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Jets' CEO says next coach needs to make QB Sam Darnold a star


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Jets' coaching search focuses on Darnold's growth

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold's emergence played a pivotal role in the New York Jets' decision to retain the man who drafted him, general manager Mike Maccagnan, and now the young quarterback will be the focal point of the team's search for a new coach.

That was the message Monday from the Jets, who split up the Maccagnan-Todd Bowles tandem by firing the coach on Sunday night.

CEO Christopher Johnson and Maccagnan, who will work together to find Bowles' replacement, both stressed the importance of hiring a coach who can make Darnold a star.

"The person doesn't have to be an offensive- or defensive-minded coach, per se, but we definitely want to make sure they have a plan in place to develop our young quarterback in Sam Darnold," Maccagnan said.

The Jets already have reached out to least three potential candidates. They requested permission to speak with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard, sources said.

Both Maccagnan and Johnson believe Darnold will attract top candidates.

"We've got some great young players, including and especially Sam," Johnson said. "We haven't had what we think is a franchise quarterback in a good long time."

Darnold finished his rookie season on an upswing, but it wasn't enough to save Bowles, who finished with a 24-40 record in four seasons. The Jets went 4-12 this season, including nine losses in their last 10 games.

Instead of a housecleaning, Johnson decided to stick with Maccagnan, whose spotty drafting record has come under scrutiny.

"We've developed what I think is a good plan," said Johnson, explaining why he kept Maccagnan. "It's a plan we're in sync on, and it really came together with Sam. Now we're going to be able to build with Sam, and build around Sam and with great players we have on this team already."

Johnson made it clear he believes the team underachieved. The acting owner disagreed with safety Jamal Adams, who made headlines by questioning the team's talent level in the aftermath of its season-ending loss to the New England Patriots.

"Who wouldn't want more talent? But I don't think that's the entire answer," Johnson said. "I think we have some real good talent on this team already. We should've done better in the win-loss column. But I certainly appreciate his comments."

Even though the Maccagnan-Bowles marriage failed to produce a postseason appearance, Johnson said he won't change the power structure. He said Maccagnan and the new coach will report directly to him, as opposed to the traditional approach of having the coach report to the GM.:roll:

Johnson also said he won't consider any head-coaching candidates that demand total control. That seemingly could eliminate established, big-name coaches.

"I think that would be the wrong person for the job," Johnson said. "That would be off the table."

Johnson, in his current role for only two seasons, never has coordinated a coaching search. Neither has Maccagnan, who had no input into the hiring of Bowles in 2015. They will spearhead the search, along with vice president of personnel Brian Heimerdinger. The Jets have no plans to hire an outside firm for guidance. Johnson said he will make the final decision.

 

Their lack of experience could hinder them in a competitive marketplace. That Maccagnan has only two years remaining on his contract also could be seen as an impediment. There are many questions hovering over the Jets, who haven't made the playoffs since 2010.

"Look, a lot has not gone well here," Johnson said. "Like I said, part of that is my fault and I'll take the blame on that. I need to do a better job, but I don't think the organizational structure is at fault."

He declined to say how many candidates they will interview. Johnson wouldn't rule out a college coach. He said head-coaching experience is a plus, but not mandatory. He prefers a coach with expertise in developing quarterbacks, but it's not a must.

"This is about finding someone who can develop a young team," Johnson said.

The goal, of course, is to overtake the Patriots. Asked if he's tired of chasing the perennial AFC East champs, Johnson said, "It keeps me up at night."

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If the Jets properly invest in the offensive talent and protection AROUND Darnold, he'll make whoever the coach ends up being looking like a genius.

Darnold will be a star, we've seen flashes of that after his hiatus. What the Jets need is to keep Darnold healthy, protected in the pocket, and WRs - like Burnett - with Glued-filled Mitts for hands. 

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You are going to buy a new sports car, a really nice expensive sports car.  You've gone half measures before but you just have to have that real beauty car.

You have a blank concrete garbage pad all ready.

You decide to buy a BBQ, a lawn swing and some patio furniture.

Finally the new porcshe arrives.

You have not built a garage for it....hmmm...it's starting to snow, and the neighbours look like they own a chop shop....I guess I better build a garage around it.  Might be done in about 3 years.

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48 minutes ago, Jack Straw said:

Letting Mike Maccagnan stay on as GM because he picked Darnold is like naming a slot-machine jackpot winner as the CEO to Harrah's. Just because you got lucky once doesn't make you qualified to lead a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

Actually, it's nothing like that at all... 

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1 hour ago, Gas2No99 said:

"Look, a lot has not gone well here," Johnson said. "Like I said, part of that is my fault and I'll take the blame on that. I need to do a better job...

"Which is why I will not only not change the power structure, but I will also now be taking a larger part in the organization by spear-heading the HC search."

 

Yep. Makes sense. That's like if @The Crusher oversaw the deli department of a grocery store and found out that they were losing money because he kept eating the cold cuts, and instead of removing himself from the store, decided he also wanted to take control of the cake and baked goods department, too.

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1 hour ago, Gas2No99 said:

Johnson also said he won't consider any head-coaching candidates that demand total control. That seemingly could eliminate established, big-name coaches.

Well, there it is. Any sliver of hope I had left is gone.

Hello, Darkness, my old friend.

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34 minutes ago, LurkerKing said:

What a nightmare. No change to the organizational structure, no head coaches who demand total control. 

Funny.  I liked what I read.  He stated clearly that they have a plan. Obviously Macc. Heimer and CJ are on the same page with that plan and felt strongly Bowles was not getting the results they felt he should have. Does anyone disagree?   CJ knows exactly how long this actual plan has been in place no matter what the posters on here say or how long and detailed the posts we write are.  We can argue all day(and do) about the rebuild, but they are obviously on the same page and thinking the same way. They said they will not give full control. and that Sam is the crown jewel of the future. There's nothing there I don't agree with other than the reporting structure. 

This was a good read and SHOULD shed some light on the situation for some folks here. I know it won't of course. But it should. 

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This is headed south in a hurry.  Clearly the rot starts higher than the objectively terrible GM in this crappy organization, and this mess is just going to lead to another disaster the second the new coach isn’t on the same page during a losing streak or something of that nature.

These idiots haven’t learned their lesson yet, and we are going to continue to have a dysfunctional organization with a million heads all pointing fingers at each other.

 

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