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Not a big deal missing out.
The Jets supposedly missed out on getting Jeremy Pruitt as their secondary coach. So?
Somebody, perhaps an agent or the coach himself, told The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman on Wednesday that Pruitt was “working on a deal” to join the Jets’ staff.
He ended up taking a job with the Giants. He worked with Joe Judge at Alabama.
The Jets will live to see another day.
And quite honestly, the optic here isn’t ideal. This is a man who just got fired as the head coach of the University of Tennessee, with cause, due to rampant recruiting violations.
Since he was fired with cause, Tennessee isn’t going to pay him the rest of his contract.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, an investigation “revealed evidence of sweeping and serious NCAA violations,” that will likely lead to “multiple NCAA Level I and/or Level II violations.”
So with the Jets looking to make a fresh start, why would they want to add a guy like this to the staff? Remember what Joe Douglas said at Robert Saleh’s introductory press conference?
“When we talk about our criteria and what we’re looking for in a coach, [Robert Saleh] checked all those boxes: the integrity, the passion, the ability to connect,” Douglas said.
Integrity. Look none of us are perfect, but right now, it’s hard to check the “integrity” box with Pruitt considering the allegations, unless he’s cleared, but he was fired with cause, so the higher ups at the school clearly believe the former coach was guilty of some pretty serious violations.
Actually, let me circle back to the question, “Why would you add a guy like this to your staff?”
The answer to that is he’s considered an excellent secondary coach, and the Jets are looking for one.
Saleh did say he heard good things about the secondary coach under Adam Gase, Dennard Wilson, and was going to give him an interview.
But while a lot of it might not have been his fault, Wilson’s secondary really struggled against the pass the last couple of years, and the NFL is a results based business, so it might be hard for him to retain his job with the Jets.
The reason I say a lot of it might not have been his fault is because they didn’t have the requisite talent back there; this year they went very young and inexperienced. Another reason a lot of the coverage issues might not have been his fault is that a lot of big pass plays came against linebackers, and obviously that wasn’t his responsibility. The Jets’ linebacker pass coverage the last couple of years was substandard.
But there were so many blown coverages the last couple of years by defensive backs, for a variety of reason. Perhaps it was also connected to the former DC dialing up too many exotic blitzes and leaving over-matched DBs on an island,
So this is probably why the Jets were talking to Pruitt to help improve their secondary play.
But the fact they didn’t get him, was probably a good thing.
Considering what just happened at Tennessee, and with the Jets looking for a fresh, clean start under Saleh, do they really need this kind of red herring right now?
January 28, 2021
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