Jets’ Johnson, Maccagnan Brief Media On Head Coach Search

Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Photo credit USA TODAY Sports
By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

One day after firing Todd Bowles, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan met with the media Monday to discuss the head coaching vacancy.

Despite that the Jets haven't reached the playoffs since 2010 and haven't won a Super Bowl in a half-century, Johnson believes that the Jets’ head coaching gig remains an attractive one.

“I think that this is a good landing spot for a coach,” Johnson told reporters. “There are a number of reasons why the Jets are a good place to be right now. That might have not been true a few years ago. This is a good place to be.

“If you make it here, you’re a freaking legend,” Johnson added.

The challenge of chasing the rival New England Patriots has led to some sleepless nights for the Jets’ chairman.

“It keeps me up at night,” Johnson admitted.

Johnson said that he will make the final decision on the franchise’s next head coach and that coach will report directly to him. There will not be a change to the organizational structure.

“It starts with the fact that the buck stops with me,” Johnson said. “I think I let the fans down here, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that we get to and win the Super Bowl. That’s not just hyperbole. I really believe that. The fans deserve better.”

Johnson hinted that he’s looking for a replacement with a proven track record of developing young quarterbacks. According to various reports, the team has requested interviews with at least four candidates: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard and Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. Campbell declined his request, NFL Network reported.

Three straight losing seasons ended Bowles’ tenure with the organization.

On Sunday, the Jets announced the long-expected decision that they had fired from Bowles, who went 24-40, a few hours after the Jets finished the season with a 38-3 loss at New England.

New York went 4-12 this year after going 5-11 in each of the previous two seasons, and Bowles' in-game management became a topic of heavy criticism.

Maccagnan’s job is safe. The Jets’ general manager will return in 2019. He signed a contract extension through 2020 in December 2017. That said, Johnson told reporters that the franchise is not currently discussing an extension, though that remains an option in the future.

#Jets CEO Christopher Johnson said that he is not giving GM Mike Maccagnan an extension right now. Two years left in his deal.They might revisit in the future.

— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) December 31, 2018

Maccagnan said that the organization is currently not considering in-house options to replace Bowles.

“At this point in time, not right now,” he said.

Experts have speculated that the Jets will look toward hiring an offensive-minded head coach. Maccagnan stated that is not necessarily the focus – despite the need to develop quarterback Sam Darnold.

“Keep options open, trying to find the right person in terms of skill and aptitude,” Maccagnan said.

Maccagnan was hired by the Jets in January 2015. Some fans have called for his firing due to his poor drafting record. Selecting Darnold third overall in 2018 and safety Jamal Adams sixth overall in 2017 rank as his finest picks.

The drafting of quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the 2016 second round turned out to be a disastrous pick. Selecting defensive end Leonard Williams at sixth overall saved the 2015 class from being a total bust, but even he has not lived up to expectations.