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NY Jets: Pros and cons of hiring Jim Harbaugh as head coach

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh
NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

The NY Jets should be aware of these pros and cons when analyzing Jim Harbaugh.

At 0-9 and 7-18 over the past two seasons, chances are the NY Jets will let head coach Adam Gase go following their season finale. With Gase’s departure will come a complete reset for Gang Green. This comes not only from a coaching standpoint but the roster too.

General manager Joe Douglas has turned the Jets into one of the most attractive coaching destinations this upcoming offseason. Multiple first-round picks, plenty of draft capital, and cap space will draw any coach to New York.

Maybe even pry one from a premier college program.

While the Jets would love to hire Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley or Clemson’s Dabo Swinny, they will likely remain at their programs for a very long time. Chances are the Jets will need to get a bit creative in their coaching search — unless a wild card comes into play.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh already has and will be connected with the Jets job this offseason. Starting their season 1-3, rumors have already been swirling about Michigan letting Harbaugh go. To that end, there have been reports about Harbaugh wanting to return to the NFL.

There would be kinks to work out, but could Harbaugh come to Florham Park in 2021? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Harbaugh becoming the next NY Jets’ head coach.

Next: Pros of Jets hiring Jim Harbaugh

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh
NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

The NY Jets would be getting a proven winner in Jim Harbaugh

When hiring a head coach, one of the first things teams look at is their track record. And for Harbaugh, it already comes with NFL experience.

In 2011, the San Francisco 49ers hired the rising Stanford head coach for the same position. Coming off of a 12-1 season with Andrew Luck at quarterback, Harbaugh saw the opportunity to make the leap to the next level.

Right out of the gate, the 49ers were a top team in the NFC with Harbaugh. Over his four seasons, Harbaugh went 44-19-1, with three NFC Championship game appearances and a Super Bowl loss in 2012.

Additionally, over the three straight NFC Championship game appearances, the 49ers had a top-five defense and an offense ranked 11th in the league. Simply put, Harbaugh’s 49ers teams were very talented.

Even at Michigan, while not having taken the program to the next level, he has posted a 48-21 record so far. The Wolverines have won at least eight games and made a bowl game every year under Harbaugh.

Even at Michigan, while not taking the program to the elite level, he has a 48-21 record in six years, winning at least eight games and making a bowl game each year.

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The NY Jets will respect Jim Harbaugh’s prior success with quarterbacks

Harbaugh’s connection to the quarterback position is a long one that dates back to his days at Michigan from 1983-1986. Harbaugh went on to be drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears and played until he was 37. In 14 seasons, he started 140 games and even made a Pro Bowl.

In other words, Harbaugh has a quarterback track record that no previous Jets head coach has had before.

Over his time as a coach, he has had the likes of Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, and Colin Kaepernick under center. Even at Michigan, he still won with Jake Rudock, Wilton Speight, and Shea Patterson playing quarterback.

Throughout the 2010s, the quarterback position has been a revolving door for the Jets. Currently in line to take one yet again in the 2021 NFL Draft, pairing the rookie with a proven coach like Harbaugh could be a fantastic pair for the Jets.

The NY Jets might be impressed by Jim Harbaugh’s reputation

Before his days at Stanford, Harbaugh helped make San Diego a respectable program. Then, he resurrected Stanford. Could he do the same with Joe Douglas to the Jets?

Harbaugh is a proven winner no matter where he goes. He is entertaining and would be the Jets’ first player’s coach since Rex Ryan. With his experience of rebuilding teams, he would fit perfectly with the Jets.

Again, few teams can offer a coach the assets the Jets can, with tons of draft capital and cap space. If Harbaugh and Douglas got on the same page, the duo could work wonders.

Next: Cons of Jets hiring Jim Harbaugh

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh
NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

NY Jets, Jim Harbaugh

The NY Jets must be wary of Jim Harbaugh’s past power struggles

One of the major issues during the Adam Gase era was the poor power structure. Months into his tenure, he seemingly took over as Mike Maccagnan was let go from his general manager position.

The current power structure for the Jets is Gase and Douglas are on the same level, separately reporting to owner Christopher Johnson. And while Gase continues to try to win to save his career, Douglas has made it obvious he is preparing the team for life after Gase.

Taking this into consideration, Harbaugh’s departure from San Francisco was for similar reasons. Following an 8-8 season in 2014, rifts between Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke led to the 49ers and Harbaugh mutually parting ways.

Of course, Douglas, who would be entering his third year of a six-year contract, will not hire a coach who would have conflicting interests. However, the coaching decision comes down to Johnson, who loves making the headline-nabbing move.

In the end, the question becomes could Harbaugh and Douglas get on the same page, or could there be another power struggle in New York?

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The NY Jets might be concerned with Jim Harbaugh’s lack of college success

When Michigan hired Harbaugh in 2015, he came in with very high expectations.

The first was to re-establish the Wolverines as a recruiting powerhouse. Second, retake the Big Ten by beating Ohio State and Michigan State. Last but not least, make Michigan a perennial College Football Playoff contender.

Now, after six seasons, Michigan’s patience is running thin as only one of these things has occurred.

His antics and unique recruiting strategies have played a large role in the Wolverines’ NFL pipeline. Then again, overall player development has been underwhelming during his tenure.

But what could doom Harbaugh is the fact he has been unable to beat Ohio State and Michigan State. Currently, he owns a 3-3 record against Michigan State, and 0-5 against Ohio State.

NY Jets: 4 wide receivers to target in 2021 free agency. Next

Certainly, that will be a factor as to whether Harbaugh gets let go by Michigan and returns to the NFL.

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