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Sources: Jets might hire Charley Casserly as consultant

Bob McNair, left, owner of Houston's NFL expansion

Bob McNair, left, owner of Houston's NFL expansion team, listens to Charley Casserly, right, answer questions after Casserly was introduced as the team's executive vice president/general manager during a news conference on Jan. 19, 2000 in Houston. Photo Credit: AP

Geno Smith believes change could be "good for us all."

Well, there's a chance the Jets quarterback will have a new coach and general manager in the coming weeks.

League sources confirmed to Newsday that Jets owner Woody Johnson plans to hire former NFL general manager Charley Casserly as a consultant in the event that the Jets fire Rex Ryan and / or John Idzik after the season.

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The sources said Casserly, 66, won't be the only adviser Johnson will lean on if there's an overhaul, but they stressed that the owner will be the one who decides the fate of his current coach and general manager.

Ryan, whose team is 3-12 and finishes the regular season Sunday in Miami against the Dolphins, reiterated on a conference call Monday that he's not concerned about his future.

"I'm not worried about a coaching change or whatever," he said. "I'm just looking forward to the opportunity that's right in front of us, and that's playing against Miami."

Ryan also said he hasn't given any thought to Casserly possibly being brought in.

"But one thing I know for certain," he said, "Woody's going to do what he thinks is going to help this organization win -- whether it's Charley Casserly or whoever, that's what he'll do.

"And that's what Jets fans need to understand about Mr. Johnson: He wants to win and he's going to do what he thinks is in the best interest of the team to see that that happens."

Casserly spent 29 seasons as an NFL executive, including 16 as a GM. He won a Super Bowl in Washington during his tenure as GM from 1989-99. He served in the same capacity with the expansion Houston Texans from 2000-06.

Since then, Casserly has spent several years as a TV analyst for NFL Network and is a board member of the Career Advisory Panel, which the league created last year to help teams with their front-office and head-coaching hires. One of the sources said he will make no evaluations on the Jets' 2014 season.

Idzik billed himself as a personnel guy despite his salary-cap focus during his tenure as the Seattle Seahawks' vice president of football administration. He set out to rid the Jets of their circuslike atmosphere and build a team through the draft. But the team has sagged to an 11-20 record under his watch.

Despite a surplus of more than $21 million in salary-cap space this season, Idzik tried to cut corners. He did not get a quality veteran cornerback in the offseason and ignored red flags on two key free-agent signees, running back Mike Goodson and cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who was named the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, remains the one home run out of 19 draft picks. But Idzik's biggest failure was the decision to make Smith, a second-round pick, a rookie starter. Now there's a chance Johnson won't let Idzik see his plan through.

Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson cautioned against wholesale changes.

"I don't think we're very far off," the Freeport product said. "If we preserve what we have and just strategically make some switches here and there, we'd be far better off than just trying to clear everything and start afresh."

Smith, a staunch Ryan supporter, noted the challenges of switching coaches. But as difficult as it is to "reset," he said, "we are professionals and we have to do it. A change could be good for us all, so if it happens, when it happens, then we will see."


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