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Jets speak with Bucs OC Todd Monken, probably the final interview for their coaching job

They've talked to eight candidates to replace Todd Bowles, and they may be close to making their choice.

Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken watches play against

Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken watches play against the Giants on Oct. 1, 2017 in Tampa, Fla. Photo Credit: AP/Al Messerschmidt

The Jets could be close to picking their coach.

CEO Christopher Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan met Tuesday with Todd Monken, who was the coordinator for the Bucs’ league-leading passing offense. Monken was the eighth person the Jets have interviewed for the position.

Unless there is a wild card, the Jets have completed interviews with all of the known candidates. It’s unclear whether they will bring in any of them for a second interview or if they will zero in on one to be Todd Bowles’ successor. But the process could start moving quickly now, especially with things heating up around the league. Three teams picked their coach and one Jets' candidate is gone.

The Cardinals hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury on Tuesday as head coach. Kingsbury interviewed with the Jets on Monday. The Bucs completed a deal with former Cards coach Bruce Arians, who could bring in Bowles as defensive coordinator. The Packers named former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur as coach.

Now that the dominos are falling, the other vacancies will start filling up.

The Jets also have interviewed Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; former Dolphins coach Adam Gase; former Packers coach Mike McCarthy; Cowboys secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard; former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell and Baylor coach Matt Rhule.

They’re looking for an offensive-minded person who can get the most out of quarterback Sam Darnold. They want the next Sean McVay, who made an immediate impact on the Rams with his aggressive offensive approach and helped quarterback Jared Goff take a huge leap from Year 1 to Year 2.

Going into this search, McCarthy was seen as an early favorite because of his resume, Super Bowl ring and work with Aaron Rodgers. But he has taken some criticism for his play-calling and not winning enough with one of the best quarterbacks.

It was believed that McCarthy wasn’t as high on the Jets' list as he is on the lists of many of their fans. But ESPN reported Tuesday night that the Jets' job is the only one for which McCarthy wants to be considered.

McCarthy may still be in the mix, but the Jets may want someone more innovative. That makes Gase, Rhule and Monken interesting candidates and could be the ones the Jets are targeting.

Gase, their second interview, could be their No. 1 choice. He’s only 40, has head-coaching experience and has worked extensively with quarterbacks. Gase was Peyton Manning’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for three years in Denver, a stint during which Manning threw 131 touchdown passes.

Gase was 23-25 in three years with the Dolphins, but his quarterbacks were Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler, Matt Moore and Brock Osweiler, and Tannehill missed 24 games due to injury.

Rhule, 43, has NFL experience, having spent one season as the Giants’ assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin in 2012 before becoming Temple’s head coach. Rhule has coached both sides of the ball in college, and has spent the last two years at Baylor, rebuilding a program following a sexual-assault scandal.

Monken, 52, just finished his third season as the offensive coordinator for the Bucs, who averaged 320.3 yards per game with quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston. Monken was the Jaguars’ wide receivers coach from 2007-11. He also has spent 23 years coaching in college, including three as the head coach at Southern Mississippi.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that the NFL first told the Bucs that no compensation was needed to hire Arians, but the Cardinals argued that they held Arians’ rights. To avert a protracted dispute, the Bucs sent a 2019 sixth-round pick to Arizona for Arians’ rights and a 2019 seventh-rounder, per source.

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