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The Jets finally announced their coaching staff for 2019 on Friday and, although many of the hires had already been rumored, there were still a few surprises. Let's weigh up some of the more interesting aspects of this new staff.
A mixture of connections
Although this has been introduced as Adam Gase's staff, a few coaches that have no direct connection to Gase were hired. However, in these instances there are connections that lie elsewhere.
On offense, new tight ends coach John Dunn coached with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains in Chicago. Also, while new offensive line coach Frank Pollack has no connection to any of the Jets coordinators, he spent five years in Houston from 2007 to 2011, during which time general manager Mike Maccagnan was in the front office. Pollack brought a former assistant from when he was working in the college ranks - Derek Frazier - with him for his first NFL role. Frazier previously coached at Colorado State with assistant special teams coach Jeff Hammerschmidt, whom the Jets retained.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was expected to bring several coaches with him for the defense but, in the end, just brought two defensive assistants; his son, Blake Williams, and Eric Sanders. However, while he was with the Rams, Williams also coached with defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson. Wilson was the only position coach retained by the Jets.
Other than these players, the only new addition not to have coached with Gase in Miami is Jim Bob Cooter, who was hired to be the running backs coach. Cooter was previously on a staff with Gase, though, back in 2013 with the Denver Broncos.
A couple of these hires - especially Cooter becoming the running backs coach, a role he hasn't undertaken before in his career - almost give the impression that the Jets just brought in the best collection of coaches they felt they could and resolved to figure out which role each of them gets later. This "best coach available" approach would be akin to a "best player available" draft strategy and might pay dividends in the long run.
Since there are a few coaches on this staff who have coached in higher-profile jobs in the past, it leaves the Jets well-equipped if they need to make any changes. While this could be because things go south and scapegoats are identified and let go, it could also be as a result of the Jets having some success, leading to their position coaches or coordinators being in demand for bigger jobs.
Cooter was the youngest offensive coordinator in the NFL last season and even interviewed for the Lions head coaching position before Matt Patricia got the job. Perhaps he could step in as a potential replacement for Loggains to maintain continuity, especially since Gase is intending to oversee things on offense.
Similarly, on the defensive side of the ball, Bush has some experience as a defensive coordinator, once again in Houston while Maccagnan was in the scouting department. Blake Williams has also taken a demotion of sorts, having coached linebackers last season with the Browns, so he could be a contender to move up if a vacancy arose.
A potential powder keg?
Much has already been made of how compatible Gase and Gregg Williams might be, given their fiery personalities. After the staff was announced, ESPN's Rich Cimini indicated that there may already have been some friction over the fact that his son had to take a lesser role. However, Bush following Gase to the Jets had been rumored before Williams was hired as the defensive coordinator so him taking the job presumably wasn't contingent on his son being hired.
Another source of potential friction with Williams could be that Gase hired Joe Vitt as a senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach. Vitt had a front office role with Gase's Dolphins last season and also happens to be his father-in-law. Moreover, he actually testified against Williams in the so-called "Bountygate" scandal. Again, it seems unlikely they'd make this hire if the two hadn't subsequently buried the hatchet, though.
One surprise, which again suggests Gase had the final say in filling out his staff, was that Clyde Simmons - a long-time defensive line coach under Williams - was not considered for the role with the Jets despite being available. Andre Carter, an assistant defensive line coach in Miami last year, got the job instead.
How well this staff can work together as a group once the games get underway is going to be a crucial factor in the Jets' success next year. That will undoubtedly be one of Gase's biggest challenges in his first season with the Jets.