The Jets’ coaching search already features nine known candidates. A 10th soon could be added.
The Eagles fired Doug Pederson on Monday. He’s a proven, Super Bowl-winning coach who worked with Jets general manager Joe Douglas with Philadelphia.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Douglas wants to interview Pederson, although their past relationship doesn’t necessarily catapult him to the top of the list.
A former longtime scout, Douglas is very thorough and describes himself as pragmatic. He will go through his process step-by-step and make sure he feels comfortable and confident about choosing the right person to turn the Jets into a playoff contender. He will not hire someone merely because he worked with him for three years.
Douglas has been overseeing a wide-ranging search for the Jets’ next head coach. They interviewed two coaches on Monday, making it five in two days.
First up was highly-sought-after Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who seems to be a good fit based on the Jets’ stated job requirements. They also interviewed Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn, a former Jets first-round pick and Pro Bowl cornerback.
Smith, 38, is a candidate for jobs with the Jaguars, Chargers, Falcons and Lions. The Jets are the only team known to have interviewed Glenn about a head-coaching position.
The Jets also have interviewed Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.
It’s unclear at this point if Douglas will interview more coaches or regroup and conduct a second round of interviews with some of the candidates he’s strongly considering.
The Jets want someone who can manage the overall team, not just one side of the ball, and is a good leader and communicator who can bring a winning culture to the organization.
Pederson went 42-37-1 in five seasons with the Eagles and won the franchise’s only Super Bowl three years ago, but his tenure ended miserably. Philadelphia went 4-11-1 amid rumblings that Pederson may have lost the locker room. He was at odds with quarterback Carson Wentz, whom he benched in Week 13 for Jalen Hurts. The season ended with Pederson pulling Hurts in the fourth quarter of a close game against Washington, which upset some players.
The optics of that can’t be discounted because the circumstances are similar to how Adam Gase became available. Jets CEO Christopher Johnson may not want to go down that road again.
Johnson made the mistake two years ago of hiring Gase after players soured on him and he was fired by Miami. Johnson relieved Gase of his duties last week after the Jets finished 2-14.
Smith, who has been with the Titans for the past 10 seasons, has experience on both sides of the ball. He started out in the NFL in 2007 as Washington’s defensive quality assistant under former Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
When Smith joined the Titans in 2011, he was their defensive quality control coach. The following year, he became their offensive quality control coach. Smith then coached the offensive line and tight ends before being promoted to offensive coordinator two years ago.
Tennessee reached the AFC Championship Game last season as a wild-card team and lost to eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City. The Titans won the AFC South title this year but were beaten by the Ravens in the wild-card round on Sunday.
Smith’s offense ranked second in rushing yards, third in total yards and fourth in points. The Titans also were No. 2 in red-zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns 75% of the time.
Glenn, a former Jets scout, is in his fifth season as the Saints’ defensive backs coach.