Earlier today when we took a look at potential coaches for the Jets, we made mention of the possibility that Bill Cowher and GM Mike Tannenbaum would have a hard time working together. A report from ESPN's John Clayton threatened to turn that possibility into a stumbling block too big for Cowher to overcome. Clayton reported that while Cowher was initially interested in the Jets coaching job, but that the "front office configuration" wasn't to his liking and he'd pass.
The Jets disputed those reports via Erik Boland of Newsday. The team plans to talk to him, but hasn't spoken to him yet. Most importantly, according to the Jets source, they have gotten "no indication from him that he would not take the position based on the front office power structure." (The AP confirms that the Jets plan to talk to Cowher)
At Monday's press conference, Woody Johnson said he thought it was a bad idea to have one man fill the job of coach and GM, but Boland's source also said that Tannenbaum might be willing to relinquish some of his responsibilities. That's nice, but Johnson should demand he give up some of the responsibilities if that's what it takes to get Cowher or whatever head coach he decides is the best choice.
Tannenbaum wasn't some background figure in the construction of the Jet team that got Eric Mangini fired. He was the one trading for Kris Jenkins, signing Alan Faneca and Calvin Pace and, of course, acquiring Brett Favre. He traded away John Abraham and drafted Vernon Gholston, he oversaw the game of hardball that led to Pete Kendall's departure and, in short, has his fingerprints all over every player on the Jet roster.
Some of the moves have been good, some have been bad. The overarching message, delivered forcefully with Mangini's firing, is that the team he put together didn't accomplish enough. If that's the case, there shouldn't be any part of Tannenbaum's job that's off limits to create a team that accomplishes more.
All of this is moot, of course, if Cowher doesn't want to coach the Jets under any circumstances. ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand is reporting that Cowher will address his future on CBS's Sunday pregame show. That will likely do nothing to stop the churning of the rumor mill.