In the AFC East, half the teams have quarterback controversies. And those two franchises handling the selection process quite differently.
In New York, Jets G.M. John Idzik will be involved in choosing between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. In Buffalo, G.M. Doug Whaley will defer to the coach.
“That’ll be Coach’s decision,” Whaley told John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. “[Marrone] will have input obviously from his assistant coaches, and myself and our scouting staff, but that’s Coach’s decision.”
Whaley wouldn’t have it any other way. Primarily because that’s the only way Whaley knows.
“Our philosophy is, once it turns to football season, myself and our personnel staff, we’re support staff,” Whaley said. “We are supporting Coach in whatever he needs. Any type of tools that we can give him to go out and win games — that’s what we try to service him with. . . . Every team I’ve been with, [that’s the case]. I can’t talk about other teams, but with the Steelers and Seattle — hey, the coach is the mouthpiece of the team, and the coach makes all the decisions on who plays in every game, and we just support him.”
It’s the right way to draw the lines between front office and coaching staff. Which means, by implication, that it’s the wrong way for the Jets to do it.
But the Jets are in a unique position, to say the least. With a new G.M. who may have wanted to hire his own coach, the new G.M. could be concerned that the current head coach, in an effort to save his job, will be more inclined to roll the dice with the veteran at the risk of not giving the rookie reps that will serve him well in the future.
Which proves yet again the importance, when firing the G.M., of firing the coach, too.