GM Watch: Slipping Through Their Fingers?

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Welp.

There’s a lot going on today and none of it points to my sources that tell me Gamble is?/was? going to be the Jets choice as the next Jets GM. I am going to hold out what might amount to a fool’s hope that there’s been a bunch of intrigue and that this could still somehow work out before Friday, but all external indications and reports are that the Jets have moved on from their search. I’ll address this all more once this whole saga plays out.

The Dangers of Gambling — Rumors abound since yesterday that Gamble didn’t interview well with the Jets, and that he didn’t have sufficient knowledge of the cap for the Jets staff. I can see how it would be an issue if Gamble might not come across well in his interview and then by extension imagining how it might go with the ravenous New York media. Still, someone doesn’t get to his position in the NFL without true cap knowledge. What I think is going on is that the Niners approach to the cap is vastly different than the way that the vestiges of the Bradway/Tannenbaum regime look at it. Who else is going to tell laymen like Ted Hughes, Neil Glat and Woody Johnson that Gamble doesn’t know the cap? It’s not that Gamble doesn’t understand the cap, it’s that it’s a vast difference of philosophy on how to implement the cap to build a team that the Jets and Niners use. Gamble isn’t going to have internal knowledge of the Jets cap that a candidate like Scott Cohen would in comparison … that said, Gamble (and Marc Ross for that matter) are still widely considered to still be in the running.

Cohen Rising — Scott Cohen might have impressed the Jets, but let’s remember that he was part of the team that got the Jets to the mess that they are in today. You know who else had a great internal interview for a promotion? Brian Schottenheimer in 2009. Cohen’s close with Rex. For Rex, Cohen would represent the best possible transition in terms of his job stability. Cohen would go into the interview armed with knowledge that no outsider could hope to possess — but that’s because it’s his job already to have it. It wouldn’t take any competent outsider long to uncover where the real problems are and how to move forward. That to me is what’s most troubling about Cohen’s impressing the Jets decision makers. What really impressed them? What also bothers me is that NO ONE else has been beating down Cohen’s door. Andy Reid would know Cohen really well from their days in Philly … how come he’s not even been mentioned in connection to Kansas City?

A Real Gaine? — Gaine has ties to the organization. He was a scout for the team back in the early 2000s, but he would likely not represent the sort of departure that the team envisioned when they fired Mike Tannenbaum. He worked for Bradway, and it’s hard not to start imagining a cabal of Cohen/Bradway/Nissim banding together around a guy like Cohen or even Gaine to keep their jobs. He’s got the personnel background, but other than a tie to the Tuna what exactly are Gaine’s accomplishments? What blueprint of stunning vision did he learn from during his time in Dallas or Miami that’s going to propel the Jets forward?

The Jimmy Raye Dagger — The thing that has me the most doubting the story about Gamble and the Jets has to be the Jets now sudden interest in Jimmy Raye. Holding to the Gamble theory, Telesco and the second Caldwell interview could be explained away as requests that the Jets made on Monday in a bid to cover their rather obvious Rooney Rule tracks … that Raye surfaces now as a potential new candidate in New York after he lost out in San Diego seems like the death knell to my supposed “scoop.”. UPDATE: This might be a red herring. Cimini reports tonight that
this interview
won’t happen.

Caldwell’s that Ends Well — There was a report earlier today that Caldwell somehow used the Jets. I think that report is 100% true. But based on the Rooney Rule stuff I just wrote above, maybe the Jets used Caldwell too. That said, I do think that if the Jets really were not impressed with Gamble then the second interview with one of their top choices (going in) and private jet treatment makes sense.

What About Marc Ross? — There’s not been a lot said about how his interview went with the Jets, but he’s still a candidate, was in the Jets first pool of interviewees, so look to see how the Panthers thing plays out and if the Jets take a second interview with him should he not get the Panthers job.

CONCLUSION: All indications were that Gamble was a go just days ago. If he is the Jets guy, then the team sure has a funny way of showing it. As I noted earlier in this post, I get the sense that there’s a difference of philosophy and the folks with football knowledge inside the organization who are helping make the decision might not be that comfortable with that fundamental distinction … because it might mean their extinction.