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If Jets’ Christopher Johnson fires Adam Gase, he should give Chiefs’ Eric Bieniemy a chance


Barry McCockinner
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SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

The Jets are an embarrassment (again), and if acting owner Christopher Johnson has an ounce of sense, he’ll send coach Adam Gase packing if things keep spiraling.

Johnson wants to be patient with Gase, who is 7-11 through a season-plus with the Jets. Johnson wants the Gase hire to work. Of course he does. Johnson made the hire.

But at some point, enough will have to be enough. And if (when?) that time comes, Johnson should act quickly next offseason and make the safest and most sensible hire to replace Gase — Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Other teams will be seeking a new head coach, too. The Lions, Falcons, and Jaguars are the leading contenders, along with the Jets, to fire their coach after Week 17 — if not sooner. Bieniemy will be highly sought after. So Johnson will have competition.

First, though, he needs to make a decision on Gase. And Gase is making that choice easier by the week. A pathetic 0-2 start — with a 21-3 halftime deficit in each game — has erased all memories of last year’s 6-2 finish, which followed a 1-7 start.

And here’s the big issue: When Gase’s Jets lose, they get bludgeoned — margins of 14, 16, 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, and 33 points. Gase has just three reasonably close losses with the Jets — margins of 1, eight, and 10.

Gase’s average margin of defeat in 11 Jets losses — 16.5 points. Rich Kotite got blown out plenty while stumbling to a 4-28 record with the Jets from 1995-96. But his average margin of defeat wasn’t as large as Gase’s — 12.8 points.

This isn’t new for Gase, either. In his final two seasons with the Dolphins, 2017-18, he lost by an average of 15.8 and 16.8 points, while going 6-10 and 7-9. (But, hey, Peyton Manning really liked him!)

So from the Day 1, Johnson hiring Gase was curious at best. You had to be insane to offer unqualified praise for this hire — and to rejoice about it, without pointing out the many flaws Gase showed in Miami. The hire deserved a lot of skepticism.

And sure enough, Gase has been a failure so far with the Jets. There is nothing else to say about a coach who is now 1-9 combined in the first half of the season, when good or even average teams play themselves into postseason contention, and terrible teams sink.

Would Bieniemy do any better? A lot depends on whether general manager Joe Douglas gives him enough talent, and whether quarterback Sam Darnold can get it together.

But at least Bieniemy, a first-time head coach, wouldn’t be an obvious retread, like Gase was. He arrived in Florham Park with three seasons of NFL head coaching experience — and a 23-25 regular season record. He is now 30-36 in his career. Maybe (probably?) this is who he is.

No, Bieniemy doesn’t call plays for the Chiefs — head coach Andy Reid does — yet Bieniemy has been instrumental in quarterback Patrick Mahomes' development since he was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018.

As the Jets are learning with Gase, there’s more to being a winning head coach than calling an offense. Ultimately, you need to prepare guys to play hard. Can Gase do that? He has 30 losses (and 20 wins) over the past three-plus seasons — by an average of 16.4 points.

Bieniemy, 51, is a well-regarded assistant, and a hot name in head coaching searches during recent offseasons. Johnson interviewed him last year before hiring Gase. The Giants interviewed Bieniemy earlier this year before hiring Joe Judge.

Bottom line: It’s well past time for Bieniemy to get a head coaching opportunity.

No, Johnson won’t be able to get Bieniemy midseason if he fires Gase. But how long can Johnson let nonsense like 21-3 halftime deficits continue before he cans Gase and replaces him on an interim basis with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, a former NFL head coach?

(And before you ask, hiring Bieniemy would be a much smarter decision than promoting Williams from interim head coach to the full-time job.)

Gase got a four-year contract, so it would be a two-year buyout for Johnson. But after 2020, the Jets will no longer be paying former head coach Todd Bowles and ex-general manager Mike Maccagnan, who were under contract through this season when they were fired.

Johnson presumably learned a lesson from waiting too long to fire Maccagnan, deep into the 2019 offseason, instead of immediately after 2018, along with Bowles. This is Johnson’s fourth season as acting owner, so he ought to be more decisive — and maybe more competent, too.

He can prove it by hiring Bieniemy to replace Gase, if this embarrassment continues.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.

Darryl Slater may be reached at dslater@njadvancemedia.com. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

https://www.nj.com/jets/2020/09/if-jets-christopher-johnson-fires-adam-gase-heres-why-he-should-finally-give-chiefs-eric-bieniemy-a-chance-opinion.html

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3 minutes ago, ScarletKnight89 said:

I'd be fine with giving Bieniemy a chance. Him, or Greg Roman I'd be willing to take a chance on. 

Greg Roman is interesting. He’s always been one of the better offensive minds and has succeeded in multiple organizations - turned around the offenses in SF and Baltimore and did a good job in Buffalo too. I’m on the bandwagon.

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2 minutes ago, PS17 said:

Greg Roman is interesting. He’s always been one of the better offensive minds and has succeeded in multiple organizations - turned around the offenses in SF and Baltimore and did a good job in Buffalo too. I’m on the bandwagon.

I’m there too right now. He seems to understand why and how to build and offense around the players he has. I don’t doubt Gase has tried, I just don’t think he is capable. Herndon and Darnold were stars in the making in a Jeremy ******* Bates run offense. Now they are awful. 

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5 minutes ago, predator_05 said:

If Bienemy is so good, why hasn't anyone hired him yet?

 

Guy is repeatedly passed on, and its not like he hasn't been interviewe - teams are bound by the Rooney rule to interview a 'black' coach whenever there's an opening. 

You realize the Jets are one of the teams who passed on him, right? It's an appeal to authority. As if these owners always hire the right guy.

Yea sure, we got the right one - Adam Gase.

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7 minutes ago, PS17 said:

Greg Roman is interesting. He’s always been one of the better offensive minds and has succeeded in multiple organizations - turned around the offenses in SF and Baltimore and did a good job in Buffalo too. I’m on the bandwagon.

That's what I like about him. Successful in multiple organizations is a good sign.

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12 minutes ago, Paradis said:

ehh, if the chronically failed experiment that is Adam Gase taught it us anything - it's that you don't hitch yourself to a coach because some super human QB did well... 

Andy's the man behind the KC orgasm. Not saying Eric isn't worth a look, but let's not get ahead of the vinegar strokes. 

Gase didn't develop Manning. He hitched a ride on the tail end of his career. He also had a miserable failed tenure in Miami. Huge differences.

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4 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

You realize the Jets are one of the teams who passed on him, right? It's an appeal to authority. As if these owners always hire the right guy.

Yea sure, we got the right one - Adam Gase.

The Jets aren't the best at assessing talent, but surely another team would have hired him?

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4 minutes ago, predator_05 said:

The Jets aren't the best at assessing talent, but surely another team would have hired him?

So you think the Jets are the only team that can get it wrong? Honestly?

Can't blame the Panthers for going with Rhule who had an outstanding track record. No shame in losing out to him.

Giants went with Judge? IDK much about the guy tbh.

It's just a weak and lazy argument to use IMO. Just because another team passed on him doesn't mean he won't be a good HC.

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I'm not sure who this is or if this type of coach will be available, but the Jets need a major presence who can transcend the underlying organizational dysfunction. Similar to when Parcells came in, they need to bring in a super bowl winning coach with a long track record. The young hot coordinator candidate to me gets swallowed up in the systemic mess that is this franchise. 

This is always the other side of the "fire the coach now" conversation that most don't want to have, if/when we do it well who can you get to come in here? 

I'm not saying he fits this bill perfectly at all, but given what's going on in Philly it's possible Pederson breaks loose and given Douglas' history with the Eagles I could see that being the hire.

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44 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

But at least Bieniemy, a first-time head coach, wouldn’t be an obvious retread, like Gase was. He arrived in Florham Park with three seasons of NFL head coaching experience — and a 23-25 regular season record. He is now 30-36 in his career. Maybe (probably?) this is who he is.

No, Bieniemy doesn’t call plays for the Chiefs — head coach Andy Reid does — yet Bieniemy has been instrumental in quarterback Patrick Mahomes' development since he was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018.

As the Jets are learning with Gase, there’s more to being a winning head coach than calling an offense. Ultimately, you need to prepare guys to play hard. Can Gase do that? He has 30 losses (and 20 wins) over the past three-plus seasons — by an average of 16.4 points.

Bieniemy, 51, is a well-regarded assistant, and a hot name in head coaching searches during recent offseasons. Johnson interviewed him last year before hiring Gase. The Giants interviewed Bieniemy earlier this year before hiring Joe Judge.

Bottom line: It’s well past time for Bieniemy to get a head coaching opportunity.

This is the least compelling argument for hiring a human for any job that I’ve ever read.

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35 minutes ago, Drums said:

I’m there too right now. He seems to understand why and how to build and offense around the players he has. I don’t doubt Gase has tried, I just don’t think he is capable. Herndon and Darnold were stars in the making in a Jeremy ******* Bates run offense. Now they are awful. 

Get Roman, Woody. 

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Make it stop. Stop hiring a coach who is a good coordinator. Find someone who is good at being a HEAD COACH. A good head coach has the skills of having the connections to hire good coordinators. Nothing I know of either Roman or Bieniemy make me think they are the right leaders of an organization. 

Being a good coordinator is different than being a good head coach. Especially if a guy has only had success as coordinator working for a great head coach. 

That being said, Reid's former assistant have a mixed track record as head coaches: 

Harbaugh

Pederson

McDermott

Rivera

Nagy

Childress

Frazier

Bowles

Shurmur

Spagnolo

 

I can't fathom why you would hire Reid's assistant who gets him donuts (Sound familiar to hiring Peyton's coffee boy?) when you could hire Harbaugh

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50 minutes ago, ScarletKnight89 said:

I'd be fine with giving Eric Bieniemy a chance. Him, or Greg Roman I'd be willing to take a chance on. 

Sounds like a great idea, because the two offensive coordinators for the two elite offenses in the NFL would want to come to New Jersey. 

To coach the New York Jets. 

Who, with the worst roster in the league and no franchise quarterback, have just fired their ex-offensive coordinator head coach, someone they know and respect, after a year and two games, and airplanes, and talk shows, and tweets, and upsetting his wife, and humiliating his family.

The stuff you dreamers smoke must be really good.

SAR I

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3 minutes ago, SAR I said:

Sounds like a great idea, because the two offensive coordinators for the two elite offenses in the NFL would want to come to New Jersey. 

To coach the New York Jets. 

Who, with the worst roster in the league and no franchise quarterback, have just fired their ex-offensive coordinator head coach, someone they know and respect, after a year and two games, and airplanes, and talk shows, and tweets, and upsetting his wife, and humiliating his family.

The stuff you dreamers smoke must be really good.

SAR I

 

Eric Bienemy has already interviewed with us for the job. Guess he wasn't interested and took the interview because he was bored....

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2 minutes ago, ScarletKnight89 said:

Eric Bienemy has already interviewed with us for the job. Guess he wasn't interested and took the interview because he was bored....

Sure, when everyone thought Sam Darnold was the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Oops.  

SAR I

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55 minutes ago, PS17 said:

Greg Roman is interesting. He’s always been one of the better offensive minds and has succeeded in multiple organizations - turned around the offenses in SF and Baltimore and did a good job in Buffalo too. I’m on the bandwagon.

And he's worked with Chris Hogan before!  Seriously though, he's only worked with mobile/running QBs: Colin, Tyroid and now Lamar.  He wasn't all that in Buffalo - considering he had Shady McCoy, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins as playmakers.

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24 minutes ago, jeremy2020 said:

Make it stop. Stop hiring a coach who is a good coordinator. Find someone who is good at being a HEAD COACH. A good head coach has the skills of having the connections to hire good coordinators. Nothing I know of either Roman or Bieniemy make me think they are the right leaders of an organization. 

Being a good coordinator is different than being a good head coach. Especially if a guy has only had success as coordinator working for a great head coach. 

That being said, Reid's former assistant have a mixed track record as head coaches: 

Harbaugh

Pederson

McDermott

Rivera

Nagy

Childress

Frazier

Bowles

Shurmur

Spagnolo

That's why I vote for Jack del Rio.

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6 minutes ago, deucebag said:

And he's worked with Chris Hogan before!  Seriously though, he's only worked with mobile/running QBs: Colin, Tyroid and now Lamar.  He wasn't all that in Buffalo - considering he had Shady McCoy, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins as playmakers.

Tyrod sucks though. He did brilliantly with Kaepernick and Lamar. 

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48 minutes ago, SAR I said:

Sounds like a great idea, because the two offensive coordinators for the two elite offenses in the NFL would want to come to New Jersey. 

To coach the New York Jets. 

Who, with the worst roster in the league and no franchise quarterback, have just fired their ex-offensive coordinator head coach, someone they know and respect, after a year and two games, and airplanes, and talk shows, and tweets, and upsetting his wife, and humiliating his family.

The stuff you dreamers smoke must be really good.

SAR I

The old nobody wants to come here argument if we don't show patience. Remember hearing don't fire Bowles after only 3 seasons when he just finished going 5-11 back-to-back years? We gave him a 4th year which was Darnold's rookie season. Should of canned him after the 2017 season and hired a coach and picked the QB together. Instead we're always trying to set up these arranged marriages instead letting it grow organically. Things aren't working out the Johnson & Johnson way. Lastly, I feel for any coaches family. It's not an easy profession to be in.

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The Reid coaching tree has been pretty solid, and the last time Reid groomed a guy to be a future HC like he's doing with Bieniemy, Doug Pederson was his apprentice.  That worked out OK for Philly.

 

My wishlist:

  1. Greg Roman
  2. Try to toss a bag of money at Lincoln Riley or another quality college coach
  3. Bieniemy
  4. Don Martindale (Ravens DC)
  5. Brian Daboll (Bills OC)
  6. Robert Salah (49ers DC)
  7. Byron Leftwich (Bucs OC)
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3 hours ago, Paradis said:

ehh, if the chronically failed experiment that is Adam Gase taught it us anything - it's that you don't hitch yourself to a coach because some super human QB did well... 

Andy's the man behind the KC orgasm. Not saying Eric isn't worth a look, but let's not get ahead of the vinegar strokes. 

And this is exactly why Christopher Johnson will hire him. Look at what this genius did in KC. He produced the top offense in the league baby!

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