NY Jets: 3 coaching candidates with ties to Joe Douglas

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets could consider these three coaches with ties to Joe Douglas.

The NY Jets are expected to do their due diligence when it comes to selecting the team’s next head coach this offseason. The phrase “casting a wide net” may have become cliche at this point, but it remains accurate.

Rather than focus on an “offensive-minded guy” or any other label, the Jets will instead interview an abundance of candidates without any preconceived notions.

They’re not looking for the next “QB whisperer,” they’re looking for a leader, a CEO-type, and any other coaching buzz word you want to throw out there.

Notably, it will be general manager Joe Douglas who takes the lead in the coaching search this offseason. Christopher and Woody Johnson will have the final say, but the next head coach of the Jets will be Douglas’ guy.

And because of that, there’s been a ton of speculation about who Douglas might choose.

The fact of the matter is that relationships matter in the NFL. Friendships and bonds formed in the past could go a long way toward predicting future hirings. And that notion is true for the Jets’ head coach opening.

Douglas has been around the NFL for quite a while and made his fair share of relationships. Could one of those relationships ultimately be the determining factor when hiring the team’s next head coach?

It’s possible.

Let’s take a look at three potential head coach candidates with ties to Joe Douglas.

Next: 3. Jim Caldwell

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3. The NY Jets could consider Jim Caldwell

There has been no indication that the Jets are interested in former NFL coach Jim Caldwell this offseason. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him brought in for an interview.

Caldwell interviewed for the Jets’ job back in 2019 before the team ultimately went with Adam Gase. And with prior connections to Douglas, it would make some degree of sense.

Douglas and Caldwell crossed paths in Baltimore when the former was working in the personnel department as a scout while the latter was the team’s quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator.

But is that enough of a crossover to sway Douglas’ opinion?

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Caldwell has plenty of experience as an NFL head coach having served with both the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions. With a career 62-50 record, he’s one of the most experienced coaches on the market.

But with just one year of coaching since 2017 and at 65-years-old, it’s safe to say there are more exciting options out there.

Caldwell garnered a reputation for consistently falling short in the postseason and the Jets would likely be better off looking elsewhere. But never underestimate the value of a prior relationship.

Don’t be surprised if Caldwell is given consideration.

Next: 2. David Shaw

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2. The NY Jets could consider David Shaw

If the Jets opt to look to the college ranks, one coach who might catch their eyes is Stanford’s David Shaw. In fact, the rumors have already surfaced indicating that there could be some interest.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Sunday night that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Jets pursued Shaw based on his history working with Douglas and his offensive background.

Shaw has been Stanford’s head coach for the past 10 seasons and has been with the program in some capacity since 2007. But prior to his time at Stanford, he served as an offensive assistant in Baltimore while Douglas was a scout with the Ravens.

The California native was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for Baltimore from 2002 to 2005 before leaving to join the University of San Diego.

Shaw is held in high regard at Stanford and has managed to turn a program that doesn’t regularly land five-star talent into a perennial Pac-12 contender. He’s been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year four times during his tenure and has won the Pac-12 on three separate occasions.

His background in developing quarterbacks, namely Andrew Luck, certainly makes him an appealing option. The biggest question is, would he actually leave Stanford?

Shaw has been hesitant to leave his alma mater in the past and it would likely take a hefty sum to change his mind. But there’s history between Douglas and Shaw.

And that could play a role when all is said and done.

Next: 1. Wink Martindale

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1. The NY Jets could consider Wink Martindale

One of the individuals most heavily connected to the Jets’ job this offseason has been Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. And it shouldn’t take a Google search to figure out where he crossed paths with Douglas.

Martindale has been with the Ravens’ organization since 2012 during the tail-end of Douglas’ tenure in Baltimore. While Douglas was finishing up his time as a scout, Martindale was climbing the ranks as the Ravens’ linebackers coach.

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That’s a title he held for six years before taking over as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2018. Since then, the 57-year-old has overseen one of the NFL’s best defenses over the past three years.

Martindale is actually a disciple of Rex Ryan, but they didn’t cross paths in Baltimore. Instead, Ryan and Martindale coached together at the University of Cincinnati in the mid-to-late ’90s where the former was the school’s defensive coordinator.

The Rex Ryan influence is evident in Martindale’s no-nonsense attitude and grizzly demeanor.

The Jets have yet to officially request an interview with Martindale at the time of writing, but it seems like a foregone conclusion that it will happen sooner rather than later.

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And when it does, don’t be surprised if he emerges as one of the frontrunners for the position. His prior relationship with Douglas certainly won’t hurt his case.