The Jets are again mired in a losing season with considerable discord, as head coach Adam Gase faces intense pressure from fans and media about the state of the team. Gase was hired after a long and winding coaching search that saw several candidates withdraw or back out due to staffing concerns, and which ultimately came down to the former Miami head coach and longtime NFL assistant Todd Monken.
Sources said there was a deep split in the Jets’ front office at the time about that decision, with some execs strongly advocating for Monken as the best option to steward the franchise and work with emerging quarterback Sam Darnold. There were several heated exchanges within the front office and spirited debate about the final decision, sources said, with Gase’s previous NFL head coaching experience ultimately holding considerable sway with ownership and then-general manager Mike Maccagnan.
The Jets had hoped to hire Baylor coach Matt Ruhle for the job, but that negotiation fell apart because Rhule was not comfortable with having Monken as his offensive coordinator, which is an arrangement the Jets wanted. Former Packers Super Bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy opted not to continue his talks with the Jets over concerns about not having autonomy over his staff, sources said. Monken, who has head coaching experience at the college level, eventually became the offensive coordinator in Cleveland.
Maccagnan and other key staff were let go by the Jets in May, with Eagles executive Joe Douglas, who has long ties to Gase, hired as a replacement. Darnold’s struggles this season, and the Jets’ overall woes (they have the second-worst scoring differential in the NFL and last week became the first team to lose to the Dolphins this season) have led to questions about the direction the franchise will take in 2020, and if more big decisions loom for ownership.