The Jets are planning to interview former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, according to an NFL Network report. He is one of the more coveted coaches available and was expected to be high on the Jets’ list to replace Todd Bowles, who was fired Sunday night.
McCarthy, 55, went 125-77-2 in 12 seasons-plus with the Packers and led them to the playoffs nine times, going 10-8 in postseason and winning the Super Bowl after the 2010 season. He was fired after the Packers fell to 4-7-1 with a loss to the NFL’s worst team, the Cardinals, at Lambeau Field.
Jets CEO Christopher Johnson believes this is a coveted job because of Sam Darnold and all the flexibility the team has. The Jets have a top three draft pick and roughly $100 million to spend in free agency.
This would be the first known interview for McCarthy, and the NFL Network reported he is “intrigued” by the Jets. He would make a lot of sense for them. The Jets are expected to hire someone with an offensive background, and Johnson said if the candidate had developed a quarterback, it would be “a big plus.”
McCarthy spent 10 years as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in the NFL before taking over as Green Bay’s head coach in 2006. He worked closely with Brett Favre late in his career and with Aaron Rodgers at the start of his. McCarthy helped Rodgers become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but they reportedly had friction in recent seasons that played a part in the firing. McCarthy also has received criticism for not winning more with Rodgers.
The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, and are looking for someone to maximize Darnold’s potential and make them a contender.
The next coach won’t have control of the football operations, which McCarthy must be on board with if he’s agreed to an interview. Mike Maccagnan is staying on as general manager, but the coach will answer directly to Johnson.
The Jets are expected to set up other interviews. They’ve requested permission to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; Cowboys passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Kris Richard and Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken. They’re also expected to interview former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell.
Other names who could emerge include recently fired Dolphins coach Adam Gase; Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor; Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur; Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and tight ends coach Dan Campbell, and Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury also is expected to interview with the Jets, according to Yahoo Sports. Kingsbury was the head coach at Texas Tech, where he worked with Patrick Mahomes. Kingsbury was hired by USC in December, so he didn’t work with Darnold.
Maccagnan said none of the coaches remaining from Bowles’ staff would interview for the job. He also said the next coach would be able to pick his own staff.