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Dan Quinn, Todd Bowles are Jets' top coaching candidates

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn talks to

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn talks to reporters following an NFL football organized team activity, Monday, June 9, 2014 in Renton, Wash. Photo Credit: AP / Ted S. Warren

Move over, Doug Marrone.

According to a source close to the Jets' situation, Dan Quinn and Todd Bowles have emerged as the front-runners for the team's head-coaching job.

Another source familiar with Quinn's thinking said the Seahawks' defensive coordinator has privately expressed his desire to coach the Jets.

The next day or so could provide plenty of insight into Woody Johnson's thinking.

Seattle hosts Carolina Saturday night in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Should the Seahawks win and the Jets not hire Bowles within a few days, it could indicate that Johnson is willing to wait until the Seahawks are eliminated to conduct a second interview with Quinn. If the Seahawks lose, of course, the Jets will be free to speak with him again.

But don't count out Bowles. According to a source, the Cardinals' defensive coordinator is a "very strong" contender after his interview Wednesday.

Former Bills coach Marrone had a good interview with Johnson and consultants Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, but Johnson is determined to complete the interview process. And the more candidates he has spoken to, the more impressed he has become with Bowles and Quinn.

With the firing of defensive guru Rex Ryan, many assumed Marrone would be the right fit for the Jets because of his offensive background. The Bronx product was the Jets' offensive line coach from 2002-05 and coached his alma mater, Syracuse, before accepting the Bills' head-coaching job in 2013.

But Johnson's interest in Quinn isn't surprising. The Morristown, New Jersey, product is a former Hofstra defensive assistant and was on Eric Mangini's staff with the Jets from 2007-08. He's also one of the main reasons Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary has had success.

The Jets' contingent met with Quinn in Seattle on Jan. 2. While there, they also interviewed Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable for the head-coaching job and Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner for general manager.

It was rumored that former Jets general manager John Idzik -- a former Seahawks executive -- had eyed Quinn during his two years with the franchise, but Idzik was fired along with Ryan.

The Jets seem to be zeroing in on Idzik's replacement. Their leading GM candidate, Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan, had a second interview Friday. Maccagnan, who is one of seven GM candidates, had his first interview on Monday.


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