Joe Douglas
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New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas says the new head coach will have full control over his own staff.

Robby Sabo

Many things haven’t sat well with New York Jets fans over the past decade. Most of these “things” have come by way of a procedural set up in the front office or the head coach’s overall power.

Christopher Johnson and Joe Douglas have washed those concerns away this week, with the latest cleansing coming on the airwaves.

On Tuesday, Douglas hopped on ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show to tell Jets fans that the new head coach will have full control over hiring his own staff.

“I think you hire the right person and you let him do his job. I certainly don’t believe in meddling in any coach’s staff,” Douglas said. “I feel like if a coach would like my opinion or ask for my opinion, I’m always going to be upfront and honest, but I don’t believe you meddle in anyone’s staff.”

The concerns surrounding this topic stretch back to January 2019. Adam Gase‘s hiring was accompanied by Gregg Williams as the team’s defensive coordinator. Considering the two men didn’t have much of a prior relationship, it felt like an arranged marriage to many onlookers. It looked like the Jets brass had Williams in mind for whoever the head coach may be.

Now-Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule added fuel to the fire with comments he made later that same month.

“I don’t want to say anything about that job,” Rhule said about the Jets head-coaching job on ESPN 1160 in Dallas, TX. “At the end of the day, I’m never going to be in an arranged marriage. I’m never going to sub-contract out jobs for offense and defense. I’m always going to hire people I believe in —and are going to do things our way, that are going to believe in process, that are going to be part of a program. I truly believe that programs win.”

The idea of arranging a coaching staff also creeps into the front office. When both the general manager and head coach report to ownership, the communication channels are effectively doubled. Obviously, working as a team, as one unit, is always a worthwhile idea, but opening up more channels does have the potential to create confusion.

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Whether it’s coaching direction or personnel, the opinions will always be abundant. These guys are all competitive and are looking for that next big break. Having that lone voice at the top is an old-school yet tried and tested model—whether it’s the front office or coaching staff. Gase was always the guy “at the top,” but if Williams was hired independently of the head coach, the odds of a sticky situation arising are increased.

This time around, it appears that Douglas is the voice at the top of the football operations and the new head coach will not only be the undisputed boss of the coaching staff, but he’ll also have the power to hire every individual of his staff.

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