Would Bill Cowher be interested in New York Jets’ coaching job? Cowher says … – NFL Nation


A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets:

1. Top Bill-ing? In a perfect world, the Jets’ next coach would be a proven winner, someone with Super Bowl bling and the persona to change the culture at One Jets Drive. In 1997, they found that guy in Bill Parcells. To use a Parcells-ism, they once again need a coach with pelts on the wall.

Bill Cowher, a new member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, fits the profile. His name was floated as a possibility this week on WFAN radio by morning host Boomer Esiason, Cowher’s colleague on CBS’ “The NFL Today.” People started to connect the dots: Cowher must be interested.

Sorry, folks, he’s not.

“I have no interest in coaching,” Cowher said in a phone interview with ESPN.

“I have too much respect for the coaching profession to talk about a job that isn’t open,” he said. “From that perspective, any job that is open, I have no interest in coaching.”

In 2009, Cowher and the Jets had a brief flirtation, but he withdrew from consideration early in the process. Owner Woody Johnson wound up hiring Rex Ryan.

Cowher, 63, hasn’t coached since 2006, when he wrapped up a successful 15-year run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but we’ve seen coaches make successful returns after long layoffs. If he has a change of heart in the next few weeks, he would make sense for the Jets. They could use a Hall of Famer in the building. Don’t hold your breath, though; he seemed pretty emphatic.

The Jets will have options once they do the expected and fire coach Adam Gase (7-21). My two cents: Don’t hire an offensive or defensive “guru.” Hire a CEO-type coach who can galvanize the organization and the lead the franchise out of the abyss.

2. Blitz fallout: A few more thoughts on last week’s “Cover 0 blitz,” which resulted in Gregg Williams’ ouster as Jets defensive coordinator and will go down as one of the most infamous plays in franchise history:

  • A closer look at the TV replay shows Gase exhibiting no concern whatsoever before the play, a 46-yard touchdown reception by the Las Vegas Raiders. He is seen walking casually along the sideline in the opposite direction, his back to the line of scrimmage. He stops and turns toward the field a moment before the snap. He doesn’t look like a coach who believes his defensive coordinator has just called a horrific play and that disaster is imminent. If Gase had been paying close attention, he would have noticed the safeties were only 10 yards deep — 36 yards from the end zone! They were grossly out of position for a Hail Mary-type situation. He had one timeout left; he should have used it to discuss the play with Williams, especially after what happened on the previous play. The safeties got beat deep, but they got lucky because of a Derek Carr overthrow in the end zone.

    That a head coach didn’t take control in a situation like that is unfathomable. Gase second-guessed himself for not calling timeout, but that’s easy to say after the fact. Williams took the fall because it was a bad call that defied football logic, but Gase deserves plenty of blame, too. His decision to fire Williams provided cover.

  • Williams used the Cover 0 blitz more than most teams, but he didn’t have much success with it. He called it 16 times this season (tied for sixth), according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The results: Opponents were 10-for-16 for 129 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions and no sacks. Get this: Not only did they fail to record a sack, but they didn’t even make contact with the quarterback. Sad.

  • The play will be remembered for a long time, but there won’t be many players around next season to talk about it. Six of the 11 players on the field will be free agents, including safety Marcus Maye. Of the other five, I’d say only two are locks to be on the 2021 roster — defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and cornerback Bryce Hall. The other three are defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers and cornerbacks Lamar Jackson and Javelin Guidry.

  • Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who faces the Jets on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS), called the blitz “rare … very, very gutsy.” He was being nice. Carroll said he made a similar call in 1995 as the San Francisco 49ers‘ defensive coordinator. He got away with it, as the Niners held on for a two-point win, but he said one of his fellow assistants nearly jumped him on the sideline.

  • Williams is gone, but his son remains on the coaching staff, which has to be awkward. Defensive assistant Blake Williams, who helps with the defensive line, will finish out the season. Blake has followed his father around the NFL, having worked under him at four previous stops.

3. Draft buzz: ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. calls it a “no-brainer.” If the Jets land the No. 1 pick in the 2021 2021 NFL draft, they must take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, according to Kiper. He describes Lawrence as a generational talent. But what if they’re picking No. 2? That’s a tougher call for general manager Joe Douglas.

“I would keep [Sam] Darnold and I would trade the pick, that second pick, and allow somebody to get Justin Fields,” Kiper said on ESPN’s Flight Deck podcast.

That would be a fascinating decision for Douglas. But the Jets would have to win a game to get in that position. That’s a big ask.

4. Revenge week: The focus is on ex-Jets safety Jamal Adams, but he’s not the only member of the Seahawks with Jets ties. There’s also tackle Brandon Shell, quarterback Geno Smith and defensive tackle Damon Harrison, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and, of course, Carroll, who coached with the Jets from 1990 to 1994. He was fired after one season (’94) as the head coach. Asked about Adams seeking revenge, Carroll cracked, “Think about how fired up I am.”

5. Man of Troy? Carroll said Adams’ blitzing ability reminds him of Troy Polamalu, whom he coached at USC. Comparing them as all-around players, I have a three-word opinion: Not. Even. Close. Polamalu is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who had 10 interceptions in his first four seasons. Adams is a one-dimensional safety with only two career picks. After the season, the Seahawks will overpay him. The Jets were right to trade him.

6. Ty goes to the runner: At Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, Maryland, Ty Johnson wasn’t highly recruited, so he decided to be proactive. He emailed dozens of college coaches per day, asking them to recruit him. He recalled sending emails from his phone in math class, incurring the wrath of his teacher. One FBS school offered a scholarship and that’s where he went, the University of Maryland.

“I’m not going to take no for an answer,” he said.

Johnson, picked up on waivers from the Detroit Lions, rushed for a career-high 104 yards last Sunday. The only reason he got a chance was Frank Gore (concussion) went out early and La’Mical Perine was injured previously. Johnson deserves another shot, even with Gore expected to play against the Seahawks. There’s no reason to make Gore, 37, the focal point. Gase needs to dial down his Gore infatuation.

7. Rippin’ Rex: Former Jets coach Rex Ryan, appearing on ESPN’s Get Up!, ripped Williams for making “the dumbest call ever.” But it’s worth noting Ryan got burned on two Cover 0 blitzes during his years with the Jets.

In 2011, he sent the house at the Denver BroncosTim Tebow, who eluded the rush and scored the winning touchdown on a 20-yard run with one minute left. In 2014, he blitzed the Minnesota VikingsTeddy Bridgewater in overtime. He calmly threw a wide receiver screen, resulting in an 87-yard touchdown. Ryan took a lot of well-deserved heat for both calls.

8. The last word: “When you see some great teams that come out of some losing seasons, there’s always that next year or the year after — they build something. We’re building that base. It’s hard to see a bright future with this record, but I think everybody is [seeing it].” — Jets center Connor McGovern on the team’s work ethic amid the adversity.



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