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Jets head coaching search: is there an upgrade available?

Don't know what you got, 'til it's gone?

Don’t know what you got, ’til it’s gone?

I admit. I was, and am, a Rex Ryan fan. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t time for him to go…maybe. But, really, I get it. He’s not Bill Walsh. There’s more bravado than brains at times. That said,  I appreciated things that Rex brought to the table for this franchise over the last six seasons. Frankly, there was never a time where I pointed solely — or even predominantly — at Rex as THE PROBLEM. Unfortunately, there was never a shortage to choose from these last few seasons.

Now, as the hunt begins for a new…well, everything…the only question I keep coming around to as fans consider, debate and already rail incessantly on about in terms of our next potential head coach:  Is there an upgrade available? And, for those all fired up about any one candidate, have you seriously considered that criteria? Let me state it more clearly to be safe, “will XX be an upgrade over Rex Ryan?” Be real with yourselves as you ponder that Jets fans. Who checks the box? The answer is virtually nobody.

Now, granted, this is not entirely shocking. Good head coaches (forget about great ones) are, you know, typically employed in such positions. So, often, teams are looking for table scraps discarded by other losing teams; hot, but typically unproven coordinators (see: Ryan, Rex); promising collegiate winners; and/or semi-retired NFL coaches teams believe they can woo back into the ranks.

So, what are we left with? I won’t break down the list and offer deep analysis, except to say that NONE of the currently public candidates really size up to the “better than Rex” measuring stick. In other words, there is no upgrade available. You want to argue Gary Kubiak? Fine. Technically, he’s got a stronger head coaching resume. In fact, he’s the only one of the lot with any sort of real resume. Doug Marrone will be a hot name. He of the 15-17 career record. But he’s got ties to the Jets! Bronx native! Perfect fit! Tom Cable…not much deeper, although I thought he was taking the Raiders in the right direction over three seasons before they canned him, because they’re the Raiders. Personally, I think he’s a hot head and not a good fit, but let’s just make this a “paper” discussion to begin with. Anthony Lynn? Right. Frank Reich? No.

The names that get me most — and that means mildly — intrigued? Bowles and Quinn. Still, are either an upgrade from Rex? Maybe. Sure, you’re likely going to have to take a flier and maybe look for the next Mike Tomlin. We did it on Rex. My point is that it didn’t turn out that badly. That was then. Now, we’ve just let a six-year head coach who’s experienced some success and had guys who always played for him go. The desire should be to upgrade. The reality is that no clear upgrade has been mentioned. Let’s hope there’s a surprise name out there. Otherwise, we cross our fingers that Bowles or Quinn is the next Ryan. Someone who can assert an attitude, demand respect and knows the game. Someone who can have an immediate impact in improving this team.

Fingers and toes…let’s just say my confidence level is not sky-high.

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