Jets General Manager Joe Douglas has a busy offseason ahead, but the first step is finding the right head coach. And he knows what he's looking for.
"First and foremost, we're looking for a great partner," he said Tuesday in a season-ending virtual press conference. "I think we have a lot of good people in this building. I think we're looking for a person with great character and integrity. A person who's going to have an outstanding vision of what they want the identity of this team to be moving forward. Then what's the detailed plan on how they want to achieve that identity. Someone that's a great communicator, a great manager.
"We're going to cast a very wide net. We're not going to look at just offense, just defense, special teams. We're going to look at everybody. It's important that we find a person with high integrity, outstanding leadership skills and communication skills."
He added: "Right now there's no priority to the characteristics. There's a group of characteristics. Obviously, leadership plays a big role in that. Being able to connect and engage with everybody on this team, being able to garner the respect of every member of this team whether it's offense, defense or special teams. Being able to hold everyone accountable, setting clear standards and expectations. This is going how you're going to be rewarded if you achieve these standards, this is going to be the consequences when you don't."
The Jets started the process on Monday, requesting permission to interview candidates. Douglas said the team would not shy away from a college coach if he fits the criteria, and that NFL head-coaching experience is not a requirement. While CEO Christopher Johnson said on Monday that Douglas would be taking the lead of the search, Douglas reiterated it would be a team effort finding the 20th head coach of the Green & White.
"I'm a we, not me, guy," he said. "I think there are a lot of good people who are going to help in this process. I'm looking forward to getting in with Christopher and talking about these candidates, diving into their character profiles, their football backgrounds and really working together to find the right type of person who can lead this franchise for hopefully many years. … Obviously there are a lot of big decisions that lay in front of us this offseason and we have to get them right."
Douglas was last around a head-coaching search in 2008 when he was a scout with the Ravens and Baltimore hired John Harbaugh. Douglas said that he recently spoke with a few people about their process, what they did well and things they would do over if given the opportunity.
He mentioned four reasons the Jets are an attractive landing spot: A talented young core of players, draft capital, cap space and the people in the organization.
"I think there are so many people here that are willing to do anything to win," he said. "They're willing to help in any way that they can. I think in a perfect world, it would be great to create this football utopia of egoless football organization. I feel like there's a lot of that already in place from a lot of the people here. Their hearts are in the right place, they just want to win. They just want a winner. I think there are a lot of resources to help a coach succeed."
Douglas only mentioned free agency and the draft in passing, but he did say retaining team MVP Marcus Maye, whose contract expires in March, is a priority. He said he believes QB Sam Darnold has a bright future in the NFL and said they had a good conversation on Monday. He also said that the new head coach would be involved in every major decision, including Darnold's future with the team.
"We have some very important decisions to make," he said. "I think bringing this program back to respectability, back to winning games and competing for the playoffs and the Super Bowl, that is the No. 1 goal. I think that's going to start with the type of leader and person that we bring in to partner with myself, Christopher, [president] Hymie [Elhai] and really build the right culture. Really be the leader that can take us to the next level moving forward."