Alouettes' general manager Jim Popp is drawing attention from the New York Jets.This CFL offseason's developing a bit of a Popp culture. Montreal Alouettes' general manager Jim Popp has dominated the headlines, and they've been frequently changing, from his interview with the Carolina Panthers to that team going in a different direction to the latest news that he's on the New York Jets' radar. Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette adds that Popp's already interviewed with the team, so this is a serious rumour. As with the discussion of Popp to Carolina, there are a whole array of candidates the team's reportedly looking at, so don't read this as "Popp's gone." Still, it's certainly notable that Popp's being considered as a legitimate candidate by multiple NFL teams, and that has to have Alouettes' fans a little nervous.
What's also interesting about this latest news on Popp is how favourably many of those who cover the team are viewing his candidacy. Here are a few examples of that:
Jim Popp is an unconventional candidate, but one that seems to have garnered a lot of attention recently and had an amazing run with Montreal. Last year he was seriously in the mix for the Colts job and this year it was the Panthers who came calling with the blessing of Ernie Accorsi as well as the Jaguars.
I'm sure some are going to roll their eyes at this one, but it actually interests me. I might be the only man in America who can say this, but I follow the CFL. The Alouettes are one of its best run franchises and have been for some time. Popp has been their general manager for close to two decades. In the CFL, you don't get frontline talent. You have to be good at finding under the radar players.
This is definitely an under the radar kind of guy from the search firm.
(So under the radar that the photo that ran with the story is of B.C. GM Wally Buono)
The most intriguing candidate in the 2nd tier of GMs the team is interviewing. Popp is an extremely successful Canadian Football League General Manager, who interviewed for the Colts GM job last off-season and the Panthers GM job this off-season, ultimately losing out to Tom Telesco. Shake your initial laughter of hiring out of the CFL, Popp is highly regarded around the league and would an interesting, outside the box hiring by the Jets. The hiring would be enhanced if brought along Marc Trestman to be the team’s offensive coordinator. Trestman is currently the coach of Montreal Alouettes but has extensive NFL experience as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Simply put, he is a quarterbacks guru and the Jets need that desperately.
—Ron Pickett, Jet Nation:
If the Jets are looking for best option of the GMs left, Popp should be considered on top of their list. His ability to find the “best of the worst” is all the more reason to give him the opportunity to rebuild this franchise. The Jets need a talent scout/evaluator as well as a guy who can manage the salary cap. They cannot afford a finance guy or strictly a personnel guy. A GM who is a manager and well rounded such as Popp should be the guy for the job.
Something else that may enhance Popp's chances of getting the Jets' job? ESPN's Rich Cimini reports that Jets' head coach Rex Ryan will be involved in the search, and owner Woody Johnson will ask the new general manager to keep Ryan for at least a year. That could potentially dissuade some of the high-profile NFL candidates under consideration. Popp also might appeal to Ryan, both for his ability to find under-the-radar talent and for his low profile south of the border. A less-well-known name in the general manager's chair might help Ryan feel on firmer ground.
Still, this is all quite preliminary, so don't expect that Popp's either going to New York or staying in Montreal just yet. We'll have to wait and see how it works out, though. In the meantime, at least there's plenty of room for Popp puns. As a fan of Community, though, I think this discussion needs more Magnitude: