Jets could have been Jim dandies
By BRIAN COSTELLO
Last Updated: 1:39 AM, January 31, 2013
Posted: 1:37 AM, January 31, 2013
NEW ORLEANS — Jim Harbaugh has led the 49ers to Sunday’s Super Bowl, but he could have been the head coach of the Jets instead of Rex Ryan.
In 2009, the Jets brass interviewed Harbaugh, then the Stanford head coach, the week after firing Eric Mangini.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was in the Arizona hotel that day and walked away impressed with the young coach.
“Dynamic, smart, could light up a room,” was how Tannenbaum described Harbaugh this week.
The Jets talked to Harbaugh in Phoenix, where they also interviewed Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm for the head coaching job. Harbaugh’s interview was kept secret by the Jets, but word leaked out. Harbaugh would issue a statement pledging his allegiance to Stanford.
At the time, the Jets felt Harbaugh was too inexperienced. The 49ers would hire him two years later. A few days after talking to Harbaugh, the Jets interviewed Rex Ryan in Baltimore and felt they had found their man.
“It was one of those things where I think everyone kind of felt like — we felt good about Rex, we felt good about where he was. I can’t speak for [Harbaugh],” Tannenbaum said. “That wouldn’t be fair for me. It was just one of those things where both parties just went their respective ways.”
Ryan led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two years. Harbaugh has done the same in San Francisco, but he one-upped Ryan this year by getting to the Super Bowl.
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Mike Tannenbaum recalls 'dynamic, smart' Jim Harbaugh in 2009 interview for Jets job
By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger
on January 30, 2013 at 8:15 PM, updated January 30, 2013 at 8:16 PM
NEW ORLEANS -- One of the coaches in Super Bowl XLVII was once a candidate for the Jets' head coaching job.
That would be the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh, who made the jump to the NFL head coaching ranks in 2011. Back in 2009, when the Jets were searching for a head coach and Harbaugh had just completed his second season at Stanford, the club secretly interviewed Harbaugh during a West Coast trip that also included a meeting with Russ Grimm in Arizona.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum's impression of Harbaugh in that interview: "Dynamic. Smart. Could light up a room."
The Jets, though, hired Rex Ryan that year, who led the team to AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons but has missed the playoffs the past two years.
Harbaugh has been quickly successful in his first two seasons in the NFL, taking the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game last year and the Super Bowl this year.
When the Jets interviewed Harbaugh, he had a 9-15 record in two seasons at Stanford after three seasons as head coach at the University of San Diego. He had a 15-year NFL playing career as a quarterback but his only coaching experience at the professional level was two years as an offensive assistant for the Raiders. The perception was he may have been still relatively green to come to the NFL.
"It was one of those things where I think everyone kinda felt like – we felt good about Rex, I think he felt good about where he was," Tannenbaum said this week during a round of interviews. "I can’t speak for Jim. That wouldn’t be fair to me to say. It was just one of those things where both parties just went their respective ways."
Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 01-31-2013 at 07:22 AM.
Put together the same team for Rex and he will win many championships, even SAR would be a happy camper.
God hates us.
We also passed on drafting Brady. GRRRRRR!
Seriously, who cares? Hindsight is always 20/20.
Would Rex ever have made the switch to Kaepernick from Smith? Rex could barely bring himself to bench Sanchez.
1) that defense is so super stacked with a decade+ of high draft picks, that he's been able to focus all his energy on offense. If he did that here after the '08 season without Rex championing the '09 and '10 defenses, I doubt the level of success would be duplicated.
2) This article takes place two years before he was finally hired by the Niners. Those two extra years at Stanford with Andrew Luck and various other learning experiences were the difference between the 'solid' HC candidate in '09 and the virtually 'can't miss, household name' candidate he became in '11 when he signed with the 49ers.
I get that for some folks, it's fun to be a fan of the Jets and have unlimited license to bash them unashamedly, but let's at least try to keep it within reason...
Can you imagine the reaction on the boards, in the press, and around the NFL if the Jets hired a coach that won 9 games in 2 seasons in the Pac-10?When the Jets interviewed Harbaugh, he had a 9-15 record in two seasons at Stanford after three seasons as head coach at the University of San Diego. He had a 15-year NFL playing career as a quarterback but his only coaching experience at the professional level was two years as an offensive assistant for the Raiders. The perception was he may have been still relatively green to come to the NFL.
I mean seriously, It's impressive how Harbaugh turned out to be, but to pretend like the Jets could have seen this in 2009!? That's insane
Dolphins wanted Harbaugh too. I'm glad he's not there.
But we choose the guy the Ravens passed over for a Special Teams coach.
But hey, we had PSLs to sell.
really dumb premise. while harbaugh may have been a good choice he's looking pretty good now because since 2002 the 49ers have been doormats and were able to get lots of high draft picks. he also has a qb who is working for him right now.
Yeah you guys sure screwed up hiring a coach who has gotten you to the AFCCG 2 out of 4 years. What a huge blunder.
Pedigree? Jack won a national championship. Rex's dad built the single greatest defense of all time, and carried it to a Super Bowl victory. He also helped our Jets defense stymie the explosive Baltimore Colts for our Super Bowl win.
Rex's brother helped changed modern day defense on the pats where he won a super bowl by coaching up 'no-named' linebackers to the point where Belichick initiated a period of 3-4 defenses which emphasize LBs over DL.
And Rex had his own success which was FAR and away more distinguished than Harbaugh.
How do some of you function in life constantly looking in the rear view mirror?