The New York Jets need a culture overhaul. The franchise is trending sharply in the wrong direction and major changes are necessary to turn things around. Bringing in Tom Gamble, who's played a key role with the San Francisco 49ers, would be a huge step.
Gamble understands what it takes to install a winning culture after a quarter century in the NFL. Integral pieces of an organization like him are often overlooked because they don't have a notable title—he's the director of player personnel in San Francisco—but his impact is obvious.
The longtime talent evaluator helped build a 49ers roster that reached the NFC conference championship game last season and is once again in the mix for a Super Bowl. The Jets need somebody with that type of track record leading the charge.
Whether it's hitting on early picks like Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree or finding hidden gems such as Dashon Goldson, NaVorro Bowman and, most recently, Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers have built a winning franchise through the draft.
Gamble is a major reason for that success, so it's no surprise teams, including the Jets, are hoping to pry him away from the 49ers.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the Jets met with Gamble over the weekend and the San Diego Chargers are expected to do the same on Tuesday. The Jacksonville Jaguars also expressed interest. In the meantime, the Jets are keeping tabs on Marc Ross of the New York Giants.
While any outside voice would be a breath of fresh air to replace general manager Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets should do everything in their power to land Gamble.
Is Gamble the right man for the job?
Given his track record, he's the type of person the Jets need to get their roster, which has gone from a playoff level to below average in the span of a couple seasons, back on the right track.
It's going to take some time. Major changes are necessary—starting at quarterback where Mark Sanchez has proven time and again that he's not the long-term answer—but Gamble's experience in San Francisco will help him with the process.
Working for a team based in New York is tough. Expectations are almost always higher than they should be, which makes the long-term building process the Jets desperately need tougher to execute. However, Gamble's history should earn him some leeway.
In a division where the Jets are constantly battling with the New England Patriots, who are always finding hidden gems to help bolster their roster for playoff runs, New York needs somebody who can do the same.
That's why Gamble would be a perfect fit for the Jets. Now they have to find a way to get a deal done before another team swipes him.