In November, Mike LaFleur was listed as a future head teaching candidate by NFL.com. By January, he was out because the Jets’ offensive coordinator.
The Jets and LaFleur on Wednesday mutually agreed to half methods, in line with a workforce official not approved to talk publicly concerning the choice.
The information got here three days after an unsightly 11-6, season-ending loss to the Dolphins in Miami. It capped a horrible offensive stretch to finish the season for the Jets, which finally price LaFleur his job after two years. The Jets (7-10) did not rating a landing of their last three video games and averaged 11 factors per sport over the six-game shedding skid, which was solely made worse by how properly the Jets’ protection performed for many of the season . Quarterback Zach Wilson led the Jets with six passing touchdowns, and rookie working again Breece Corridor led with 463 dashing yards — and the injured Corridor did not play after Week 7.
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Just lately, Robert Saleh made it clear he felt LaFleur deserved an opportunity to stay round — 49ers followers referred to as for Saleh to be fired after his second season as defensive coordinator in San Francisco, however he wasn’t — so it is honest to marvel if proprietor Woody Johnson pushed the coach to maneuver on from LaFleur. In the end, the Jets offense wasn’t adequate, although, and LaFleur paid the worth.
Now, Saleh will possible search to fill the function with a veteran coach with play-calling expertise as he enters a 2023 season the place something wanting making the playoffs will not be adequate. The Jets wish to develop Wilson into an NFL-caliber quarterback, although they may possible strive bringing in a veteran quarterback to steer a moribund offense. Any offensive coordinator Saleh hires should perceive that if issues do not flip round in 2023, Saleh and his workers may be searching for new jobs presently subsequent 12 months.
So who’re some candidates?
We got here up with a listing of 16 who make sense, listed in alphabetical order.
Darrell Bevell (Dolphins QBs coach/passing sport coordinator): The 53-year-old has been the offensive coordinator for 4 groups, together with the Seahawks when Saleh was on workers. This season, he is labored with Mike McDaniel, who comes from the Kyle Shanahan tree, so the match could be extra seamless than a few of the different veteran coaches on this listing.
Tom Clements (Packers QBs coach): The 69-year-old has been the Payments and Packers offensive coordinator and could be coming from the workers of Matt LaFleur, one among Saleh’s closest buddies.
Nathaniel Hackett (ex-Broncos head coach): He was an object of mockery, fired in lower than one season in Denver. However earlier than that he was a extremely regarded offensive coordinator for the Packers—for Saleh’s good friend Matt LaFleur. He additionally was the OC for the Jaguars from 2016-18, and Jacksonville’s QBs coach earlier than that. He and Saleh have been on the identical workers in Jacksonville.
Pep Hamilton (Texans offensive coordinator): The 48-year-old ran a disjointed offense in Houston, although like LaFleur, he did not have a lot to work with at quarterback. He additionally was the offensive coordinator for the Colts in 2013-15 and has a repute across the league for growing quarterbacks.
Brian Johnson (Eagles QBs coach): The 35-year outdated has solely been an offensive coordinator on the faculty degree (at Florida in 2020) however he is thought of a coach on the rise and performed a significant function in Jalen Hurts’ growth into an MVP candidate.
Kliff Kingsbury (ex-Cardinals head coach): As soon as upon a time the Jets tried hiring him as head coach, so it is conceivable Johnson would possibly wish to deliver somebody like him on board to assist Saleh. Kingsbury might be paid by the Cardinals for just a few extra years, so he may not be in a rush to work.
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Gary Kubiak (retired former head coach): The 61-year-old Kubiak introduced his retirement in 2021 and he is unlikely to return out of it to name performs once more. However he gave Saleh his first NFL teaching job and could be a really perfect candidate to return in as a senior offensive assistant to assist get the offense again on monitor. He may be extra prepared to work once more if the Jets employed the following candidate on this listing. …
Klint Kubiak (Broncos passing sport coordinator/QBs coach): Saleh by no means technically labored with Kubiak, Gary Kubiak’s son, however he actually is aware of him properly from the ties to his father. The Broncos might be hiring a brand new teaching workers so this Kubiak will possible be searching for work. He would not have play-calling expertise however might nonetheless come onto the workers in some capability (passing sport coordinator? QBs coach?) to assist rebuild the offense.
Ben McAdoo (Panthers offensive coordinator): The Panthers would possibly simply preserve interim head coach Steve Wilks on full time, which might imply McAdoo would possible stick with the Panthers. But when not, McAdoo deserves a number of credit score for growing Sam Darnold right into a strong NFL quarterback and he has loads of play-calling expertise from Carolina and his days with the Giants.
Ron Middleton (Jets tight ends coach): He is a well-liked determine amongst Jets gamers — many usually put on a shirt bearing his likeness and signature catchphrase: “Everybody needs to go to heaven, however no one needs to die” — and received a number of assist when he led them to a win because the interim head coach when Saleh was out with COVID-19 in 2021. He is by no means referred to as performs earlier than however he’d be supported by the locker room.
Matt Nagy (Senior Assistant Chiefs/QBs Coach): Issues went awry on the finish of his tenure with the Bears however it’s simple to overlook that Chicago received 12, eight and eight video games in his first three years. Earlier than that, he was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs for 2 years and was one of the vital sought-after teaching candidates when the Bears employed him.
Greg Olson (Rams senior offensive assistant): The 59-year-old has been an offensive coordinator for six groups and through the years has run a West Coast scheme. The Rams additionally may be hiring a brand new workers with Sean McVay doubtlessly bolting for TV.
Kevin Patullo (Eagles passing sport coordinator): The 41-year-old has by no means referred to as performs however was the Jets QBs coach in 2015, when Ryan Fitzpatrick had one among his greatest years. Patullo has performed a key function within the rise of the Eagles offense below Nick Sirianni.
Frank Reich (ex-Colts head coach): The pipe dream for a lot of Jets followers, however it’s actually simply that — a pipe dream. Reich appears extra prone to get one other head teaching job than to take the offensive coordinator job for a head coach he would not have ties to (Saleh) in a playoffs-or-bust season, and in a special fashion offense than Reich runs. He suits the mildew of what the Jets must be searching for — veteran coach, play-calling expertise, historical past of growing quarterbacks — however it will be a shock if he have been an actual candidate except Johnson forces him on Saleh.
Brian Schottenheimer (Cowboys teaching analyst): The 49-year-old spent the 2022 season on the Cowboys workers after one 12 months with the Jaguars (passing sport coordinator) and two because the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator. He was the Jets’ offensive coordinator as soon as upon a time (2006-11), so he is a well-recognized face in Florham Park. He was additionally the Rams’ offensive coordinator from 2012-14.
Scott Turner (ex-Washington offensive coordinator): Turner, fired on Tuesday by the Commanders, spent the final three years calling performs for Washington.
(High photograph of Nathaniel Hackett and Robert Saleh: Dustin Bradford/Getty Pictures)