re going to bring in any candidates for a second interview. So far they’ve interviewed McCarthy, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and former Dolphins coach Adam Gase. They interviewed Cowboys DBs coach Kris Richard on Sunday in Dallas, and will interview Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Tuesday.

They also may interview Baylor coach Matt Rhule, and they are hopeful USC will change its mind and let them talk to Trojans offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

Video: 5 facts to know about Jets candidate Todd Monken

Jan. 5, 3:21 PM: 

A source confirms to SNY the Jets interview with Bucs OC Todd Monken is scheduled for Tuesday.

McCarthy also completed his interview on Saturday. So Richard on Sunday, Monken on Tuesday. Bieniemy and Gase are already done. They’re still interested in Jim Caldwell, but there is no date scheduled for him yet. 

Monken reportedly also has interviews with the Packers and Bengals.

Jan. 5, 12:57 PM:

USC has denied the Jets and Cardinals permission to interview Kliff Kingsbury as head coach, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kingsbury accepted a position as the offensive coordinator in early December after he was fired as head coach of Texas Tech in November. 

Jan. 5, 9:04 AM:

Former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy will interview with the Jets on Saturday, per NFL Network. 

Jan. 4, 4:53 PM:

The Jets are interested in Baylor coach Matt Rhule, according to ESPN, but it’s unclear if he will be asked to interview for the head coaching position.

Jan. 4, 2:49 PM:

The Jets announced they’ve completed an interview with former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase

Jan. 4, 2:13 PM:

The Jets will meet with Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard on Sunday in Dallas, after the Cowboys play their wild-card round game against the Seahawks on Saturday, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. 

Video: 5 facts to know about Jets candidate Kris Richard

Jan. 2, 5:43 PM:

According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase will interview with the Jets this Friday. Gase, who interviewed with the Cardinals on Wednesday, was canned by the Dolphins after three seasons that saw a 23-25 overall record. Miami made the playoffs in his first season after a 10-6 campaign in 2016.

Gase has been plagued with quarterback issues during his three seasons, as Ryan Tannehill’s injury situation forced backups like Matt Moore to take over in his place. With the Jets, Gase — an offensive mind — would hope for more luck with a young quarterback Sam Darnold. He would also get some revenge against his former team twice a year.

Jan. 2, 1:22 PM:

Jets announce they’ve completed an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Jan. 2, 9:16 AM:

The Jets will interview Eric Bieniemy on Wednesday in Kansas City, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer.

Bieniemy, who has worked under Andy Reid since 2013 and led the Chiefs to the No. 1 seed and the top offense in the league in his first season as offensive coordinator, will also interview with the Buccaneers on Wednesday, Dolphins on Thursday and Bengals on Friday, according to Breer and NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport.

Jan. 1, 7:26 PM:

Kliff Kingsbury: The former Texas Tech head coach and former USC offensive coordinator will conduct an interview with the Jets, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. 

Kingsbury, 39, is viewed as an up-and-coming offensive mind and has spent time developing quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb. He also is expected to interview with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Kingsbury also once played for the Jets. His only NFL appearance came with them in 2005 when he completed just one of two passes. 

Jan. 1, 12:30 PM:

Mike McCarthy: The former Green Bay Packers coach has been at the top of the Jets’ wish list for their next head coach since the day he was fired by the Packers, as SNY has been reporting for more than a month. The only question has been whether he’s interested in the Jets or whether he wants to sit out the entire 2019 season, as some in the NFL suspect.

McCarthy, though, is planning to talk to the Jets at least, an NFL source told SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. An interview hasn’t officially been scheduled, but he’s indicated that he will take one with the Jets. He has also drawn interest from the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals too, though it’s unclear if he’ll interview with them. He is believed to be very interested in the Cardinals job.

The 55-year-old McCarthy is the most accomplished coach on the market. In 13 seasons with the Packers he took them to playoffs nine times, the NFC championship four times, and he won a Super Bowl once. He had eight seasons with at least 10 wins and his offense was ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL nine times.

Obviously he had the benefit of the NFL’s best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, on his roster. But he had at least a little to do with Rodgers’ development too. And that could be a huge selling point for the Jets as they consider the development of their own young, star quarterback, Sam Darnold.

Video: 5 facts to know about Jets candidate Jim Caldwell

Dec. 31, 7:05 PM:

Jim Caldwell: The Jets do plan to interview former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, a source told SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. It doesn’t sound like an interview is set up yet, but it should be coming. The 63-year-old has already interviewed with the Green Bay Packers and reportedly could be on the Cleveland Browns’ list too. He’s not a high-profile candidate or a big name, but he was very successful in both his previous stops. The fact that he went to the playoffs twice in four years with Detroit is a miracle considering that franchise has had three playoff berths in the last 19 years.

Dec. 31, 6:45 PM:

Zac TaylorIf the Jets are searching for the next Sean McVay, they don’t seem to be searching for him in McVay’s staff according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. In a somewhat surprising move, the Jets – in their “extensive” search – don’t seem to be in on Rams QB coach Zac Taylor. Given the success of the Rams and McVay’s offense, Taylor has become a very hot commodity. The Cardinals, Broncos and Bengals have already scheduled interviews with him, per a source, but the Jets haven’t reached out at all. At this point, especially with the Rams in the playoffs, he might not be willing to take any more interviews, so the Jets might have already missed their chance.

Dec. 31, 2:30 PM:

Matt Campbell: The Iowa State coach, who was expected to draw interest from the NFL, received a request to interview with the Jets, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. As of right now, though, he’s declining.

Dec. 31, 1:37 PM:

Todd Monken: The Jets put in a request to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed. Monken had college head coaching experience with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles from 2013-15. The 52-year-old completed his head coach tenure with a 13-25 regular season record for Southern Miss. The Bucs hired Monken as their OC before the 2016 season. Tampa Bay had the No. 1 passing offense in the league with Monken serving as the play caller in 2018. 

Ralph’s Take: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a huge disappointment this season at 5-11, but somehow they had the NFL’s third-ranked offense (415.5 yards per game) and the NFL’s best passing attack (320.3). That’s surprising, considering they began the year without starter Jameis Winston and then yo-yoed between him and journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. That success has put the spotlight on the 52-year-old Monken, who also had success as a head coach in college, turning Southern Miss from a 1-11 mess to a bowl team in his three seasons. He fits the profile as an offense guru, even if he is a bit of an unknown.

Dec. 31, 12:30 PM:

Kris Richard: The Jets are requesting an interview with Dallas Cowboys passing game coordinator and Defensive backs coach Kris Richard, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed. The playoff-bound Cowboys hired Richard as their DB coach in January of this year. The former NFL cornerback began his coaching career with the Seattle Seahawks 2010 as an assistant DB coach, promoted to Defensive coordinator in ’15. Richard’s defense ranked first in points allowed for the ’15 Seahawks season.

Ralph’s Take: The 39-year-old Richard is a very well-respected coach who a lot of people around the league believe will be a star as a head coach someday. He’ll be a terrific hire for someone, but he doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Jets. His specialty is defense. He was the assistant who groomed the Legion of Boom secondary in Seattle and then became their defensive coordinator. A former NFL cornerback, he has no background on offense at all. That makes him another Todd Bowles and that’s not what the Jets need. They need an offensive mind, someone who can help groom quarterback Sam Darnold. Another defensive mind with no head coaching experience would be a mistake.

Dec. 31, 11:35 AM:

Eric Bieniemy: The Jets put in a request to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed. Bieniemy has 11 years of coaching experience under his belt — six years with Kansas City under head coach Andy Reid. He was promoted to Chiefs OC before the 2018 season. QB Patrick Mahomes had a great year under Bieniemy’s tutelage, completing 383 of 580 passes for 5,097 yards on the year.

Ralph’s Take: This is a real good place for the Jets to start, given the success of young quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the explosiveness of the Chiefs offense. Andy Reid calls the plays there, but that hasn’t seemed to hurt the men on the branches of his coaching tree. Matt Nagy, his previous offensive coordinator, turned the Chicago Bears around this season and led them to the playoffs. And his previous offensive coordinator, Doug Pederson, won a Super Bowl last year in his first season as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach. So there’s a track record there. The only risk is that he’s never been a head coach at any level, and the Jets may want someone a little more experienced than that.

Dec. 30, 12:00 PM:

Mike McCarthy: Cardinals ownership reached out to former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and the 55-year-old reportedly said he does not intend to pursue the opening, according to CBS Sports. The reports says McCarthy will sit out in 2019 if the perfect coaching opportunity does not present itself. McCarthy took the Packers to four NFC championships in 13 years before he was fired in-season earlier this month. He finished his tenure with the Green Bay on a 125-77-2 regular season record. 

Ralph’s Take: Simply the best available candidate. In 13 seasons in Green Bay he had eight seasons with double-digit wins, nine trips to the playoffs, four trips to the NFC championship and a Super Bowl championship. What’s unknown is whether he wants to coach in New York.

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