Adam Gase may still be the Jets head coach, but speculation as to who will be his replacement next season has already begun.
Will the Jets give a college coach an opportunity at the NFL level? Perhaps the franchise can reel in a talented coordinator from another organization?
What if a Hall of Famer came out of retirement and put the headset back on in New York?
Former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason suggested this week that Bill Cowher, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, would be interested in coaching the Jets next season if the job were to become available.
Esiason and Cowher are currently teammates, working together on CBS' “The NFL Today” show. In a conversation with WFAN's “Boomer And Gio” co-host Gregg Giannotti on Monday, Esiason recalled a recent interaction with the legendary head coach.
“All I know is that yesterday, he was showing me and Nate [Burleson] film of him coaching on the sideline where he was mic’ed up, and we looked at each other like, ‘hmm, what does that mean?’ Is he sending a message?" Esiason said. "I’ve worked with him for 14 years and I’ve never seen that.”
Cowher won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2005, going 149-90 over 15 years in Pittsburgh.
Even if he hasn't coached in the NFL since 2006, Cowher is "a really fit 63 years old,” per Esiason. Mix in the fact that Cowher's wife is a big Jets fan and the former head coach has a good relationship with New York's general manager Joe Douglas (both according to Esiason) and this scenario doesn't seem too far-fetched after all.
“He was saying to me yesterday, he’s the one that told me the Jets job is going to be really attractive, and they could hire whomever they want,” Boomer said, “and he told me he loves Joe Douglas.”
New York already began to clean house on Monday, firing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams less than 24 hours after his egregious play call in the final seconds cost the Jets their first win of the season. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said Monday that he doesn't expect Gase to be fired until after this season.
If the Jets do go on to finish the year 0-16 and secure the No. 1 overall pick in next spring's draft, the head coaching job in New York becomes even more enticing. In fact, Esiason called it the "No. 1 job available."
Even in the midst of an 0-12 start to the season, several young Jets players have proven they are rising stars ready to be developed and built around. Add presumptive top selection Trevor Lawrence to the fold, with plenty of cap space, and the road back to contention for this franchise might be shorter than it appears.