By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets have taken the first step in replacing Rex Ryan as the team's head coach, reaching out to five candidates for interviews in the coming days and weeks. The Jets will interview Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn Friday and another four potential hires could come soon after.
The team also has a host of potential general manager candidates they've reached out to as well, including possibly the biggest name in Eric DeCosta, the assistant general manager of the Ravens. While those names continue to roll in, here is a look at the early contenders to become the Jets' head coach and which ones could be right for the job and those that would already be a disaster to hire.
Dan Quinn, Seahawks defensive coordinator
Quinn has become a hot name among coordinators considering how well the Seahawks have played on defense the last two years. The Jets will interview Quinn on Friday, so he will get the first chance to impress owner Woody Johnson and consultants Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf. Quinn is a no-brainer to interview, but his defensive background might not be the best fit for the Jets. If the Jets were going to go defensive again, why not just keep Rex Ryan as head coach? Quinn will have to prove he knows what he's doing not only defensively, but offensively as well. If he does, Quinn would be one of the top contenders for the job.
Todd Bowles, Cardinals defensive coordinator
Just like Quinn, Bowles is a hot name among coordinators, but his defensive background could be something that makes the Jets look in another direction. Bowles has Jets ties, however, as he was the team's defensive backs coach in 2000, when Bill Parcells was general manager. He was also born in New Jersey, so he knows the area well. The big reason the Cardinals are in the postseason right now is because of Bowles' defense, so he has shown success. The Jets will have to wait until Arizona is eliminated to interview him.
Tom Cable, Seahawks assistant head coach
There's no reason to even waste time interviewing Cable, and hopefully Johnson doesn't give him serious consideration. Cable already failed as a head coach in the NFL, going 17-27 with the Raiders from 2008-2010. Sure, he's part of the ultra-successful Seattle Seahawks now, but the Jets shouldn't forget his unsuccessful past. There was also stories of him attacking a Raiders assistant coach during his time in Oakland. The Jets don't need that. Cable isn't the guy.
Gary Kubiak, Ravens offensive coordinator
He's an offensive-minded coach, which is a positive for the Jets, but like Cable, Kubiak already had his shot to become a successful head coach and failed. Kubiak actually had an extended shot to be successful with the Houston Texans, but went just 61-64 in coaching the team from 2006-2013. He went 2-2 in the playoffs. Kubiak could be an offensive coordinator candidate, but not as a head coach.
Frank Reich, Chargers offensive coordinator
He's the most interesting name on the early list of potential candidates. Reich is known best as the Buffalo Bills backup to Jim Kelly, but he also played for the Jets in 1996. He was promoted to offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers this season after several years as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for three teams. The Chargers were 10th in the NFL in passing yards per game, but 30th running the ball. That would be a complete shift in philosophy for the Jets, which isn't a bad thing at all. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,284 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, numbers the Jets and their fans could only dream of from their quarterback. Reich is an interesting choice, but is likely a few years away from being a true head coach candidate.
The first wave doesn't have many interesting candidates, as none of the above potential head coaches would get the fan base excited. There will likely be several more interviews on the horizon, so stay tuned.