It was no secret that the Jets were going to have to make some major changes to their coaching staff this season after a 5-11 season.
On Tuesday, we found out the scope of their reorganization.
According to the team, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey decided to retire. The 65-year-old told coach Todd Bowles that 2016 would be his final NFL season before it started.
“I informed coach Bowles prior to the 2016 season that I would retire after this season,” Gailey said in a statement released by the Jets. “I thought it was best to tell him early, so that he could begin to think about how he would move the team forward on offense. While we did not have the season we all wanted to have, I think there are some great people here at the Jets and in the New York/New Jersey area. I wish them all the best moving forward.”
Todd Bowles added: “I’m grateful to Chan for joining our coaching staff and enjoyed working with him. The respect that I have for him as a person and a coach only increased during our time together.”
Quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins and defensive backs coach Joe Danna were also let go in what turned out to be a grim morning in Florham Park. For a team that did not fire its head coach or defensive coordinator, Kacy Rodgers, the Jets‘ staff directory will resemble that of an almost brand-new regime.
While it is wrong to blame a position coach for the construction of a roster, one could go down Tuesday’s list of dismissals and see where the Jets are trying to make a difference. The defensive line and defensive backs were two of the biggest disappointments in 2016. The decline of Darrelle Revis and the spotty play of Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson had as much to do with the club’s regression as their offensive woes.
The quarterback position was also a disaster, with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty and Geno Smith shuffling on and off the field in what seemed like an endless carousel. Is the team any closer to debuting second-round pick Christian Hackenberg, who red-shirted the entire 2016 season?
This season was a difficult one for the Jets. Motivation, preparation and passion were all regularly called into question, especially down the stretch. When something like that happens, the head coach better have a good reason or prepare to make changes. Bowles chose the latter.