Rich Cimini of ESPN.com has complied the top-five head coaching targets for the New York Jets if they end up firing HC Rex Ryan at some point in the next few weeks.
According to Cimini, the top-five targets would be:
- Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell
- Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt
- 49ers OC Greg Roman
- Former Bears HC Lovie Smith
- Penn State HC Bill O’Brien
Bevell is a pretty obvious candidate just for the fact that he worked with Jets GM John Izdik while in Seattle for a few years. Bevell is one of the few hot coordinators around the NFL who could find plenty of interest in the coming weeks.
Whisenhunt is already a candidate for the Texans and really deserves some credit for helping Phillip Rivers get things turned around in San Diego.
Roman has been a popular guy since he and Jim Harbaugh turned the 49ers in just one year. Since then, San Francisco’s offense is one of the more creative units in the league, so I’m he’ll garner interest other teams as well.
Smith has maintained that he wants to get back into coaching in the NFL following his dismissal from the Bears last year. The fact that Smith is a defensive-minded coach could actually work against him given that Ryan is a defensive-minded head coach.
O’Brien has been one of top college head coaches dating back to last season when he elected to stay at Penn State instead of pursuing opportunities in the NFL. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest in him, depending on how many teams are actually looking for head coaches.