The New York Jets are now looking for a new offensive coordinator after mutually agreeing to part ways with Mike LaFleur.
This decision came after New York scored a total of 15 points in its final three regular-season games. All said, Robert Saleh’s squad finished the campaign having lost six consecutive to miss out on the playoffs for a whopping 12th consecutive season.
While this move seems to enable Saleh to keep his job for another season, the onus is going to be on him to find someone capable to lead of the worst offenses in the NFL.
There’s a lot of different factors that come into play in terms of the Jets’ search for a new offensive coordinator. Will quarterback Zach Wilson be the starter in 2023 after a disastrous sophomore campaign?
Perhaps, the Jets look for a veteran option to replace him under center. Almost immediately after their season-ending loss to the Miami Dolphins, reports came out suggesting that the Jets already have three signal callers in mind. Whoever New York brings in to call the shots on offense will play a large role in the decision-making process at quarterback. With that as a backdrop, we look at four ideal options.
New York Jets bring in Brian Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles
Just look at what NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts (pictured above) has done with Brian Johnson as his quarterbacks coach over the past two seasons. Heading into his sophomore campaign, there was some concern that Hurts might not be the long-term solution in Philadelphia. That’s obviously no longer the case.
- Jalen Hurts stats (2021-22): 64% completion, 6,845 passing yards, 1,544 rushing yards, 61 total TD, 15 INT
Prior to joining Philadelphia, Johnson served as the Florida Gators’ offensive coordinator for three seasons. Back in 2020 with the Gators, he led FBS top-ranked passing offense while helping the Gators average north of 500 total yards.
Johnson could be brought in to help Wilson improve under center. There’s also a chance that current Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew could join him in Jersey. Minshew is slated to become a free agent in March and will be a starter option on the open market.
Pep Hamilton becomes experienced New York Jets offensive coordinator
Hamilton’s lack of success as the Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator in 2022 had more to do with a lack of talent than his skill-set as a coach. We’re talking about a highly-respected assistant who has worked under the likes of Herm Edwards, Jim Harbaugh and Hue Jackson in the past.
With Saleh solely focused on the defense, getting someone with a wealth of experience should be in the cards here. Having led units with quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck, Justin Herbert and Jay Cutler, Hamilton could be a great fit in Jersey.
Related: Sportsnaut’s 2023 NFL mock draft
Ohio State’s Brian Hartline heads to New Jersey
As we noted above, whoever New York brings in to be its next offensive coordinator will likely play a role in its decision at quarterback. Perhaps, owner Woody Johnson looks to pull a blockbuster to end all blockbusters as a way to turn things around in the Garden State.
It’s a bit complicated. But it makes a ton of sense. Selecting No. 13 overall, New York is one of several teams with the capability of moving up to the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft with the Chicago Bears. The target here would be Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.
Seeing the connection? Ohio State’s wide receivers coach from 2018-21, this former NFL pass-catcher worked with current Jets star Garrett Wilson with the Buckeyes. Hartline was then promoted to passing-game coordinator by head coach Ryan Day ahead of the 2022 season. All he did in that role was help lead Stroud to Heisman contention with the stud quarterback accounting for 41 touchdowns against six interceptions. Despite everything that would need to happen, this out-of-the-box idea could set the Jets up well.
Joe Brady gets another shot with the New York Jets
Brady’s performance as the LSU passing-game coordinator back in 2019 put up historic results. Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr chase absolutely dominated in every way possible en route to LSU winning the national title.
It led to a job as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator under Matt Rhule from 2020-21. While this didn’t pan out, it did give Brady experience calling plays at the professional level. Most recently, he’s served as the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach working with Josh Allen.