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New York Jets Should Sign Karl Dunbar For 2015 Now

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On Black Monday, the Jets owner not only fired his general manager and head coach, he told the assistant coaches that they were free to interview with the new head coach when he is hired. He didn’t fire them, but at the end of January, if not under contract, they all become free agents. ESPN’s Rich Cimini referenced a source within the organization that only three Jets assistants were under contract for 2015. According to the report only special teams coach Thomas McGaughey, running backs coach Anthony Lynn and offensive line coach Mike Devlin hold contracts for 2015.

That leaves the rest of the assistant coaches in limbo until the end of January, or until a new head coach can be hired. Karl Dunbar is included in that group, and it’s my belief that the Jets should lock him up now. I see no reason what so ever not to sign him to a new contract now. Interim GM Rod Graves has been signing future player contracts while the search continues for replacements for John Idzik and Rex Ryan. As a vote of confidence for Dunbar, I think Johnson should direct Graves to get a deal done now instead of waiting on a new head coach. I’ll tell you why.

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Karl Dunbar in my opinion is one of the best defensive line coaches in the game today, he’s has a long history of building outstanding defensive lines and developing the talent that make up those lines. Any head coach they hire would be crazy not to at least interview him, so why make him wait? Dunbar is without a doubt the most qualified Jets assistant currently with the team. The closer we get to January 31st, when his contract expires, the more likely it becomes that he might want to move on. Let’s take a look at Dunbar’s credentials.

Karl Dunbar played defensive tackle for three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. He played his college football for the LSU Tigers and was selected to the Second Team SEC Defensive team in his second year. He was selected in the 8th round of the 1990 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His playing career was short, but Karl Dunbar knows defense.

Oct 19, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; LSU Tigers helmet during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi Rebels defeat the LSU Tigers 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

After retiring from football, Dunbar immediately jumped into coaching. He started at the high school level and worked his way up to the collegiate level, landing his first collegiate coaching job in 1998 at Divison I -AA Nicholl State as a defensive line coach.

In 2000 he was hired as the strength and conditioning coach for the LSU Tigers. In 2002 he was hired to be the defensive line coach for Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, he was credited with coaching Kevin Williams to a break out season in his senior year. Williams became a 1st round pick in the NFL Draft. Dunbar can develop talent at any level!

Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; General view of a Chicago Bears helmet on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dunbar broke into the NFL Coaching world when he was hired as the defensive line coach of the Chicago Bears under Lovie Smith in 2004. It only turned out to be a one year gig, but while there he worked with Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson. That year the Bears were ranked the #1 defense on third downs, holding opponents to a measly 30% conversion rate.

In 2005, Dunbar returned to the collegiate level to coach the defensive line for his alma mater LSU Tigers. While at LSU his defense was ranked #5 in the nation and led the SEC with 39 sacks. Karl Dunbar has had success at every level of football!!

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2006 found Dunbar back in the NFL to stay, when he was hired by new head coach Brad Childress in Minnesota as his defensive line coach. Dunbar coached in Minnesota from 2006 to 2011, turning a porous defense into the leading rushing defense in the league from 2006 to 2008. Under his coaching he built “The Williams Wall”, where he was widely credited for the development Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. The “Williams Wall” only allowed opponents an average of 70.8 yards per game over two years.

In 2012, Rex Ryan likely made his best coach hiring in his tenure with the Jets, bringing Dunbar over to the New York Jets! We all know, what he’s done here, the Jets defensive line became one of the very best in the league. Mo Wilkerson’s game took off to a new level under Dunbar. From virtually out of nowhere, he developed undrafted free agent Damon “Snacks” Harrison into a household name! Sheldon Richardson credits him for his successful transition from college football into the Defensive Rookie Of The Year last year.

His latest success with the Jets, is Quinton Coples. Coples struggled his first couple of seasons, and many fans were beginning to label him a bust around New York. Rex Ryan had moved him to outside linebacker and he was rather ineffective bringing the pass rush the Jets expected from him when they drafted in the first round. Last year, Dunbar got to work with him due to the injury to Muhammad Wilkerson towards the end of the season. Back at his natural position and under Dunbar’s tutelage, Coples excelled in pass rushing, filling in admirably for Wilkerson and beyond.

Oct 27, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals Stadium is reflected in New York Jets Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar

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Karl Dunbar has proven he is the “real deal”, he’s proven he can build and develop talent at every level of the game! He’s been the best Jets assistant coach over the last two seasons, and the players love to play for him. He’s a motivator, and pushes his pupils at every turn. He has an eye for talent and has proven he can develop talent when he sees it. I credit him with much of the defensive prowess the Jets have displayed along the line the last two seasons.

Signing Dunbar now only makes sense. The Jets should not take even the remotest chance of loosing him to another team! Johnson and Graves, need to get this one done. If Dunbar is willing to return, the Jets should show him the respect he deserves, and not leave him hanging. It’s not like a head coach is going to turn down the job because Dunbar is on the staff and under contract for 2015!! In my opinion, if any HC candidate did turn down the job because of it, he wasn’t worth hiring any way! Sign Karl Dunbar now, pay him the money! Let’s get this out of the way!

That’s where I stand on Karl Dunbar. What do you guys think? Should the Jets wait and see? Or should they get it done now? Let’s Talk Jets football!

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