Reports are indicating that the New York Jets have already found their next head coach, and it could just be a matter of time before it becomes official.
The 43-year-old New York City native has spent the past the past two seasons at the Texas school, attempting to rebuild a program that was gutted by a sexual assault scandal under Art Briles.
After going 1-11 in 2017, Rhule quickly turned things around in Waco, leading the Bears to a 7-6 record and a win in the Texas Bowl.
It only further helped him build the reputation as a fixer seeing as he led Temple University from a bottom-dweller in the American Athletic Conference to a major threat. After winning just two games in his first season in 2013, Rhule helped lead Temple to two-consecutive 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016.
Temple was Rhule’s first head coaching job at either the college or pro level, his only NFL experience coming in 2012 as an offensive line coach for the Giants.
Accepting the Jets job might be Rhule’s greatest test as he would be tasked to catapult the Jets from irrelevance and dysfunction to legitimate contenders in the AFC East.
The timing might be perfect for him as the dynastic New England Patriots look to be trending downwards. In the meantime, the Jets are expected to revamp their roster with approximately $100 million in cap space this offseason. It will allow them to make plays for big-name stars, like free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell.
Any sort of upgrade will be vital for the development of quarterback Sam Darnold, the 21-year-old recently completing his first season in the NFL with mixed reviews.
While he was unable to single-handedly turn things around for the Jets, who limped to a 4-12 finish after two-straight 5-11 campaigns, he’s showed maturity and poise not many rookie passers have exhibited on bad teams.
The Jets’ largest priority will be the continuation of Darnold’s development, which management seems confident in entrusting Rhule with based off the general consensus around the league.
Who would Jets offensive coordinator be under Matt Rhule?
A long checklist of needs awaits whomever the new head coach shall be, which makes the hiring of an offensive coordinator just as important for the Jets.
Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who most recently was USC’s offensive coordinator, is expected to be interviewed by the Jets as well. While there has been no indication on what position he will be interviewing for, the Jets would be wise to try and bring one of the best young, gifted offensive minds in the game to MetLife Stadium.
Suddenly the Jets’ coaching staff would look quite promising heading into the winter.