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Confirmed OC Interviews
Good morning! 🌟
When the players cleared out their lockers last week, C.J. Mosley said that watching the playoffs should act as motivation for everyone inside the building, well it works on people outside the building as well.
It’s been 12 years since I’ve been able to write about a playoff game. I’m sure plenty of Jacksonville content creators are having a field day this morning.
As always the Monday edition of TJW is free for all, but if you want to receive 5 Jets-themed newsletters each weekday, you can do so by hitting that button above. This week will be about the OC interview process and some critical decisions the Jets will need to make if they hope to still play football this time next year.
1️⃣ Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams were named to the Associated Press NFL first-team All-Pro teams. The last Jets defensive lineman to make the first-team squad was John Abraham in 2001. Sauce became the first Jets rookie in franchise history to make the first team (since the merger), the first Jets CB since Revis in 2011, and the first rookie CB named to the first team since Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott in 1981. So, pretty special.
🥈 C.J. Mosley made the AP NFL second-team All-Pro team, the only Jet to make that squad. The first-team All-Pro linebackers were Fred Warner (49ers) Roquan Smith (Baltimore) and, Matt Milano (Buffalo)
🐏 Former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is "expected" to join the Los Angeles Rams coaching staff this offseason, linking up with head coach Sean McVay, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
💼 We have three confirmed OC interviews for the Jets, Nick Caley, Marcus Brady and Kevin Patullo. A lot more on those guys below.
🔴 Assistant defensive line coach Greg Scruggs has left the franchise to take up coaching the defensive line at Wisconsin. He started his coaching career at Cincinnati under Luke Fickell and will rejoin Fickell’s staff with the Badgers.
We’re going to start today’s newsletter by looking at the two coaches who we know are being interviewed for the vacant Jets OC position.
I have heard that both Darrell Bevell and Nathaniel Hackett will get interviews as well, but have yet to be able to confirm either despite contacting their agents for clarification. As soon as I can get confirmation, TJW readers will be the first to know.
Let’s start with the guy who’s already received an interview:
Kevin Patullo 🎯
The first thing I heard as soon as Mike LaFleur was fired was that the Jets were looking to hire someone with play-calling experience at the NFL level.
That made sense to me considering the Jets hired a first-time play caller in MLF and it didn’t go to plan. With playoff expectations next year, and the expected sales pitch to a veteran QB coming this off-season, experience was a desirable trait.
The three interviews that have been confirmed have been for three first-time play-callers at the NFL level. Starting here with Kevin Patullo who had his interview on Saturday.
Patullo has ties to the Jets, he was the QB coach back in 2015-16 under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 4000 yards and 31 touchdowns back in 2015 as the 10-6 Jets just missed out on the playoffs in agonizing fashion.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick took a huge step back in 2016 with the bearded wonder throwing for just 2710 yards with 12 TD and 17 INT.
Patullo got a lot of hype last year and received an interview with the Bears for their open offensive coordinator position, eventually filled by Luke Getsy.
Instead of moving on, he returned to Philadelphia for his 2nd year as the pass game coordinator helping Jalen Hurts throw for 3701 yards and 22 TDs in 15 games.
It’s always difficult to analyze a potential coach when they haven’t called plays. In Philadelphia, it’s HC Nick Sirianni and OC Shane Steichen in charge of the offense, with Shane taking over play-calling from Sirianni for the 2022 season.
However, it’s always been made clear that Patullo is heavily involved in the game plan, but were he to be given an offense to run it’s unclear what kind of offense it would be.
The Eagles run a heavy RPO system, spreading the defense out as thin as it can and running out of the shotgun formation. They use 3 WR sets a lot and they are devastatingly productive running out of that package.
The Eagles ran the ball 36 times out of 11 personnel against the Packers this year for a total of 252 yards, with 131 yards coming after contact, and two of their three rushing touchdowns.
But, it’s easier to run that kind of offense when you have someone like Jalen Hurts.
Before he was with the Eagles, he worked under Frank Reich in Indianapolis as their pass-game coordinator, working with Nick Sirianni, the Colt’s OC at the time.
The Colts ranked 11th in the league in 2020 with 253.3 passing yards per game and 9th with 28.2 points per game. That performance helped Sirianni get the Eagle’s head coaching gig, and Sirianni had such respect for Patullo he took him with him.
Frank Reich had elements of the west-coast offense while with the Colts and liked what they call “triangle reads” over the middle, basically isolating two defenders against three offensive players like in the “Maestro” example below.
So Patullo has been exposed to multiple schemes, concepts, and personnel groupings under two very good coaches in Reich and Sirianni. How he would run his offense is anyone's guess.
I’d still be surprised to see the Jets hire anyone who doesn’t have play-calling experience, but if he blew them away in the interview process, anything is possible. He is obviously highly thought of by Sirianni.
Nick Caley 🔵
Moving on to the next candidate who will interview next week and somewhat of a surprise to me, Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley.
Unlike Patullo, I really hadn’t heard of Caley until his name popped up in an Ian Rapoport tweet last week.
Caley has been with the Patriots since 2015 and New England is his only NFL stop so far. He’s worked at a number of colleges including Florida Atlantic where he was a secondary coach, moving to the offensive side of the ball when he joined the Patriots.
Although we don’t know what kind of offense he would run, we do know that his only influence at the NFL level is Josh McDaniels who acted as the Patriot’s offensive coordinator between 2012-21
So why do I find this a surprising interview?
For one, Caley has never called plays at the NFL level and unlike Patullo he’s never been a run-game or pass-game coordinator.
Saleh absolutely has to get this hire right, his own job depends on it. So why would he go for someone so unproven?
In 2022 with Josh McDaniels moving on to become the head coach in Las Vegas, Bill Belichick had the chance to promote Nick to offensive coordinator, instead, he chose to make former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia the OC. If Caley was ready to take on the role of offensive coordinator, you’d imagine Bill would have promoted him. The fact he didn’t is notable.
I would look to the system and concepts of Josh McDaniels to understand what a Nick Caley offense could potentially look like.
Considering McDaniels was in New England for so long, his offense adapted over the years. Running an offense for hall of fame Tom Brady is considerably different to running an offense for Mac Jones.
Last year the Patriots used a run-heavy offense with a lot of power schemes to take pressure off Jones. McDaniels historically liked to use empty sets, targeting the middle of the field in the short and intermediate game.
Davante Adams called the McDaniels offense “probably the most complex one I’ve ever been a part of” with receivers being asked to work in different positions, run unique route concepts, and work in motion a fair amount.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard that McDaniels runs a very complex system with an encyclopedia-type play-book.
Would Caley be able to implement something like that considering he’s never called plays and only ever held positional titles with the Patriots?
Hiring Caley would be a huge risk, and one I don’t feel Saleh would take.
Marcus Brady 🐎
Brady is unlike the other two on this list for one main reason. He’s actually been an offensive coordinator in the league, he replaced Nick Sirianni who later rehired him as an Offensive consultant in Philadelphia after Brady was fired in Indianapolis.
Brady never actually called plays as the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis with Frank Reich leading the way. However, he was “responsible for coordinating the offense, working with each position coach, and establishing a cohesive plan of attack”.
Brady spoke about his role to the Indy star:
“Be another voice, help him out in between series, give him ideas, what we are seeing, communicate with the other staff,” Brady said. “It’s a collective group effort there, then relaying that back to Frank, because Frank has to pay attention to what is going on while the defense is going. We kind of brainstorm together and then communicate with Frank so he’s ready to go the next series.”
Brady was fired in November with Indianapolis recording the 30th-best scoring offense in the league. A lot of their struggles were based on a patchwork offensive line and inconsistent QB play, does that sound familiar?
Many felt as though Brady was taking the fall for Reich’s struggles considering it was the head coach calling the plays, and of course, he later got fired himself.
It’s tough to look at Brady and feel confident about him taking on the reigns of a struggling offense. His only NFL experience came with Indy where he didn’t call plays and while he’s part of that Eagles’ success story this year, you don’t know how much of that falls on his contributions.
I have no doubt that Joe Douglas is receiving information about guys like Patullo and Brady from his old friends in Philadelphia but like the other two names on this list…I’m not sure you’d want to bet your jobs on an unproven commodity like Brady.
He has also acted as offensive coordinator for two teams in the CFL, first with Montreal in 2012 and later with Toronto between 2013-17.
Interestingly, he coached under Scott Milanovich who was Head Coach in Toronto, and Milanovich has been working as the Colts QB coach since 2021.
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