NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Woody Johnson’s search for a new head coach is taking flight.
The New York Jets owner and his consultants — NFL lifers Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf — will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Seattle on Friday, according to the New York Daily News. A brutal 4-12 season was the last straw for Johnson, who fired head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik on Monday.
The 44-year-old Quinn — a native of Morristown, N.J. — worked as defensive line coach for two seasons with the Jets (2007-08) during Eric Mangini’s tenure. His star is on the rise thanks to Seattle’s “Legion of Boom,” the league’s top-ranked defense for two straight years and the driving force behind the Seahawks’ Super Bowl title last season.
Quinn, who won’t be available for interviews again until the Seahawks’ playoff run ends, is reportedly also drawing interest from Atlanta and San Francisco.
While the Jets will have competition for his services, it’s expected that New York will have an extensive list of candidates. The team has also asked to interview Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seattle assistant coach Tom Cable, Baltimore offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and San Diego offensive coordinator Frank Reich, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Among the other names speculated: New England offensive coordinator coach Josh McDaniels, Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
“This is very, very critical right now,” Johnson said during a press conference Monday. “We’ve got to make good decisions.”
Johnson said the ideal coaching candidate would be able to manage all three phases of the game. Ryan, a defensive guru who led the team to consecutive AFC Championship games in his first two seasons, leaned heavily on his offensive coordinators during a six-year run in New York.
“You have to be a good manager as well as be able to inspire the team,” Johnson said. “You have to be able to manage offense, defense, special teams. That means establishing what the goals and opportunities are for each area, and making sure each coach is accountable for the performance of his players. … You have to be somewhat of a detail-oriented person.”
And those details for any potential new head coach would include analyzing what went wrong in 2014.
“He has to go through this season, look at every play and every assignment,” Johnson said. “We were bad in the red zone, both offense and defense. We were bad in turnovers. Our special teams had problems organizing.”
Johnson said Monday that the team wouldn’t necessarily wait to hire a new head coach. He’ll have the final say, though if a general manager is in place, that person would have input.
The Jets have requested interviews with several GM candidates, according to the Daily News, including Eric DeCosta, a highly sought after assistant to Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore.
Prior to hiring Idzik two years ago the Jets attempted to interview DeCosta, but he declined the overture, likely because he’s been with the Ravens since 1996 and many believe he’s the heir apparent to Newsome.
The request to meet with DeCosta aside, Johnson and Co. would also like to talk to Seattle director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner and Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton, along with Houston director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan and Philadelphia director of pro personnel Rick Mueller, the Daily News reported.
“It just depends on what the environment looks like today, who’s available,” Johnson said of the timing of his head coach and GM searches. “Competition is a factor in all of that. I’ll kind of play it as we see it.”
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