The New York Jets hired Todd Downing to be their passing game coordinator for the upcoming season, and his ties to other quarterbacks could help the team lure a veteran pass thrower to the Big Apple.
The New York Jets were an oddity during the 2022 season. One of the worst teams in the league the year before, the Jets bulked up at positions of need and quickly became one of the youngest and most talented rosters in the league. But there was one position that underperformed wildly, and it happened to be the most important one on the field.
Could New York Jets New Coaching Hire Help Bring In Carr Or Tannehill?
The quarterback position for the Jets was a mess in 2022, between the poor performance of Zach Wilson and injuries to Mike White and Joe Flacco. The team started off 5-2 despite the lack of production under center, but they couldn’t keep it together long enough. New York finished 7-10 despite all the talent, and will be one of the most active teams on the open market when looking for a quarterback this off-season.
The hiring of Downing will help, and could be a sign of things to come if you look at the coach’s history.
Downing has been the quarterbacks coach for a variety of different teams, one of the stops being with the Oakland Raiders. He has been heavily credited in the development of Derek Carr into a Pro Bowl player, and was named Quarterbacks Coach of the Year by Pro Football Focus in 2015. He was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Raiders in 2017.
Will They Go With a Veteran Or Rookie Prospect?
Carr will be one of the hottest commodities on the quarterback free agent market, as his time with the Las Vegas Raiders has very publicly come to a close. It is unclear whether or not the Jets will be looking for a veteran pass thrower for a win-now situation, but Carr would be an obvious option if they were. Downing could factor heavily into that recruiting process should they choose to go that route.
But the coach also has recent experience with another player that is set to be available. Downing spent the last four years as a member of the Tennessee Titans staff, the last two as the offensive coordinator. His quarterback during that entire stretch was Ryan Tannehill, who will likely be looking for a new home this off-season. The QB struggled with injuries last year and will be 35 years old at the start of the 2023 campaign, and may no longer have the firepower that the Jets are looking for at the position. But he’ll be an option.
The New York Jets could opt to go with a young prospect and help develop them with the rest of their youthful roster for the future. But should they go with a veteran quarterback, then they have a coach on their staff that can help get one there.