The Jets staff shake-up continued Wednesday afternoon when the team officially announced that former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano will succeed Brian Schottenheimer as the offensive coordinator in 2012. Chris Mortensen of ESPN was the first to report on the hiring late Tuesday night, shortly after Schottenheimer resigned.
Sparano is a former offensive line coach and head coach with a strong background in the running game.
He spent five years with the Dallas Cowboys (2 as assistant head coach) and he called plays for one year, in 2006, as the offensive coordinator. That year the Cowboys were ranked 5th in offense and 4th in scoring.
Sparano then spent four years as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins before being fired late this season. He was 29-32 as their head coach.
Of the Hire, Rex Ryan said, via a team statement:
“When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense. I’ve admired his work as a competitor in the division for the past three seasons. His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed.”
Read : Total Rex guy. Not only is Sparano regarded for his run-oriented offenses, but he is also well known for his agressive style and approach. See why Rex likey?
In other words, gear up for more Ground and Pound, people, because it is here to stay.
But wait, there’s more:
Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is set to visit the Jets facility tomorrow. Haley is the leading candidate for the wide receivers coach. I have also heard several people suggest he could assume the assistant head coaching vacancy. Other suggest he would fill the role of “Passing game coordinator,” which would make sense given Sparano’s background with the running game. I don’t know. That was someone else’s title. I can’t take credit for it.
According to the Star Ledger, Sparano and Haley worked alongside one another in Dallas. Haley was in charge of the passing game while Sparano was in charge of the running game. Both worked together under the Parcells tree. So, there is the connection.
Haley could also help provide some assistance for Mark Sanchez, which is an obvious priority fot the entire team.
Jeff Darlington from NFL.com wrote a fantastic piece about the Rex/Sparano combo that I enjoyed. Darlington points out that the fundamental differences between these two men might actually make the perfect fit in New York.