From the moment Bills‘ head coach Doug Marrone opted out of his contract, he has been linked to another vacant job within the division, with the rival Jets. As Zach Links reported on the fallout from his decision, key parts of the story were the Jets immediately being expected to schedule an interview with Marrone, as well as a report that the coach does not believe in quarterback Geno Smith.
There is mutual interest between the two parties, according to Brian Costello and Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post, and an interview will be scheduled shortly. They noted that Marrone is originally from the Bronx and was an offensive line coach for the Jets under Herm Edwards for four seasons before taking the head coaching job at Syracuse.
Marrone could be a perfect fit for the team, writes Steve Serby of the New York Post. He is a disciplinarian and a no-nonsense guy, according to Serby, and his decision to bench first-round pick EJ Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton almost propelled the team into the playoffs, while Rex Ryan refused to bench Smith, or wasn’t allowed to organizationally.
Serby compares him to a young Tom Coughlin, and notes that he has strong connections to both Coughlin and Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, with whom he built an offensive line good enough to help that team win a Super Bowl.
Jets’ owner Woody Johnson’s consultant Charlie Casserly reportedly loves Marrone, writes Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. Casserly has been raving about the former Bills’ coach since he took the job at Syracuse in 2009, according to Cimini’s source.
“He was totally infatuated with him,” the source said. “You have to know Charley: When he gets on something, he’s a pit bull. I know he’s got Woody [Johnson] all lathered up.”
The Jets are still searching for their next general manager as well, but could hire Marrone immediately. The team has already satisfied the Rooney Rule by interviewing assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn on Wednesday. If they were to hire Marrone first, he would likely have a say in who the team hires as a general manager to work with him.
Hiring a coach before a general manager puts the power structure of the organization in a very awkward position, according to Cimini. He writes that under that scenario, both of these new hires will likely report directly to the owner, and the system of checks and balances will be out of sorts.
“You might as well take a gun, aim at your foot and shoot twice,” said one longtime NFL personnel executive. “That would be absolutely stupid. As soon as you hire a coach, you have to understand that the GM would no longer be a GM. He’d be an MG. How do you have checks and balances? It seems to me that Woody is making this up as he goes along.”
Costello and Cannizzaro connect Marrone to two possible general manager candidates in Mike Maccagnan and Rick Mueller, both of whom have worked with Marrone before, as a player with the World League’s London Monarchs and as a coach with the Saints, respectively.
The Jets still have a number of interviews scheduled, including three in Seattle on Friday. They will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, offensive line coach Tom Cable, and pro personnel director Trent Kirchner.