Joe Douglas officially took the reigns of the New York Jets general manager position, as he made his first public appearance in Florham Park.
Joe Douglas began Tuesday’s introductory press conference with a remembrance of a championship won by men clad in green. Based on his first statements, he’s hoping deja vu will strike in another part of the Northeast.
Douglas was introduced as the 14th full-time general manager in team history at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. He takes the spot from the fired Mike Maccagnan and interim position holder Adam Gase. Douglas had been working with the Philadelphia Eagles since 2016. He was part of the Eagles’ 2017-18 championship squad that captured the franchise’s first Super Bowl.
“Joe has an excellent football track record, but more than that Joe is someone who has the leadership to execute our plan, will work well with Adam as well as the entire organization,” New York Jets CEO/Chairman Christopher Johnson, per Andy Vazquez of the North Jersey Record. “He is a consensus builder, an effective communicator who is not afraid to share his opinion. When he believes in something, he will let you know.”
This key piece of Philadelphia football history is now all in on duplicating history in the New York area.
Gase, the team’s newly minted head coach, was likewise on hand for the proceedings. The pair had previously worked together with the 2015 Chicago Bears. Douglas was the Director of College Scouting while Gase was the offensive coordinator. He was one of the biggest reasons Douglas took the opening in New York, but he was also pleased with his first impressions of Johnson.
“I was able to spend a lot of time with Christopher,” Douglas said, per Randy Lange of NYJets.con. “Just being with him, seeing his passion for this team, his authenticity, his genuine nature, and having known Adam before, it just seemed like this is a great fit, this is going to be a great fit for us.”
Douglas has some work to do if he’s going to earn another ring. The Jets have not had a winning record since 2015 and their eight-year playoff drought is the third longest such streak in the NFL. Optimism, however, reigned on Tuesday. Douglas is pleased with the building blocks the previous regime left behind.
Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Kelechi Osemele and Sam Darnold were all opponents for Douglas as recently as last week. Now, the talented core is Douglas’ partners in redemption.
“It’s very exciting that C.J.’s here, very exciting,” he said, per Lange. “Having been able to win a Super Bowl with KO (in Baltimore) and having him here. And then having to be on the other sideline from a guy like Le’Veon Bell and knowing how difficult it was to stop an elite player like that. So there are some exciting pieces here.”
This will be Douglas’s first time holding a general manager title. The University of Richmond alum spent 15 years under Ozzie Newsome in the Baltimore Ravens’ front office before the single year in Chicago. He joined up with the Eagles shortly after, putting him on the New York path.
Douglas signed a six-year deal with the Jets last week to become their general manager. Like his new on-field personnel, he brings some gridiron accolades with him to Florham Park. As a member of Richmond’s successful Spiders program, Douglas earned All-Atlantic 10 honors as an offensive line. The Mechanicsville, Virginia native also won all-state honors as a blocker in high school.
The Jets will wrap up their offseason program on Thursday afternoon, as they complete their last organized team activity. Even though Douglas takes over late in the process, he made it clear that he’s showing no signs of easing himself into the role, even as Week 1 looms large.
“The hunt never stops for players. We have the No. 3 claim in the waiver order. We’re going to use that to our advantage. We’re going to comb every waiver wire that comes out,” Douglas said, according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “The draft and unrestricted free agency are some of the highlighted avenues, but I think there’s many more. We’re excited to get together in training camp, we’re going to go through every waiver wire comes out, when we get to training camp we can’t wait to start evaluating these preseason games.”