The New York Jets are moving closer to naming their next head coach, as the first round of interviews is over -- or so it appears. The next step is to determine which candidate can lead the franchise out of the Todd Bowles abyss and return it to relevancy.
Big job, big decision.
As of Wednesday morning, the search appears wide open. Let's take a look at a pro and con for each candidate:
Mike McCarthy -- He's the safest choice because he has the best résumé by far. The former Green Bay Packers coach is interested in only one team -- the Jets, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter -- although it appears they're the only team interested in him. The biggest concern with McCarthy is that his offense had become too stale in recent years. Before I'd hire him, I'd need to know how he plans to refresh his philosophy.
Adam Gase -- Would they really hire a fellow also-ran from the AFC East? The optics wouldn't be good, and the fan base wouldn't be happy. The former Miami Dolphins coach is coming off a 7-9 season with a point differential (minus-114) that was actually worse than that of the 4-12 Jets (minus-108). Beyond that, Gase has some attractive qualities. He's an offensive playcaller and knows quarterbacks, which appeals to the Jets.
Matt Rhule -- His name won't go away, which leads me to believe he's very much in this thing. The Baylor coach is a salesman who believes in tough, disciplined teams. He revitalized Baylor and Temple, but it's a long way from Waco, Texas, to Broadway. The success rate for college coaches in the NFL is low. What's more, Rhule isn't known as an offensive innovator and has no history of developing quarterbacks. You also have to wonder if he'd be able to assemble a strong staff. Nevertheless, the Jets are intrigued.
Todd Monken -- The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator is an aggressive playcaller who would energize Sam Darnold and the offense. Working with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and turnover-prone Jameis Winston, Monken orchestrated the NFL's No. 1 passing attack. But it wasn't his offense; he ran Dirk Koetter's scheme. That's a question mark. Monken has strong leadership traits -- he was the runner-up for the Packers job -- but his low profile might cause the Jets to shy away. Obviously that shouldn't matter, but teams like to move the needle.
Jim Caldwell -- His résumé stacks up with anyone on this list. He made the playoffs as a head coach for two teams -- Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions -- and he's known for his work with quarterbacks. Do you think Matthew Stafford misses him in Detroit? One problem is that Caldwell, out of football last year, is the ultimate retread and he's 63 years old. His game-management skills also are a question.
Eric Bieniemy -- There hasn't been a lot of buzz about the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator, who was the first to interview for the job. He has done a fantastic job this season with Patrick Mahomes and the entire offense, but there are some who believe he's a one-year wonder.
Kris Richard -- If this were 2015, when the Jets last hired a coach, he'd be a strong candidate. There's a lot to like about Richard, a charismatic leader, but his timing is off. Like the rest of the league, the Jets are looking for an offensive-minded coach. Richard, the Dallas Cowboys' defensive backs coach/passing-game coordinator, is defense all the way.