The New York Jets have started to interview potential general manager candidates since the firing of Mike Tannenbaum the Monday after the season ended. The search is under abnormal conditions as the owner, Woody Johnson, has told candidates that Rex Ryan will be the coach next season.
You could look at the stipulation of having Ryan as the coach next year as both a negative and positive. The negative is obviously the fact that the general manager is going to be overseeing a coach he did not choose. The relationship between general manager and coach is vital for a team’s success. If the two clash, personnel suffer. The coach might also think he could be on his way out if the team doesn’t perform. We saw this happen in Chicago where the Bears fired Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season because a new general manager came in and Smith was already in place.
The positive is that the new general manager has no pressure his first season and it’s up to Ryan to get the Jets back to playing winning football. If Ryan falters the general manager can use Ryan as the scapegoat and fire him. The general manager can then bring in his own coach and coaching staff.
The leading candidate for the job appears to be Tom Gamble of the San Francisco 49ers. Gamble is currently the Director of Player Personnel and has ties to the Jets. He was the defensive assistant of the Jets in 1995 and 1996. He also has ties to Ryan as he worked with Ryan’s father Buddy during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team began the process yesterday by interviewing David Caldwell of the Atlanta Falcons. Caldwell is the Director of Player Personnel who was previously the director of college scouting. Before arriving in Atlanta, Caldwell worked under Bill Polian with the Indianapolis Colts.
The other candidates expected to be interviewed are John Dorsey, Marc Ross and Scott Cohen. Dorsey is the Director of Football Operations for the Green Bay Packers. Ross is a hot candidate around the NFL right now who is the Director of College Scouting with the New York Giants. Cohen is the only in-house candidate for the job as he’s the Assistant General Manager.
Former Cleveland Browns General Manager Tom Heckert was supposed to interview this weekend but that meeting was cancelled.