Joe Douglas Working To Build Relationships On Team He Was Thrust Into Leading

LISTEN: Jets GM Chats With Boomer And Gio

Boomer and Gio
August 12, 2019 - 10:55 am

Jets general manager Joe Douglas finds himself in an usual situation this season.

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GMs are tasked with picking their teams' players. But Douglas was hired in June -- after much of the Jets' free agency case was already spent, after their draft picks were already made.

"It's odd," Douglas conceded in an interview Monday morning on WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" show. "The timing of it all was odd, right? Like I said, you get here and 'Hey, everybody!' and everyone's gone for vacation."

But Douglas, who was brought in to replace the fired Mike Maccagnan, said he's been trying to compensate by working hard to build relationships with the people in the organization he didn't already know, including players.

"Look, the fact that whether or not I chose them to be here, that's irrelelvant," said the former Eagles vice president of player personnel. "I mean, I'm excited. These guys are all out here competing every day and laying it on the line every day, and it's been fun to see the energy and the competition level of practice and getting to know these guys and meeting their families out there. It's been good."

Some general managers prefer to keep their distance from players because they know one day they might have to cut them. But not Douglas.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas chats with Boomer and Gio on Aug. 12, 2019.

"I have to build a relationship," he said. "I have to know these guys. And look, at the end of the day, we know this is a business. We know it's a 90-man roster and we've got to find the best 63 -- 53 plus 10 practice squads. So they know it's a business, but that doesn't mean you can't have a relationship with these guys."

While he may have gotten a late start, Douglas has made one big-splash acquisition by signing former Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil, who came out retirement earlier this month.


"It was actually probably the easiest conversation I've had," Douglas said of signing Kalil. 

"It starts with the offensive line. So that sets the tempo and menality of your team. And when you can have a great offensive line led by great people, it's a no-brainer. When word became available that, 'Hey, Ryan might have interest in coming here,' you can't express how exciting that is that a guy who's a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, great leader, unbelievable player and person wants to be here. It's just an easy decision to make since you just work out the details of how you get this done."

To listen to the interview with Douglas, click on the audio player above.