New York Jets: Hoping Charley Casserly and Woody Johnson Get It Right


Dec 29, 2014; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets chairman and chief executive officer Woody Johnson addresses the media regarding the dismissal of general manager John Idzik (not pictured) and head coach Rex Ryan (not pictured) at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

We all know that the Jets are in the midst of a search to hire a head coach and a general manager. Woody Johnson, Charley Casserly, and Ron Wolf have set out, hosting candidates and travelling the country to interview potential replacements for Rex Ryan and John Idzik.

There have been articles about the candidates, and rumors abounding. Are the Jets going to hire Doug Marrone? Is Dan Quinn the Jets choice, as soon as the Seahawks season ends? When are the Jets going to name a general manager? Will they do it first, or after naming a coach?

Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf have been silent about the developments, until recently. Charley Casserly talked to the Daily News about the potential order of the hirings. Take a look at what Casserly had to say:

“In a perfect world,” Casserly said, via the New York Daily News. “You hire the G.M. first and then hire the head coach, because it’s critical that you have a good working relationship between the two of them. And that’s the best way to get it. However, sometimes opportunities present themselves on a coach that you can get in competition with and you feel like you need to pull the trigger on the coach first. And then come back and hire a general manager. And where the head coach has input into it. But you pick the general manager and try to find the best marriage. Now people will say, ‘Well, that can’t work.’ Well, Seattle won the Super Bowl and that’s exactly what they did.”

It is quotes like this one that make me wonder if Casserly and Johnson truly get it. I sincerely hope they get this right. Right now, I am not so sure.

Jun 17, 2014; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik (left) and coach Rex Ryan during minicamp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, Casserly had it absolutely right when talking about the working relationship a general manager and a coach need to have. They absolutely have to be on the same page. They must understand how each other works. The GM must understand what the coach needs to win, and the coach must understand how to work with the general manager in order to get what he wants and needs for his team.

You do not “need” to hire a head coach and then give him input into the general manager choice. You are not going to convince me otherwise. Did Casserly forget the team that he is consulting for? Didn’t we just see this movie. The Jes retained their head coach, hired a general manager. Look where it left us.

Charley Casserly might be losing the plot just a little bit when talking about hiring a coach fist.

Nov 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith leaves the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are far from the only team that failed at having a coach in place, followed by hiring a new general manager. How about the Chicago Bears? In 2012, Phil Emery was brought in as the general manager, and Lovie Smith was retained as head coach. Lovie Smith went 10-6 that year, and still got fired! The head coach and the GM were SO far apart, that double-digit victories was not good enough for Smith to keep his job.

Emery paid for it with his job at the end of the 2014 season. The Bears have learned, hiring a general manager, and making plans for that GM to help find the coach. Was Charley Casserly asleep when this happened? What about the other teams in sports this has happened to.

Besides, in what line of work in this world does someone on a lower level get a chance to help pick their boss? It doesn’t happen.

Aug 15, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (right) talks with general manager John Schneider before a game against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Charley Casserly did make one good point. The Seahawks made it work by hiring Pete Carroll, and allowing him input on hiring John Schneider. Just look at what that team has become. The Seahawks Super Bowl championship team only had four players on it that were there before Schneider/Carroll took over. They made it work.

But, that is unique. Anything can work once in a while, but that doesn’t make it the wise choice. Casserly mentioned John Dorsey and Andy Reid in Kansas City, citing that marriage as one that worked. Did I fall asleep, and miss the championships they have won? They have gone 20-12, and played in one playoff time. This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Hiring the right general manager and coach is going to shape the New York Jets going forward, with the right choices resurrecting the franchise. If the Jets mess this up, they are going to continue rocketing towards the status of laughingstock.

I hope that Charley Casserly, Woody Johnson, and Ron Wolf get this right. The statements on the first page, however, really make me wonder.