A report surfaced Tuesday morning that the New York Jets would be making “wholesale changes,” to their defensive coaching staff. That staff overhaul was orchestrated Tuesday afternoon.
The Jets announced the retirement of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, as well as the firing of quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo, running backs coach Marcel Shipp, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, outside linebackers coach Mark Collins and defensive backs coach Joe Danna.
Gailey’s offense took a drastic step back in his second season with the team. That was mainly due to the regression of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who couldn’t rekindle the magic that led to a career season in 2015. Gailey’s coaching career concludes after 20 seasons in the NFL, including five years as a head coach. The Jets averaged only 329.3 total yards per game and 17.2 points per game this season.
Gailey claims he informed head coach Todd Bowles that he would retire after the 2016 season earlier in the year.
“I informed Coach Bowles prior to the 2016 season that I would retire after this season,” Gailey said in a statement. “I thought it was best to tell him early, so that he could begin to think about how he would move the team forward on offense. While we did not have the season we all wanted to have, I think there are some great people here at the Jets and in the New York/New Jersey area. I wish them all the best moving forward.”
The firing of Patullo makes sense after seeing how little Bryce Petty had progressed between his rookie and sophomore seasons. Shipp’s firing may be deemed as a surprise, as Matt Forte and Bilal Powell made up for a pretty solid tandem and the Jets averaged 112.6 rushing yards per game.
Johnson oversaw arguably the most disappointing unit on New York’s roster. The Jets were expected to have a fearsome trio of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams in the trenches, but the unit was wholly underwhelming aside from Williams. The second-year lineman led the team with seven sacks, while Wilkerson and Richardson combined for only six sacks.
As a whole, New York ranked 29th in the NFL with only 27 sacks a year after posting 39 quarterback takedowns.
Danna oversaw a secondary that was plagued with numerous coverage gaffes and surrendered 244.6 passing yards per game and 30 touchdown passes.
Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers also could be on the chopping block after the Jets surrendered 25.6 points per game in his second season at the helm.
Of course, head coach Todd Bowles deserves plenty of blame for New York’s defensive regression. He oversees the unit and is the de facto defensive coordinator. But, Bowles will be sticking around for the 2017 season. That can’t be said about the rest of his staff right now.