Florida’s Dan Mullen might be a name to watch for heading to the NFL come 2021.
Here’s the least surprising plot twist of the season: Adam Gase is going to be fired once the New York Jets season comes to an end.
Perhaps the bigger twist is that he was allowed to coach all 16-games.
It’s a case of nature healing itself that we’re back to talking about who the Jets will hire as the team’s next head coach this offseason. Without the No. 1 pick, and seemingly with no chance at drafting Trevor Lawrence, the Jets have been forced to alter their plans.
What once seemed to be the potentially best job on the market might become a position the Jets choose to fill from the college ranks. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has been mentioned on and off for the past month, but he recently signed a new extension to remain in Ann Arbor. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell is another name to watch for after his work with the Cyclones.
However, just when you think the Jets might finally get a decision right, it turns out that Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen is also reportedly on shortlist.
Would Mullen really leave the swamp?
No one can deny the success Mullen has had since taking over the Florida program in three seasons. A 29-9 record, plus three trips to New Years Six bowl games is something one would consider an accomplishment.
However, his recent comments following the team’s 55-20 loss in the Cotton Bowl to Oklahoma might have rubbed boosters the wrong way.
“The last game the 2020 team played was 11 days ago,” Mullen said.
Sure, several players opted out, but what happened to the other 70 that wanted to play? How about Kyle Trask, who was left dead in the water without a single top target, yet did it to boost his stats? Does he think that game won’t count?
Mullen’s offensive strategy has helped names such as Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott earn their chance at becoming franchise quarterbacks. Trask’s hype skyrocketed after a near-flawless season in the SEC, thus earning at least a roster spot in the NFL come 2021.
Would it transition over to the NFL? Without a doubt.
The biggest question is if Mullen is fed up in Florida. Despite having near full control of the program, the resume remains incomplete. The Gators have yet to win a conference title, let alone make the College Football Playoff.
At 48, Mullen will have multiple chances to bring glory back to Gainesville should he stick it out. Meanwhile, the Jets need someone ready to handle the big questions each week. Imagine the New York media with “Darth Vader” Mullen on a zoom call?
Mullen might make a good head coach at the next level, but New York needs to make sure he remains only on the wishlist category for 2021.