The eight NFL head coaching vacancies are starting to disappear, and fast. In the past few days, we’ve seen the Arizona Cardinals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers lock up their head coaches. With five openings left, former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy could conceivably be in the running for any of them.
But it doesn’t look like McCarthy wants just any of them. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’s got his heart set on just one: the New York Jets.
Former Packers’ HC Mike McCarthy doesn’t want to be considered, and isn’t pursuing, any other HC vacancy other than the New York Jets’, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2019
There are still jobs open with the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, so why has McCarthy reportedly zeroed in on the Jets? Aside from the Browns, the Jets are the only team to show serious interest in him. The Browns have already moved on to other candidates, but the Jets actually interviewed McCarthy. We don’t know who Schefter’s source is, but this lets the Jets know that they’re McCarthy’s first and only priority.
There are other reasons to want to coach the Jets beyond “they’re the only ones who want me.” There’s young quarterback Sam Darnold, who showed tremendous promise in the last month of the season. And besides the Browns (who have reportedly found their final two head coaching candidates), the other head coaching vacancies aren’t all that inspiring. The Dolphins, Bengals and Broncos are all messes of varying size and seriousness. At least the Jets have one thing settled: they’ve got their quarterback of the future.
As for the Jets, they’re in a similar situation. There aren’t many exciting coaching candidates out there, but acting owner and CEO Christoper Johnson has made the team’s mission clear: they want a coach with experience, and they want a coach who can develop Darnold. McCarthy spent 13 years with the Packers, and worked closely with Aaron Rodgers. There was discord but you can’t argue with results.
There are questions about McCarthy’s play-calling abilities. And whether the Jets can construct a team around Darnold that can work for him, and just plain work. But with the Browns seemingly off the board, the Jets are the best of an uninspiring bunch. Both parties could do a lot worse than each other.
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