The Patriots blueprint the next Jets coach needs to follow

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — From the time Bill Belichick began his reign of dynastic terror with Tom Brady in 2001, five Super Bowl championships in eight tries, four Jets head coaches have tried and failed to reach one, much less win one.

And right after Todd Bowles walks to midfield to shake Belichick’s hand at the end of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, he will begin walking the longest yards to the visiting locker room, where he will deliver his final postgame address as HC of the NYJ.

From the time Brady became Belichick’s quarterback, eight Jets quarterbacks have tried and failed to reach one, much less win one.

Belichick will be 67 in April and Brady will be 42 in August and if the Jets only can find the right man to help Sam Darnold leap tall buildings in a single bound, the opportunity to end the Patriots’ stranglehold on the division, a changing of the guard for which Jets fans have been waiting two torturous decades, can finally be something other than an Impossible Dream.

GOATs don’t graze forever.

So what the Jets desperately need now is a fearless leader, a CEO with vision who will develop Darnold the way Belichick was able to develop Brady once Mo Lewis knocked Drew Bledsoe into orbit 17 years ago. Someone who checks all, or at least most, of the critical boxes. Someone with pelts on the wall.

Someone like Mike McCarthy.

It is delusional for Jets fans to hope against hope that their next head coach becomes Belichick, which was their hope when then-GM Mike Tannenbaum wrestled Eric Mangini free from the Evil Empire in 2006.

Jets fans have every right and every reason, however, to send out an eardrum-busting S.O.S. to Bowles’ successor:

Save our Sam.

Brady has outlasted: Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown.

Belichick has outlasted: Al Groh (2000 season), Herm Edwards, Mangini, Rex Ryan and now Bowles.

Only an organizational buttfumble should prevent Darnold and his next head coach from being able to outlast Brady and Belichick now.

Again: the mandate for Bowles’ successor is to do for Darnold what Sean McVay did for Jared Goff, what Doug Pederson did for Carson Wentz, what Matt Nagy has done for Mitch Trubisky, what Andy Reid has done for Patrick Mahomes, what Bill O’Brien has done for Deshaun Watson in their second seasons. What Belichick, with help from his OC, Charlie Weis, did for Brady in his second season.

Hire the coach who will give Sam Darnold a fighting chance to be this generation’s Joe Namath.

In the meantime, Bowles will say goodbye to his team on Black Monday morning, and it will end for him the way it has ended for his predecessors, with the obligatory management/ownership statements that accompany these firings:

Joe Walton heard this from then-GM Dick Steinberg: “Obviously, it’s a very, very unpleasant day for me. But the organization needs a fresh start.”

Bruce Coslet heard this from Steinberg: “He believed in himself, but he was told when he first came here to develop an offensive coordinator or bring one in.”

Pete Carroll heard this from then-owner Leon Hess when he somehow saw Vince Lombardi in Rich Kotite: “Our fans were suffering and I was disappointed. I’m 80 years old. I want results now, not five years from now.”

Mangini heard this from Woody Johnson: “I don’t think it was one thing. We had to go in a different direction. There’s nothing specific. It’s just a call we made. Hopefully, it’s correct.”

Ryan heard this from Johnson: “We’re in the win business and we’re not winning, so I thought this was something I had to do. I didn’t get into football to do this, it’s a necessary step for me to do this. I had to do it and I thought it was in the best interest of the team to do it.

“It became pretty apparent during the season as we progressed that the team was not getting better. And, as Parcells said, you are what your record says you are. It was obvious that we had to make a change — it was obvious to me, anyway.”

Bowles’ last day as HC of the NYJ has been obvious for a while to everyone.

A 4-12 finish would leave his record at 24-40.

No Super Bowles and no Super Bowl.

There was that one time when Johnson fired his GM (Tannenbaum) and kept his coach (Ryan).

Todd Man Out this time.

Only if Belichick had stayed as HC of the NYJ longer than one damn day.

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