New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has survived being on the hot seat each of the last two seasons, but it doesn't seem like he's going to be able to do it a third time. If he does get fired after the season, who are the top candidates to replace him?
The Jets have shown interest in Kelly before, and he's proven he can build a championship contender in the college ranks. Kelly's pro stock is fading due to Notre Dame's recent struggles, but the Jets won't look to him as anything other than a backup option if they can't land one of their top targets.
9) Greg Roman, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator
Roman was the offensive coordinator at Stanford before coming to San Francisco, and he’s been nothing but successful in the NFL. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said that Roman “reminds him of Chip Kelly”. If he can live up to half of what Kelly has done with the Eagles, he’ll turn the Jets around in no time.
Hamilton followed Andrew Luck from Stanford to Indianapolis, and he’s led outstanding offenses at each stop. He’s going to be a hot candidate for every opening across the league, but New York doesn’t offer a lot of star power on offense. However, he would be able to mold the Jets offensive personnel as they're set to make changes at seemingly every position, and having that level of flexibility could appeal to him.
7) Todd Bowles, Arizona Cardinals Defensive Coordinator
Bowles has quietly led and constructed one of the league’s best defenses in Arizona, and they haven’t missed a beat despite having several starters hurt this season. He was the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2011, and is one of the rising stars in the NFL coaching world. However, the Jets might want to look away from defensive coordinators with their supreme offensive woes.
6) Bill Cowher, former NFL Head Coach
Cowher hasn’t coached in the league since 2006, but has stayed in the game as an analyst for CBS. He’s won a Super Bowl and would immediately command respect from everyone in the locker room. Cowher has said he would come back to coaching if the right situation presented itself, and coaching in New York is one of the most prestigious jobs in the league.
5) Adam Gase, Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator
Gase is only in his second season as the offensive coordinator in Denver, but he’s already guided the best offense in league history. He’s proven he can handle star players and their egos. Gase will be the most sought-after candidate, and New York might be one of the most intriguing jobs available this offseason.
Malzahn's inventive offense took a 3-9 Auburn team to the national championship game, and with Chip Kelly's offensive success in Philadelphia, he's becoming a hot candidate to make the jump to the pros. There's no guarantee that Malzahn will want to leave Auburn and the college game, but a high profile job in New York would be hard for him to pass up.
3) Darrell Bevell, Seattle Seahawks Offensive Coordinator
Bevell worked with Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson in Minnesota before moving to Seattle in 2011, where he’s helped develop Russell Wilson and built a dominant running game. He would bring a Super Bowl pedigree to a team that seems to have forgotten how to win.
2) Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach
Rumors have been swirling that he won’t return to San Francisco next year and he’s worn thin on the players and front office, which would put him at the top of every list in the football world. Harbaugh will survey every opportunity presented to him, and he'd have a chance to be at the forefront of another rebuilding effort. He's proven he can turn teams around - that's exactly what he's done at Stanford and in San Francisco - and would be an absolute slam dunk for the Jets.
Quinn was a former assistant coach for the Jets under Eric Mangini, and has led a dominant Seattle defense since taking over for current Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. New York is already a defensive-minded football team and might be looking for someone to inject some offensive life into the franchise, but it will be hard for them to pass on Quinn. He's helped develop Seattle's defensive stars and his gameplans have confused the best quarterbacks in the league - a must-have when facing Tom Brady twice a year.
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