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New York Jets: Top 5 coaching candidates to potentially replace Adam Gase

New York Jets (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
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New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase has gotten off to a rough start in his first season with the team. Here are five potential options if the Jets move on from Gase in the offseason.

The New York Jets have seen their 2019 season slowly unravel before their very eyes. For a franchise that had high hopes entering the year, the have once again returned to the NFL’s basement, and much of the blame has fallen on head coach Adam Gase.

Gase was hired in the offseason after spending the last three seasons with the Jets’ division rivals, the Miami Dolphins. And after three mediocre-at-best campaigns in South Beach, the Jets brass decided that Gase was the correct man to lead this team going forward.

But after a 1-5 start complete with blowout losses aplenty, it’s safe to say that many Jets fans have already turned on him — some had reached that point before Week 1 had even begun.

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While it’s uncommon for coaches to be fired after just one year with a team, it’s not unprecedented. Just last year the Arizona Cardinals fired Steve Wilks following a three-win season and replaced him with the upstart Kliff Kingsbury.

And while the Cardinals still have a ways to go, they’ve already matched their win total from last season through seven weeks.

The Jets could very well decide to do the same with Gase upon the conclusion of this season. And if they do, who might step in and take his place?

Here are five potential options to replace Gase if he is, indeed, let go at the end of the season.

Next: 5. Eric Bieniemy

New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

5. Eric Bieniemy

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been at the forefront of head coaching discussions over the past couple of years and it seemed as though he was a lock to receive a job last offseason.

But alas, he returned to Kansas City for at least one more season where he continues to run one of the most prolific offenses in football.

Bieniemy actually interviewed with four different teams last season including the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Cincinnati Bengals before each team opted to go in a different direction.

The fourth team you might ask? Look no further than the New York Jets.

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A former NFL running back and return man, Bienemy began his coaching career at his alma mater of Colorado as a running backs coach before serving the same position for UCLA, the Minnesota Vikings, and later the Kansas City Chiefs.

He also served as Colorado’s offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2012 and later picked up the position for the Chiefs in 2017.

Kansas City’s head coach Andy Reid has spoken highly of Bienemy in the past and it, of course, helps that he comes from the Andy Reid tree of coaches. Former understudies of the Chiefs coach to become successful NFL coaches include Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy.

Could Bieniemy become his next successful protege? He’ll likely get that opportunity sooner rather than later and it might just be with the Jets.

Next: 4. Dan Campbell

New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

4. Dan Campbell

The New Orleans Saints have a very impressive coaching staff brewing over in the ‘Big Easy’ and Dan Campbell is among the most notable names being discussed as a future head coach.

Campbell currently serves as the Saints’ tight ends coach and assistant head coach but has actually held an NFL head coaching position before. Or at least, he sort of has.

The former NFL tight end was originally handed his first and so far only head coaching position back in 2015 when he took over for Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in early October. Campbell would lead the team to a 5-7 record over his 12 games as head coach.

But in the offseason, he would depart for greener pastures as he would be hired by the Saints to fill the very role he holds today.

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Apart from being a protegee of Sean Payton, Campbell actually has experience working under the legendary Bill Parcels dating back to his playing career. Campbell has even been compared to Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay given their similar styles and backgrounds.

Both McVay and Campbell served as tight ends’ coaches and each has been praised for their ability to relate with players given their younger ages — McVay is 33-years-old while Campbell is 43-years-old.

Expect Campbell to once again be in the conversation for open jobs this offseason especially considering how great the Saints continue to look.

Next: 3. Matt Campbell

New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

3. Matt Campbell

From one Campbell to another, this time we look to the college ranks to discuss Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. In this case, we’re looking at another individual who the Jets showed interest in this past offseason.

The Cyclones head coach was reportedly summoned for an interview by the Jets but he ultimately declined to meet with the team. That could make for a tricky hiring process this offseason if that’s the direction the Jets do take.

However, it’s hard to deny that Campbell isn’t a strong, qualified candidate.

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  • The 39-year-old worked his way up the ranks coaching at schools like Bowling Green and Mount Union before finally landing an offensive coordinator job and later a head coaching job at Toledo.

    Campbell would make his name in four seasons with the Rockets even leading the low-profile school to a No. 20 ranking in the AP Poll in 2015. His success at Toledo would earn him a Power-5 opportunity at lowly Iowa State.

    In the three seasons prior to Campbell’s arrival in Ames, Iowa, the Cyclones had an abysmal record of just 8-28 and hadn’t won more than three games in any of those seasons. Just two years later, Campbell managed to pull off an eight-win season and he did the same the following year.

    Now, Iowa State is a very respected program that currently holds a 5-2 record at the time of writing right in the thick of things in the Big 12. Much of their success is owed to the incredible job Campbell has done there.

    Campbell would likely be one of the more exciting candidates but the only holdup comes with whether he would leave Iowa State for this job or not.

    He’s already declined in the past, but perhaps another year to think it over — and some more money — could help change his mind.

    Next: 2. Mike Tomlin

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

    2. Mike Tomlin

    This one is admittedly a bit of a stretch, but it isn’t as out of the realm of possibility as many might think.

    Current Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is one of the more accomplished coaches in the NFL today and has reigned as Pittsburgh’s head coach for well over a decade now. But his time with the Steelers could be nearing an end.

    With Ben Roethlisberger out of the season, the Steelers have struggled to a 2-4 start and are on pace to finish with a losing record for the first time in Tomlin’s 13-year tenure in Pittsburgh.

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    Yes, he’s in a rough spot, but the Steelers front office could determine that it’s time for a chance and if so, expect the 47-year-old to be the top name on the market this offseason.

    The Jets would be foolish to not target an accomplished coach such as Tomlin if he becomes available. The tough part would be convincing him that the Jets’ job is the right one for him to take.

    On top of that, the Steelers are an organization known for their consistency at head coach with just three over the past 50 years. That’s a level of stability unmatched by any sports organization and it will likely never be seen again.

    That said, Tomlin would be an ideal target if he were to hit the open market and the Jets would certainly be in play to acquire his services.

    Obstacles aside, this would be an obvious slam-dunk hire.

    Next: 1. Matt Rhule

    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    New York Jets Adam Gase (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

    1. Matt Rhule

    We’ve officially reached the point where Jets fans begin to cry with thoughts of what could have been. However, how great would it be to turn “what could have been” into “what still could be?”

    The Jets may very well have the opportunity to right their previous wrongs this offseason if they do decide to let Adam Gase go. And the man to right those wrongs is none other than Matt Rhule.

    The Baylor head coach was interviewed by the Jets last offseason and even looked like a near-lock for the job. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the Jets decided to go in a different direction after Rhule refused to allow New York to pick his coaching staff.

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    The Jets instead went with Adam Gase who brought over his own offensive coordinator from Miami in Dowell Loggains and the rest is history.

    Since then, Rhule has managed to take the Baylor football program to even greater heights as the Bears currently sit at No. 14 in the nation and are a perfect 7-0 on the season — one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the Big 12 alongside Oklahoma.

    Rhule has dragged the Baylor program out of the depths of college football misery after the Art Briles scandal from a few years back left the team in disarray.

    Yet, in a few short years, Rhule has completely turned the program around and it’s at his highest point since the days of Robert Griffin III at quarterback.

    Despite signing a contract extension through the 2027 season this past offseason, Rhule will likely be at the forefront of NFL coaching discussion this offseason and the Jets may have the opportunity to right their wrongs.

    Perhaps an apology letter would be in order after what went down last offseason. But if the Jets could make it work, we could all do our best to forget that the 2019 season ever happened and start anew in 2020.

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    Unfortunately, that may just be wishful thinking.

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