Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been named as a possible Jets target. Is he ready to make the NFL transition?
Back in November, rumors began circling around that the Jets had their eyes on Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald as a potential head coaching target.
#Jets already doing due diligence on Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald.
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 25, 2020
Fast forward to the present day, and it appears Fitzgerald will be open to taking NFL interviews two years after turning down an interview request from the Green Bay Packers.
B1G coaching update…
Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald is open to taking NFL HC interviews; Ohio State HC Ryan Day is not, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 3, 2021
While the Jets have yet to be officially linked to Fitzgerald, he certainly seems like a candidate that would make a lot of sense for them. As a team in need of a culture-changer, a coach that has handled the head role for many years might be a better way to go than a hotshot coordinator with little leadership experience, like Arthur Smith for example. The college ranks are a great place to find candidates with extensive head coaching experience.
Despite lacking NFL experience, Fitzgerald appears to check a lot of boxes as a culture-changer. He took a Northwestern football program that was a laughingstock for decades and turned it into one of the more respected programs in the Big Ten.
To learn more about who Fitzgerald is as a person and coach, whether or not he would be ready for an NFL job, and how likely it is that he actually leaves Northwestern, Ben Blessington and Michael Nania spoke to former Northwestern reporter Sam Brief, who covered Fitzgerald and the Wildcats on a daily basis for four years and has spoken to Fitzgerald personally many times.