The NY Jets must have known when they fired offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur earlier this month, that finding his replacement would be no easy task for a variety of reasons.
While it would be easy to suggest the Jets should hire someone like Frank Reich or Todd Monken, the reality is that the Jets' offensive coordinator position is one of the least desirable jobs available in the NFL right now.
At least, that's the opinion of The Athletic's Mike Jones who recently ranked the 13 open offensive coordinator positions from most to least desirable. The Jets' job slotted in at a lowly 12th on the list with the Indianapolis Colts the only team ranked lower.
It's hard to argue with that notion either. The Jets' job is unappealing for a few reasons, but most importantly the lack of job security. That and the team's uncertain quarterback situation is why Jones ranked the Jets 12th.
"The negatives: Uncertainty over the quarterback position and head coach Robert Saleh’s long-term future. Zach Wilson, the second pick of the 2021 draft, looks like a bust. Mike White looks like a placeholder and not an answer. So, unless the Jets go out and get someone like [Derek] Carr or [Tom] Brady, then the prospective offensive coordinator could be working with scraps or yet another rookie. And if things don’t pan out for Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas in 2023, the Jets OC could possibly be signing up for a short-term deal."- Mike Jones
Is the NY Jets' offensive coordinator position really that undesirable?
Jones makes some valid points, but I think the most important note is what he mentions in that final sentence. Any prospective candidate is well aware that the Jets' job could very well be a one-and-done gig.
There's no certainty beyond year one, even if they do a good job this season. If the Jets fall short of the playoffs again, there's a very good chance that owner Woody Johnson opts to clean house.
Coaches don't typically want to bank their resumes on a potentially one-year gig with a lame-duck head coach. That, even more than the quarterback uncertainty, is why the Jets' job is so unattractive.
Jones implies that the Jets could look to draft a quarterback this year, although it seems highly unlikely that happens. The Jets will add a veteran this offseason, and it very well could be someone like Derek Carr.
There's a bit of uncertainty, but potential candidates for this job likely aren't too concerned about the prospect of "working with scraps or yet another rookie." The real downside comes with the lack of job security.
Jones did note some positives with the Jets' job. Any potential candidate would have the opportunity to work with numerous talented youngsters like Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. They'd also be paired with one of the NFL's best defenses.
Still, it says something when the Jets are ranked behind teams like the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and Arizona Cardinals. Jones isn't alone in his opinion either — the common consensus is that the Jets' offensive coordinator job is not in high demand around the NFL.
The franchise's historical revolving door at the position doesn't help matters either. The last Jets offensive coordinator to last longer than two seasons with the team was Brian Schottenheimer who last coached with the Jets over a decade ago. Don't think coaches aren't paying attention to that stuff.
The Jets knew that replacing LaFleur with a high-caliber, qualified candidate wouldn't be an easy assignment, and they've seen that firsthand so far. All that's left to do now is pick the best of the candidates they have available.
Barring an unexpected hire, the Jets will likely rely on either another inexperienced first-time coordinator or a well-traveled retread. That's the unfortunate reality of their situation.