Questions arose about multiple subjects regarding the process of hiring a new coach. Johnson answered those questions with a pulse of the fans. He said some of the right things. Here are some takeaways from the press conference:
Change In Reporting Structure “Under Consideration”
The Jets have one of the most disordered reporting structures in sports. For years, the coach and general manager for the Jets both reported to the owner. In a normal organization, the coach reports to the general manager and the general manager reports to the owner of the team. The Jets have been running their disorderly structure for years. Pre-arranged marriages are a result of this system. After 2012, the New York Jets fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Oddly enough, head coach Rex Ryan came back for another year but the organization was forced to arrange a marriage between him and newcomer John Idzik. As a matter of fact, the marriage failed and both Idzik and Ryan were fired after the 2014 season.
Then, the Jets reused the structure again in the last two seasons. The team then fired Mike Maccagnan after the 2019 NFL Draft due to feuding with head coach Adam Gase. Both Gase and Johnson hired Joe Douglas as the next general manager.
General Manager Joe Douglas Will Lead The Search For A New Head Coach
Christopher Johnson will finally trust his football people. Johnson said:
“Joe Douglas will be taking lead on this . . . His opinion will be taken most seriously.”
The owner also mentioned that Douglas is one of the reasons fans should feel safe knowing the Jets will get this right. Douglas is “the man on point” in the coaching search, and that should give fans confidence. Johnson will have the final say but Douglas will give the recommendation.
Christopher Johnson doesn’t have any known football credentials and is quite naive to the sport. He is a business guy. I think Johnson realized his mistake in being enamored with Adam Gase by listening to Peyton Manning. As I will say more times, Johnson said the right thing. But will he actually stay away from the search itself? Will Johnson walk his talk?
The Jets Are Looking For A Coach For The Whole Team
Johnson also iterated today that the Jets aren’t looking for an offensive or defensive coach. He was quoted saying:
“This is a coach for the entire team. That is very important to us moving forward.”
It seems as though the team wants a CEO-type guy, a leader of men, not a coordinator. Although, the Jets have interviewed some offensive and defensive coordinators already. Johnson’s words make it known that they aren’t about one side of the ball anymore. The culture has to change.
Johnson Will Leave Up Sam Darnold Decision To GM/New Coach
Christopher Johnson also stated that he hopes Sam Darnold is the quarterback of the future. But, Johnson says he will leave Sam’s fate in Joe Douglas’ and the new coach’s hands. This is the right move but I solely believe it should be the coach’s decision to decide if Darnold stays or goes. Douglas would be wrong to either tie Darnold to the deal or not tie him.
I solely believe Sam Darnold is a damaged quarterback and deserves a fresh start elsewhere. But, if the new coach decides to keep him, that’s his risk to take.
Ownership has done this once before meaning saying the right things after a coach is fired to hire a terrible candidate. This happened after Todd Bowles‘ firing.
The main idea here is less talk, more action. There are so many quotes I can pinpoint from either Christopher Johnson or Joe Douglas that were said but never done. If the Jets want to change the culture, more doing is the right action.