One down, one to go
Jets now turn attention to finding head coach
Updated: Saturday January 13, 2001 12:19 AM
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- Now that Terry Bradway is in place as the new general manager of the New York Jets, he plans to move quickly to pick a coach for the team.
"Time is of the essence to put a staff together," Bradway said after a whirlwind Wednesday when he got the GM job five hours after he started a meeting with Jets owner Woody Johnson.
Now for the coach.
"My job is to research the candidates, present them to Woody and decide who to bring in for interviews," Bradway said. "He should be a football guy who's smart, who can communicate with people. There are NFL assistants, college head coaches, a good group to choose from."
That process got underway almost immediately.
Bradway wasn't offering any names publicly, but an NFL source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that former Carolina Panthers coach Dom Capers is at the top of his wish list. The source said Capers, now defensive coordinator for Jacksonville, would be interviewed before Sunday.
"There are about five really good candidates," Bradway said. "That could expand by a couple or be reduced by a couple over the next few days."
Bradway, who has worked in the front offices of the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs, was hired by the Jets two days after Bill Parcells announced his retirement as director of football operations. Parcells' move came 10 days after coach Al Groh left the Jets to take the head job at the University of Virginia.
The team moved quickly after Parcells resigned. Johnson interviewed Jerry Angelo of Tampa Bay and Rick Donohue of the New York Giants on Wednesday. Then it was Bradway's turn.
"He impressed me with his enthusiasm and drive, and he shares the same values we share," the owner said. "We're interested in one thing and that's winning. He brings a lot of weapons to this task."
Bradway came to the NFL from the USFL in 1986 to scout for the Giants, where Parcells was the coach. He recalled their first meeting.
"My first practice at Pace University, I thought I had all the answers after winning two USFL championships," he said. "I was talking to some of the players during a water break."
The coach stalked over and advised the new guy in rather strong terms that he thought that was inappropriate.
That was Bradway's first lesson in who was who and what was what around Parcells. Their relationship improved after that to the point where Parcells included his name on the list of GM candidates submitted to Johnson.
"You always take Bill Parcells' advice," the owner said. "He gave me a list. It matched a list we put together. Terry was on a number of lists. People in the league came up with praise for Terry and the job he's done. He seemed too good to be true: motivated, honest, a hard worker."
Johnson saw no reason to wait any longer and hired Bradway on the spot, giving him a four-year contract.
Bradway, most recently vice president of player personnel for the Chiefs, overseeing Kansas City's professional and college scouting operations, said he was excited by the opportunity the Jets represent.
"I know this happened relatively quickly," he said of getting the Jets' job. "I know they did their research and I did mine. This is a good football program and team."
Like the Jets' GM search, the hunt for a coach will occur sooner rather than later.
"The longer you wait, the pool of coaches will diminish," Bradway said. "There are a lot of good candidates out there. I want to start the interview process as soon as possible and make an informed decision to get a coach we all can work with, and bring a consistent winner to the New York Jets."