NEW YORK – Doug Marrone is next up in the New York Jets’ coaching search.
Owner Woody Johnson and consultants Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly were meeting with the former Buffalo Bills coach on Saturday as the Jets seek a replacement for the fired Rex Ryan.
Marrone became one of the Jets’ top candidates Wednesday night when he surprisingly opted out of his contract with the Bills. NFL Network first reported the Jets’ plan to meet with Marrone on Saturday.
Marrone led the Bills to a 9-7 finish in his second season for Buffalo’s first winning campaign since 2004. Buffalo still missed the playoffs, extending the NFL’s longest active postseason drought to 15 seasons — but beat the Jets twice. The Bronx native previously went 25-25 in four seasons as the coach at Syracuse, including two Pinstripe Bowl victories.
His lengthy coaching history includes a stint as the Jets’ offensive line coach under Herm Edwards from 2002-05.
Marrone is the fourth confirmed candidate to interview for the coaching position. Johnson, Wolf and Casserly returned from Seattle on Friday night after two days during which they talked to Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant head coach-offensive line coach Tom Cable. The Jets have also interviewed Anthony Lynn, who served as running backs coach and assistant head coach under Ryan.
San Diego offensive coordinator Frank Reich is expected to meet with Johnson during the next few days. There is also interest from the Jets in Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Baltimore offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
New York is also in the process of finding a new general manager, running concurrent GM and coaching searches after Johnson fired John Idzik along with Ryan last Monday.
Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner interviewed for the job on Thursday while the Jets were in Seattle. New York has already interviewed Cleveland executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich and will talk to Houston director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan and Philadelphia director of pro personnel Rick Mueller in the next few days.
New York has also requested permission to interview Kansas City director of player personnel Chris Ballard and Miami director of college scouting Chris Grier.
Rod Graves, the Jets’ senior director of football administration, met with the team Wednesday. He’s currently overseeing New York’s football operations on an interim basis until a GM is hired.
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer___
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