Back when he was The Turk for the 2001 Ravens on Hard Knocks, or rolling the dice in letting his Baltimore contract run out to pursue career advancement, or breaking through with a VP job in Philly, this would probably have qualified as the last place Joe Douglas would expect to reach the top rung of the NFL’s scouting ladder.
But there he was two Fridays ago, when it all came together.
“This is crazy,” Douglas said from his new office on Thursday. “I was in my house. But because there was so much commotion going on with the kids—there were kids everywhere—I was walking around back and forth upstairs and I was on and off the phone. And I went to my room and there's a desk in our bedroom and I was sitting at the desk, and then the kids would run in and I’d walk out.
“So finally I barricaded myself in my youngest daughter's room. I had to have my phone calls, and get some peace and quiet, so I shut the door. And I'm sitting on my daughter's bed in a room with pink walls.”
And that’s where he processed everything: the initial rumors of interest from the Jets in April, all the tumult that organization had gone through since, his interview five days earlier, and the negotiations over the 48 hours or so prior that promised to set his family up financially for decades to come. The decision coming would be life-changing for his family. For Douglas it was 19 years in the making. All of it, right there in a place that wasn’t exactly stirring thoughts of third-and-2.
“Making the decision to be a New York Jet,” Douglas said. “I hung up the phone and looked around. I was like, ‘Wow, I never thought it’d go down like that.’ It was pretty funny.”
The decision wasn’t easy. Douglas knows the vast majority of personnel men only get one shot at being a GM, and the Eagles’ success and stability gave him flexibility to be patient. He’s also aware that the job in front of him has its challenges—he’s the fourth guy to serve in the position for the franchise this decade, and there are reasons for that. But he’s at peace now. Douglas is the Jets' new GM. It’s full steam ahead.