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Bradway: "We embrace change"

By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
January 9th, 2006
Jets GM Terry Bradway will be in charge of hiring the Jets new head coach.
Jets GM Terry Bradway will be in charge of hiring the Jets new head coach.
Last week, the Jets postponed a press conference in which General Manager Terry Bradway was to address the state of the Jets. At the time, the Jets were negotiating compensation with the Kansas City Chiefs for letting head coach Herman Edwards go to the Chiefs to become their new head coach. With the compensation completed as the Jets receive a fourth-round pick and Edwards being introduced as the new Chiefs head coach today, Bradway addressed the media today.

“I stand here with mixed emotions,” Bradway said. “Five years ago and about 11 days I hired Herm to be head coach of the New York Jets and thought we had a pretty good run. Last five years, made playoffs three times. He represented this program with class and dignity. I thought this team always played hard.”

Bradway said when rumors of Dick Vermeil retiring came up during the season, Edwards and owner Woody Johnson were both asked if Edwards would be the coach, they said he would. When Vermeil announced he was retiring, the speculation was fueled more.

Bradway will miss working with Edwards. “I talked to Herm all the time,” Bradway said. “After Dick (Vermeil) retired, our conversations were I wonder what they will do. Hardest thing Herm had to do was leave me. We had a great conversation Saturday that lasted 25 minutes. That was tough but I’m happy for my friend and I’m also happy we have a chance we have things to go forward.”

During the 45-minute press conference, Bradway talked about moving forward numerous times.

“We have to pick ourselves up and go; can’t feel sorry for ourselves and do that we think is right,” the Jets GM said. “Couple weeks ago I was pretty bummed out about everything what was going on including some things I did. I’m energized and so is the building. I met with them Friday. Change can sometimes be good.”

Bradway feels that there has been too much made of the situation. “It’s my feeling more of this has been made than it is,” Bradway said. “I don’t think there is a real villain in this story if we’re trying to find one. Woody Johnson has been very supportive of what we’re trying to do here since day one. Not one thing I haven’t asked him for I haven’t got or Herm hasn’t got. It’s really unfair that Woody gets painted with this brush. When he said he wanted herm to be the coach, he wanted herm to be the coach. He’s updated on all of our processes. Make sure he exactly knows what’s going on.”

Bradway was asked about the criticism of only getting a fourth-round pick for Edwards. “I talked to a lot of executives and they feel we got a good deal,” Bradway said. “Marty Schottenheimer back in 2001 went for two 3rd-round draft picks. When Dick Vermeil went from St. Louis to Kansas City, it was a two and three. First round pick, that was bizarre. Middle round pick appropriate in this case…Felt we got a good pick out of this. No problem with the compensation.”

After a 4-12 season that saw 12 players go on injured reserve including the team’s top two quarterbacks, Bradway has a lot of work to do.

“We got some very difficult decisions regarding players but my toughest decision is hiring the next head coach and that head coach will have a lot to say in the decisions we need to make for our team,” Bradway said.

Bradway said he will select the head coach with assistance of Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson.

The GM talked about what he’s looking for in a head coach. “The biggest thing we want to bring in a football coach in here who is all about football, has good technical knowledge of the game. Work ethic and handling staff and players is really important.”

Bradway said Jim Haslett, who was fired as New Orleans Saints head coach after the season, was in for an interview today and interim St. Louis Rams head coach Joe Vitt as well. The Jets will also interview offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, and special teams coach Mike Westhoff. Bradway said the Jets have contacted the Giants to speak with defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Bradway said at this time there is no timetable to hire a new head coach

Another person who may get an interview is former Vikings head coach Mike Tice, who grew up on Long Island. “I’m planning on bringing him in next week,” Bradway said. “He’s a real good football coach and did a good job.”

With all the players coming back from injury and a new head coach being hired in the next few weeks, it would appear the Jets would be in a rebuilding phase next year. But Bradway refused to use that word.

“I have never used the word rebuilding since we’ve been here…Not going to do it now, put expectations on ourselves. I don’t understand what rebuilding is. I think we got some good football players here and we’ll add to it with the draft.”

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