The New York Jets are on the hunt for their head coach. Only one known candidate has previously worked for the team, but is that enough?
What to do at the quarterback position is the number one question the New York Jets have this offseason. Hiring Brian Daboll may help with that.
Daboll doesn’t have the typical quarterback whisper title that many hot head coach candidates do, and he shouldn’t.
Before working with Josh Allen in Buffalo, Daboll failed to develop a number of young quarterbacks. Namely, Kellen Clemons, Brady Quinn, and Colt McCoy.
That doesn’t mean Daboll isn’t a worthy candidate though. He’s made offenses better at every step he’s been at, even if they weren’t elite.
Is just an improvement enough though? The answer is almost certainly yes if he can develop the Jets‘ next quarterback.
Brian Daboll’s football career began as a safety at the University of Rochester. After graduating he landed his first coaching job as a volunteer assistant with William & Mary. He used that to launch to a bigger program, joining Michigan State as a graduate assistant.
That led to his first NFL job with the New England Patriots in 2000 as a defensive assistant. After two years on the defensive side of the ball, Daboll moved to offense, becoming the Patriots wide reciever coach from 2002-2006.
Daboll left New England in 2007 to follow Eric Mangini to the New York Jets. Daboll took as the team’s quarterback coach where he was put in charge of developing Kellen Clemons to become Chad Pennington’s successor.
That failed and the Jets turned to Brett Favre in 2008. Favre was having a phenomenal year that put the Jets in playoff contention before an injury caused his play to drop off. The Jets missed the playoffs and Mangini was fired.
Daboll once again followed Mangini to his next stop. This time he came with him as his offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, the job was with the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns offense was 30th in the NFL when Daboll took over, he got them to 29th in scoring in 2009. In 2010, he had to develop an offense for the newly drafted Colt McCoy, it didn’t go well. The Browns offense fell to 31st in scoring.
Daboll lost his job in Cleveland, but immediately found another offensive coordinator gig with the Miami Dolphins. The issue was the Dolphins’ new starting quarterback for the 2011 season was Matt Moore.
Daboll was able to make it work though. The Dolphins improved from 30th in scoring to 20th under Daboll. Sadly, Daboll was let go after the season as head coach Tony Sporano had been fired.
Again, Daboll landed another job. In 2012 he joined up with the Kansas City Chiefs as their offensive coordinator. The Chiefs finished dead last in the NFL in scoring under Daboll.
He returned to the Patriots after three failed attempts as a coordinator, this time as a tight ends coach. He held that position through 2016.
In 2017 he joined Nick Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Alabama won the National Championship with Jalen Hurts under center for most of the year and Tua Tagovialoa under center in the second half of the title game.
Daboll’s work with Alabama and Tua landed him another shot as an NFL coordinator. This time he jumped on with the Buffalo Bills, completing his tour of the AFC East.
In his first two years with the Bills Daboll’s offense ranked 30th and 23rd in scoring. 2020 was different though.
Josh Allen finally broke out and Daboll’s offense was finally on full display for the world to see. The Bills finished 2nd in the NFL in scoring and they’re currently in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs after their first playoff win since 1995.
Now he’s set to interview for head coach openings with the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Houston Texans.
Brian Daboll comes from the Bill Belichick offensive system. That means a complex west coast style offense that puts a ton of pressure on the quarterback and receivers.
In an ideal world, Daboll’s scheme would see a lot of short and intermediate passes on early downs to set up deep shots later in the drive or on short-yardage situations.
That wasn’t working in Buffalo as Allen, despite his strong arm, isn’t an accurate deep passer. So, he adjusted his offense. He moved it towards Allen’s strength, the intermediate passing game.
This shows that Daboll is flexible and willing to change. Not being stubborn about the scheme is one of the most important tools a head coach can have. A coach always has to be adaptable and Jets’ coaches have been anything but.
Daboll also likes to get his running backs involved in the passing game to help his quarterback. They often make for strong YAC plays or a decent check-down, Allen was the check-down king of the NFL his first two years.
The question that will come up is whether or not it’s capable for Daboll’s scheme to work without a top-end wide receiver. Stefon Diggs changed the entire dynamic of the Bills’ offense. Before him, they struggled.
The New York Jets don’t have a Stefon Diggs level wide receiver. If that’s a necessity for Daboll’s system then they could be in trouble.
Is he the next New York Jets head coach?
Brian Daboll has a chance to be the next head coach of the New York Jets. There’s a ton of questions about how real his coaching ability is given his lack of success prior to 2020. Still, nobody can deny how far Josh Allen has come in his development and how strong the Bills’ offense has been this year.
At the end of the day, it’s more likely that Daboll takes a job that he has a stronger connection to. He’s known San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco since high school and worked with Houston Texan general manager Nick Caserio in New England.
That doesn’t mean Daboll has no shot of becoming the next head coach of the New York Jets. It’s possible that coaching a team near where he grew up and for an organization, he’s already worked for appeals to him.
The odds just don’t seem to favor the Jets landing the Bills coveted offensive mind.