How close what Matt Rhule to being the next head coach of the New York Jets? Apparently pretty darn close.
The New York Post reported that Rhule and the Jets were close to starting a long-term relationship together, until the Jets made it clear that they wanted a say in who would be Rhule’s offense coordinator. Per the report:
“One of the mysteries of the Jets coaching hire is how close they came to offering the job to Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
Sources who have spoken to Rhule say the Jets wanted to hand-pick his offensive coordinator. A source said Rhule consulted Bill Parcells, who told him not to take any job where he can’t pick his own staff.
Three sources familiar with the Jets’ coaching search say that the team did want some say in the coaching staff, not just for Rhule but for any candidate, but they were not going to dictate to the coach whom to hire.
Shortly after the Jets picked Gase and informed Rhule, word leaked that Rhule was staying at Baylor. Clearly, he wants it to look like he rejected the Jets and not vice versa. Everyone protects their own butt. That’s the way the world works.”
So what happened here? Well, it’s totally a New York Jets move defined by chaos and stupidity. They zero in on a guy who they want to hire. But apparently they don’t trust that guy enough to make the hires the staff he wants to hire, which makes no sense. If you don’t trust him to make one of his two most important hires, along with the defensive coordinator role, why would you want to hire him? Plus, considering how inept the Jets have been in recent seasons, how could anyone in the building be confident enough to think “they” have the answer to an offensive coordinator role?
What seems most likely is that Rhule wanted someone to be his offensive coordinator that the Jets did not agree with.
To think that Matt Rhule was this close to leaving Baylor for the NFL, but the Jets incompetency sabotaged the deal, is incredible. All Baylor fans should be breathing a huge sigh of relief and thanking their lucky stars.
First off, I understand why Rhule would want to take the job. He’s from the East Coast and he’s coached in the NFL for the New York Giants. But that’s now two-straight offseasons that Rhule has been tied to the NFL. Last year, there was the Indianapolis Colts with apparent interest, and now, it’s the New York Jets.
It’s certainly flattering for Baylor to know that their head coach is sought after by NFL teams, but it’s also incredibly concerning. Clearly, Rhule has a desire to coach in the NFL. He can continue to pay lip service to the fact that he loves being in Waco, and I don’t deny he does. He certainly seems genuine about it. But there have also been enough reports and flirtations just over two years into the job to warrant legitimate concern.
Had Rhule left this offseason it would’ve been a massive blow to the program that was trending in an incredibly positive direction, going from one win in 2017, to seven wins, including a Texas Bowl victory, in 2018. Baylor would’ve found itself scrambling for a new head coach and staff very late in the game, and it could’ve done a lot of damage to the recruiting trail.
It’s a real dilemma for Baylor fans moving forward. You want your team to win and get back to the days of double-digit victories that it achieved under the previous regime, sans all the off-the-field horrors. But it’s starting to feel like Rhule is not long for the job. At this point, would you be surprised if Matt Rhule is still the head coach in say, 2021? That would be two more seasons with the program. The silver lining is that Baylor should be better equipped to have to hire a new head coach by then than they would be right now.
If I’m Mack Rhoades, who hit a home run with his hire of Rhule, I’d start at least exploring who you’d want next in Waco. That time might be here before you know it.
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