David Gawkowski

Who Could Replace Rex?

Dec 06, 2013 7:03 AM EST

Is it too early to start thinking about the next Jets' head coach?

Perhaps. But it is also a nice diversion from thinking about how the Jets have played over their last three games. Last year, it was Mike Tannenbaum who took the fall for constructing a team that lacked talent, yet was among the highest paid. This year's team still has his stamp on it, but at some point, Rex Ryan also needs to be held accountable for the Jets' performance. Remember, he also signed off on drafting and signing many of these players.

The inept offense has no identity and the defense is overrated, especially in the secondary. When a team scores six points in two weeks, it's a clear sign that they aren't prepared, they aren't good and they've tuned out their coaches.

Here are a four possible coaching candidates the Jets may want to look at should they decide to move on from Ryan.

1)  Jon Gruden
Probably the most well-known name on this list and he would also be the most expensive. He has stated he wants back into the NFL soon, but he isn't going to come into a dire situation, which let's face it, the Jets are in. On his resume he has a Super Bowl title with the Bucs and like Ryan, he was known as a player's coach. Unlike Ryan, he knows something about offense. He was able to get Brad Johnson to a Super Bowl, which is no small achievement. The New York press would no doubt love him, as he is as cooky as they come. 

2) Mike Zimmer, Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals
Zimmer is widely respected throughout the league and for good reason. The Bengals are always perennially among the league leaders in total defense, and as evidenced by the HBO show "Hard Knocks," his players love playing for him. Zimmer will definitely be a head coach soon, the only question is where. 

3) David Shaw, Head Coach, Stanford 
Since taking over for Jim Harbaugh, Shaw hasn't missed a beat. He lost Andrew Luck two years ago, but Stanford keeps winning and his record is an impressive 33-6 over three seasons. Shaw has succeeded with a smash-mouth, run-first offense in a college game that's dominated by passing and spread offenses. The list of college coaches that have flamed out in the pros is long (Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin and Bobby Petrino, etc.), but it's not unprecendented (see Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh). 

4) Greg Roman, Offensive Coordinator, San Francisco 49ers
Roman is credited with helping to turn Colin Kaepernick into an elite quarterback last year by designing an offense to fit his specific strengths. Though Kaepernick has struggled this year, he has returned to form in recent weeks. Perhaps Roman could bring some of that experience to help Geno Smith fulfill his potential. Stranger things have happened, right?