NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Jets interviewed Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and San Diego offensive coordinator Frank Reich for their head coaching vacancy Wednesday.
The team is also set to speak with Tampa Bay director of player personnel Jon Robinson for the general manager position.
Owner Woody Johnson and consultants Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly spoke with Bowles and Reich, bringing the number of candidates interviewed to replace the fired Rex Ryan to six.
The Jets have also interviewed Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant head coach-offensive line coach Tom Cable, former Buffalo coach Doug Marrone and Anthony Lynn, who served as the Jets’ running backs coach and assistant head coach under Ryan.
Bowles has led the Cardinals’ defense the past two seasons after serving as Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator in 2012. The 51-year-old former NFL safety has had several other NFL assistant positions, including serving as the Jets’ defensive backs coach in 2000.
Reich is also drawing lots of interest around the league. He played 10 of his 14 NFL seasons with Buffalo mostly as a backup quarterback, but spent 1996 with the Jets and started seven games for New York.
The Jets have also kept busy in their search to replace the fired John Idzik. Robinson, who worked in New England’s scouting department from 2002-13, will be the team’s seventh GM candidate to be interviewed. The NFL Network reported Wednesday night that the Jets’ interview with Robinson would be Thursday.
New York spoke with Miami director of college scouting Chris Grier on Tuesday, a day after meeting with Houston director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan. Philadelphia director of pro personnel Rick Mueller, Seattle director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner, Cleveland executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich and Jets senior director of football administration Rod Graves have also interviewed for the position.
The team is running concurrent searches, but Casserly told a Tampa radio station that the Jets are open to selecting a coach before a GM.
“In a perfect world, you hire the GM first and then hire the head coach, because it’s critical that you have a good working relationship between the two of them,” Casserly told WDAE.
“That’s the best way to get it. However, sometimes opportunities present themselves on a coach that you can get in competition with and you feel like you need to pull the trigger on the coach first, and then come back and hire a general manager, where the head coach has input into it.”
While some might criticize that approach, Casserly said it can work in the NFL, as it did when Seattle hired GM John Schneider after they brought in Pete Carroll as coach in 2010.
“Seattle won the Super Bowl,” Casserly said, “and that’s exactly what they did.”
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