For Jets head coach search, Joe Douglas must find a leader above all else

Joe Douglas Jets
Jets general manager Joe Douglas.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the deed has been done.

Adam Gase received his pink slip as New York Jets head coach on Sunday night, just hours after wrapping up a dismal 2020 season in which Gang Green went 2-14 in one of the worst displays in franchise history.

The long-expected move is just the first in what will be a pivotal offseason for the franchise, which went 9-23 in two seasons with Gase at the helm.

Rather than have owner Christopher Johnson — who is as dysfunctional as the franchise itself — run the search for a new head coach, general manager Joe Douglas will lead the pursuit of a new leading man.

For a franchise that is depleted in almost every facet, looking for an offensive or defensive specialist to take over should not be Douglas’ strategy. It’s all about getting a proper leader of men.

The Jets’ culture is rotten with the stench of decades of incompetence. It’s something that won’t be tweaked overnight or masked by a specialist. It’s something that needs to start at the roots, the foundation.

A football mind that is capable of winning over a locker room, getting their players to buy in at all costs, regardless of what the roster looks like on paper.

A perfect example of this is across the hall of MetLife Stadium with the Giants. A team that was expected to win fewer than six games by many, who lost their star running back to a torn ACL and saw their starting quarterback miss games with nagging leg injuries, was in the hunt of a lackluster NFC East in the very final minutes of the 2020 regular season.

All things considered, Joe Judge getting a 6-10 record out of the Giants is quite a feat; and he’s the kind of institutional, team-first coach that the Jets need to replicate.

Get a head coach that players are willing to run through brick walls first, then rebuild the coaching staff to ensure that a quarterback — whether that be Sam Darnold or someone else — receives non-stop support and development, the offensive line in front of him is on the same page, and the defense won’t roll over if said offense is having difficulties finding the end zone.

The rest of this falls on Douglas to make the right draft picks, build the offensive line, and find reliable offensive weapons to flank whoever the man under center is.