Hard to Feel Good About the Jets GM Search


Jan 8, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson reviews the 2012 season and address changes for 2013 at the New York Jets Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

There is no time frame for a search of this magnitude. For all kinds of reasons, it makes the most sense for the Jets to take their time, be diligent, and get the right candidate. The fact that the search has continued for well over a week, almost two, is not a problem on it’s face. But, on the other hand, if you watch how the process has played out so far, it FEELS like a problem. They may still find the “diamond in the rough” candidate, but it’s difficult to feel good about the process at this point.

The most positive part of late has been the reluctance to promote Scott Cohen. That would not have been received well by this team’s fan base. After preaching the need to go in a different direction, that would have been the worst decision. But, all of the big names are going elsewhere. One by one, the well known names of executives are falling off the board. The one the Jets coveted, Dave Caldwell, actually used the Jets as leverage to go elsewhere. Others have either made other choices, are have not interviewed well. We don’t know that the latter is the case, Tom Gamble could have turned US down over the Rex Ryan issue. For whatever reason, the Jets can’t land one of the top executives available.

The Jets are bringing in some decent candidates in the next group. Jerry Angelo had some success as the Bears GM, drafting Matt Forte, among others. Bringing in an executive from the Pittsburgh Steelers is never going to be a bad idea. Even Jim Popp, when you get past the fact that he is from the CFL, is a great candidate. The issue is, it’s hard to feel good about it. For one, the search doesn’t appear to have any rhyme or reason. And two, as the search goes on, it appears more and more like nobody wants the job.

The more executives turn the Jets down, the more you have to wonder. Why is the job so unappealing? Is it Rex? Is it the over hungry media frenzy everywhere you go. Is it the reputation of the Jets? There must be a reason why nobody wants to make the move to the Jets. It’s surprising, because having a powerful job in a city like ours should be quite exciting, but apparently not.

Why does that make it hard? Because if nobody is excited about coming to NY and resurrecting a football team, how can we feel about the prospects of the roster improving? If prospective applicants are perceiving the situation as “same old Jets”, there is no reason to be optimistic. If top tier applicants are saying no, what’s left? Especially when your team leaks how excited they are about certain candidates, it’s hard to be pumped up when you hear about secondary candidates coming in.

Might they find the perfect candidate out of this next group? Sure. Guys like Jim Popp have wonderful credentials. It’s just hard to feel good about it, with all the guys that have turned them down.