2 key things you must determine ASAP

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Douglas needs to get into the weeds on this – big-time

Before the Jets hire an hot coordinator as their next coach, and I’m not saying they will, just saying if they do, they must determine two very, very important things: Were they a byproduct of great talent that embellished their resumes, and while they can call plays, are they alpha dogs that can lead an entire team.

The Jets interviewed Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley today. If you watched the Rams’ defense dominate Russell Wilson on Saturday, you had to be impressed.

But this begs the question, and I blogged about this today: Was the Rams’ defensive success this season because of great coaching by Staley, or was it driven by elite personnel, led by perhaps the NFL’s best player, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and the game’s best cornerback – Jalen Ramsey.

I’m not taking any credit away from Staley. All I’m saying is that Joe Douglas (not businessmen), must do a tremendous amount of research, talking to his myriad sources in the coaching, scouting and player personnel world on how much Staley coaching factored into the Rams’ defensive success this year. Hey, perhaps he was huge part of it, but you can’t just hire assistant coaches from winning teams, and not consider the talent on that team might have embellished their resumes.

Look at how many New England Patriots assistant coaches had their resumes enhanced from coaching on a team with Tom Brady at QB, and then those coaches struggled elsewhere, without Brady, and I’m talking about on both sides of the ball. Brady is one of the great resume embellishers of all time

So Douglas must separate the wheat from the chaff with Staley.

And the other thing that Douglas must determine about good play-callers/Jets candidates like Staley, Buffalo’s Brian Daboll, Tennessee’s Arthur Smith and so forth, is are they alpha dog leaders, who can command a room, and build a program. It’s one thing to sit in your corner office and draw up plays, but it’s another thing to build a winning football culture. I’m about to run a quote I’ve run several time, but I think it needs to be brought up again.

“If you are going to get somebody who has the best scheme in the world, but is going to hide in his office, and draw up plays all day long, you’ve got the wrong guy,” said one former NFL scout.

I’m not saying Staley, Daboll, Smith and the other coordinators who interviewed are like this. I’m not saying this at all. But Douglas needs to make a ton of calls on these cats to find that out.

This is the advantage of having a guy like Douglas leading the search. When business people run these searches, they often fall for the headlines and hype of a coordinator based on the program they come from, but fail to realize that certain players, they can’t bring with them, had a lot to do with it. Another area business people often fall short in coaching interviews is they can’t determine is if somebody is an alpha dog leader, a category that perhaps wasn’t even on the radar during the last coach search.

Just to be clear, while I have been pushing college head coaches, and that is probably the way I would go, I have no issue if they go with a top-shelf coordinator, as long as that person is clearly a great strategist REGARDLESS of talent, and also has the skill set to to lead 53 men and build a culture. You can’t hire a wallflower who is just going to sit in his lab and design schemes.

January 11, 2019

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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