When coaching candidates interview for a head coaching job they are usually asked to tell the team what coordinators they would like to bring along. So, it’s no surprise that the coordinators would be brought onboard almost immediately after the head coach candidate gets the job. Nothing has been made official yet by the Jets but according to multiple reports Bowles will start his staff with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers.
When Gailey’s name first came up in connection to Bowles it was a bit of a surprise, after all Gailey is 63-years-old and has been out of football for the past two years. What makes the move less of a surprise is the fact that this will be Bowles first head coaching job and it will be good for Bowles to have an experienced coordinator with head coaching experience of his own to lean on.
Bailey was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, 1998-99, Georgia Tech, 2002-2007, and the Buffalo Bills, 2010-2012, with offensive coordinator jobs before and between those gigs. Gailey was never able to find success as a head coach but he has proven to be an innovative and successful offensive coordinator with the ability to coax the most production possible out of marginal talent. Gailey likes to run a spread offense based on speed but he’s not necessarily married to that specific style of offense as he has shown flexibility when he was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-1997 and ran more of a power run based offense.
In between his time as the head coach of Georgia Tech and the Bills Gailey served as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs where he somehow managed to finesse over 3,000 total yards (2,608 passing yards, 54.8 completion percentage and a QB rating of 76.0, and 386 rushing yards) and 22 touchdowns (18 passing TDs, three rushing and one receiving) in just 14 games out of Tyler Thigpen in 2008. During Gailey’s stint with the Bills he was able to make Ryan Fitzpatrick look so much more than adequate the Bills actually signed Fitzpatrick to a six-year $60 million contract.
Gailey’s system is much better suited for quarterback Geno Smith than Marty Mornhinweg’s west coast offense and Gailey will most certainly tailor the offense to suit Smith’s strengths and make life much easier for the young quarterback.
With Bowles’ expertise being on the defensive side of the ball it was clearly important to him to get an offensive coordinator he was comfortable with running the show on offense. Bowles likely won’t make the same mistake Rex Ryan made in his time here, he will oversee and be involved in all three phases of the team, but it will be nice for Bowles to be able to ease into the transition of overseeing the offense by relying on someone he can trust to develop said offense.
On defense Bowles has brought in former Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers as the defensive coordinator. Rodgers has been coaching defensive lines since 1994, coaching at five different colleges through the 2002 season before going to the Cowboys, as the defensive tackles coach in 2003 and 2004 then handling the entire defensive line from 2005 to 2007.
In 2008 Rodgers took over as the defensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins, where he worked with Bowles, through the 2014 season. Rodgers was beloved by the Dolphins players and respected throughout the league for his ability to coach the defensive line.
With the former Jets defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar, following Ryan to Buffalo the Jets found a replacement that won’t be a huge downgrade, if any downgrade, and the players will likely be just as fond of as they were with Dunbar.