The Jets haven't wasted any time over the last week seeking out head coaching candidates to replace Adam Gase.
Even as the number of interviewed individuals approaches double digits, there's been one common trend between all of those in the running for the position thus far. Each candidate, except for veteran Marvin Lewis, has zero head coaching experience.
That may of changed on Monday afternoon when the Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with their head coach Doug Pederson.
Pederson had been in charge in Philadelphia for the last five seasons, returning to the organization where he began his NFL coaching career back in 2009 as an offensive quality control coach.
Although his tenure with the Eagles didn't end the way either party imagined—Philadelphia was the worst team in an awful NFC East division this year, going 4-11-1—the overall success that Pederson had can't be ignored.
Pederson's teams in Philadelphia went 42-37-1 over those five years. Philadelphia made the playoffs in three of Pederson's five seasons at the helm, securing two division titles. And let's not forget that the Eagles won a Super Bowl in 2017 under Pederson, winning 13 games in the regular season to tie a franchise record.
So, where would Pederson fit into New York's search to fill their head coaching vacancy this offseason? Beyond his invaluable experience, Pederson has a relationship with Jets general manager Joe Douglas, the man in charge of choosing New York's next head coach.
Before becoming the Jets' GM, Douglas spent the previous three years as the vice president of player personnel with the Eagles. Crossing over with Pederson for that period of time, Douglas was able to see the head coach work first hand. Douglas was around when Pederson helped lead his team to a Super Bowl victory as well.
How that could factor into Douglas' decision in choosing between a familiar face like Pederson and a highly sought-after candidate like Eric Bieniemy or Robert Saleh remains to be seen. Those two coordinators, among others, are ready for their first head coaching gig in the NFL, but won't get the chance in New York if Douglas gives the edge to his former co-worker.
The reason New York shouldn't hire Pederson is what went down this year in Philadelphia. As much as 2020 could very well be a fluke, it's hard to look past the offensive numbers that Pederson's team produced, as well as the drastic regressions by quarterback Carson Wentz.
New York has been unquestionably the worst in the NFL these last two years on the offensive side of the ball, but Philadelphia wasn't too far behind them this year. Plus, Wentz threw more interceptions than any other quarterback in the NFL and he only played in 12 games.
Would Pederson be able to revitalize the Jets' offense as soon as next season while helping Sam Darnold (or a rookie quarterback) develop? The last thing Douglas wants is for another Adam Gase situation, putting faith in a certain head coach to revitalize the offense and still searching for answers multiple years later.
Finally, after interviewing all these other quality candidates in what's become a thorough search, does Pederson immediately vault to the top of that list just because he was fired by another organization? Don't be surprised if Pederson interviews for the position over the next few weeks, but Douglas will need to weigh all factors and all candidates equally to make the right decision for the Jets.