With the New York Jets having moved on from Mike LaFleur, they now have the very important task of finding a new offensive coordinator in what is going to be a very important 2023 season that could make or break the current coaching staff and potentially the entire regime of the Jets.
With the Jets likely taking the veteran approach at offensive coordinator, here are a few names Robert Saleh could be looking at that could potentially take on the role of leading the offense and perhaps also trying to fix Zach Wilson.
Dolphins passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell
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Bevell’s name is already circulating strongly in speculation and for good reason. Bevell and Saleh have worked together in the past, spending three seasons together in Seattle from 2011-2013, winning a Super Bowl together. Bevell was the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll from 2011-2017 and has also been offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. He also served as interim head coach for both the Lions (in place of Matt Patricia) and Jaguars (Urban Meyer).
Dolphins passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2022-present)
Jaguars offensive coordinator/interim head coach (2021)
Lions offensive coordinator (2019-2020)
Lions interim head coach (2020)
Seahawks offensive coordinator (2011-2017)
Vikings offensive coordinator (2006-2010)
Packers quarterbacks coach (2003-2005)
Packers assistant quarterbacks coach (2000-2002)
Connecticut wide receivers coach (1998-1999)
Iowa State graduate assistant (1997)
Westmar quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator (1996)
Former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett
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Another past connection here as Saleh and Hackett worked together in Jacksonville in 2015 and 2016 under Gus Bradley and then-interim head coach Doug Marrone.
The son of Paul Hackett may not be the flavor of the week for some after what turned out to be a horrendous stint in Denver that didn’t even last one full season. Quarterback Russell Wilson looked the worst he ever has in his career and Hackett looked lost early and often during the season. Granted, some will argue Denver brought in Hackett with the thought of acquiring Aaron Rodgers and we all saw how that went down.
Still, Hackett has plenty of experience as an NFL offensive coordinator, totaling eight years between the Bills, Jaguars and Packers. With the Jets, he can go back to focusing on running the offense and not have to worry about the entire show. His hiring would almost certainly begin the speculation that the Jets could also make a play for Rodgers, who is once again going to make people play the “Will he or won’t he?” game as far as him returning to Green Bay in 2023 following an 8-9 season.
Broncos head coach (2022)
Packers offensive coordinator (2019-2021)
Jaguars offensive coordinator (2016-2018)
Jaguars quarterbacks coach (2015-2016)
Bills offensive coordinator (2013-2014)
Syracuse offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/tight ends coach (2011-2012)
Syracuse passing game coordinator/quarterbacks/tight ends coach (2010)
Bills offensive quality control (2008-2009)
Buccaneers offensive quality control (2006-2007)
Stanford specialists/recruiting coordinator (2005)
Stanford offensive/defensive assistant to coordinators (2003-2004)
UC Davis assistant linebackers (2003)
Chiefs senior assistant/quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy
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There may not be a Saleh connection here, but there is an Andy Reid connection and being connected to Reid is usually a good thing when talking about offensive football.
Sure, things went sour during his time as head coach of the Chicago Bears, but he did start his head-coaching tenure on a strong note, leading the Bears to a 12-4 record and a division title before they were done in by the “Double Doink” and the then-reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles (hey, another Reid connection as both Nagy and Reid worked together in Philadelphia with Reid then bringing Nagy with him to Kansas City in 2013).
He may not have gotten the most out of Mitch Trubisky, but he now can say he’s worked with Patrick Mahomes and he’s gotten something out of veterans Alex Smith and Matt Cassel. Would he be willing to take on the task of developing Zach Wilson?
Chiefs senior assistant/quarterbacks coach (2022-present)
Bears head coach (2018-2021)
Chiefs offensive coordinator (2016-2017)
Chiefs quarterbacks coach (2013-2015)
Eagles offensive quality control (2011-2012)
Eagles coaches’ assistant (2010)
Eagles coaching intern (2008-2009)
Palmyra Area HS (PA) offensive coordinator (2008-2009)
Cedar Crest HS (PA) quarterbacks coach (2002-2003)
Manheim Central HS (PA) quarterbacks coach (2001)
Rams senior offensive assistant Greg Olson
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Another coach Saleh worked with while with the Jaguars, Olson was offensive coordinator in Jacksonville under Gus Bradley, spending a year and a half running the offense and being on the same staff as Saleh.
If we’re talking about veteran coaches on offense, Olson certainly fits the bill with a ton of experience. He has coordinated the offense of five different NFL franchises — Lions, Rams, Buccaneers, Raiders and Jaguars — and has been an NFL coach since 2001 and coaching at least the college level for over 35 years.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s also worked with Sean McVay. Olson was McVay’s quarterbacks coach in 2017 and is currently a senior offensive assistant with the Rams.
Rams senior offensive assistant (2022-present)
Raiders offensive coordinator (2018-2021)
Rams quarterbacks coach (2017)
Jaguars offensive coordinator (2015-2016)
Raiders offensive coordinator (2013-2014)
Jaguars assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach (2012)
Buccaneers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2009-2011)
Buccaneers quarterbacks coach (2008-2009)
Rams offensive coordinator (2006-2007)
Lions offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2004-2005)
Bears quarterbacks coach (2003)
Purdue tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator (2002)
49ers quarterbacks coach (2001)
Purdue quarterbacks coach (1997-2000)
Idaho quarterbacks coach (1994-1996)
Central Washington offensive coordinator (1990-1993)
Washington State graduate assistant (1987-1989)
Former Broncos, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
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Could Saleh lure his former head coach out of retirement? Saleh spent five years (2006-2010) with the Houston Texans on Kubiak’s staff.
Kubiak has been out of coaching for the last two years. His last stop was a two-year stint as assistant head coach under Mike Zimmer with the Minnesota Vikings, first as an offensive advisor and then as offensive coordinator.
Kubiak has four Super Bowl rings, one as head coach of the Broncos (Super Bowl 50), two as offensive coordinator of the Broncos (Super Bowls 32 and 33) and one with the 49ers when he was their quarterbacks coach in 1994 (Super Bowl 29).
Vikings assistant head coach and offensive coordinator (2020)
Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor (2019)
Broncos senior personnel advisor (2017-2018)
Broncos head coach (2015-2016)
Ravens offensive coordinator (2014)
Texans head coach (2006-2013)
Broncos offensive coordinator (2003-2005)
Broncos offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (1995-2002)
49ers quarterbacks coach (1994)
Texas A&M running backs coach (1992-1993)
Broncos quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak
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If the Jets can’t lure Gary Kubiak fully out of retirement to coach, perhaps they can let Gary have an advisory role while his son takes the reigns.
Klint Kubiak obviously hasn’t been in coaching as long as some of the other candidates, but he has been a coach in the NFL for almost ten years now. He got his first taste of being an NFL offensive coordinator in 2021, taking the reigns on the Minnesota Vikings offense after his father retired.
He just finished his first season as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Broncos and was given play-calling duties from Nathaniel Hackett midway through the season before Hackett was eventually fired.
Broncos quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator (2022-present)
Vikings offensive coordinator (2021)
Vikings quarterbacks coach (2019-2020)
Broncos offensive assistant (2016-2018)
Kansas wide receivers coach (2015)
Vikings offensive quality control (2013-2014)
Texas A&M graduate assistant (2012)
Texas A&M offensive quality control (2010-2011)
Former Colts head coach Frank Reich
It may be more likely Reich lands another head-coaching job, as you can argue he wasn’t given a fair shake with the Colts with their constant quarterback carousel over the years. In fact, he has already interviewed for head coach of the Panthers. But anything is possible if teams decide to go in another direction.
Reich was a key piece in the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017 as their offensive coordinator under Doug Pederson in an RPO-heavy offense, helping him land the head coach position with the Colts in 2018.
Colts head coach (2018-2022)
Eagles offensive coordinator (2016-2017)
Chargers offensive coordinator (2014-2015)
Chargers quarterbacks coach (2013)
Cardinals wide receivers coach (2012)
Colts wide receivers coach (2011)
Colts quarterbacks coach (2009-2010)
Colts offensive coaching staff assistant (2008)
Colts coaching intern (2006-2007)
Jaguars quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence started looking like the quarterback we came to know and love at Clemson and the one we expected to see after being selected No. 1 overall in 2021. That’s what good coaching will do for a quarterback and Mike McCoy was a factor in that as the quarterbacks coach for Doug Pederson this season.
This after McCoy was out of coaching for four years, as his previous stop was in Arizona in 2018 as their offensive coordinator under Steve Wilks but was fired before Halloween.
Of course, McCoy’s highest achievement to date is spending four years as head coach of the Chargers in their final years in San Diego. He’s also had two stints as offensive coordinator of the Broncos.
Zach Wilson obviously isn’t Trevor Lawrence, so McCoy would have his work cut out for him in trying to develop Wilson. But it would also serve as a chance to build himself back up in the coaching ranks if he wants to go that route.
Jaguars quarterbacks coach (2022-present)
Cardinals offensive coordinator (2018)
Broncos offensive coordinator (2017)
Chargers head coach (2013-2016)
Broncos offensive coordinator (2010-2012)
Broncos offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2009)
Panters passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2007-2008)
Panthers quarterbacks coach (2006)
Panthers offensive assistant (2002-2005)
Panthers wide receivers coach (2001)
Panthers offensive assistant (2000)
Former Cardinsls head coach Kliff Kingsbury
To start, this may be the longest of long shots. Kingsbury is going to still be paid a ton of money by the Arizona Cardinals thanks to the lengthy contract extension he signed before this season. So he will be getting paid to not coach the Cardinals, meaning he may not be in a rush to get back into coaching, especially after 2022 likely took a major toll on him.
That said, until we know for sure he won’t be coaching in the NFL next season, his name is still going to circulate the landscape and that could include the team that once interviewed Kingsbury for their head-coaching position in 2019 before he joined the Cardinals and the Jets eventually hired Adam Gase.
We also saw the relationship between Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray start to sour in 2022 before Murray’s ACL injury highlighted a mess of a season and, really, a tumultuous year and a half. The Cardinals started the 2021 season 7-0 and then were 10-2. Since then, Arizona has gone 5-18 including getting absolutely embarrassed in the playoffs by the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams.
At least Kingsbury wouldn’t have to run the show in New York if he becomes the offensive coordinator. But again, the odds seem very low he’ll join the Jets or any NFL team this season. He’s more likely to relax in his lavishing draft house.
Cardinals head coach (2019-2022)
Texas Tech head coach (2013-2018)
Texas A&M offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2012)
Houston co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2010-2011)
Houston offensive quality control (2008-2009)