The Jets off-season rebuilding got a big jolt this week with the resignation of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and the hire of former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.
Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum and new OC Tony Sparano held a conference call with the media yesterday to introduce the new OC, discuss the hire, address questions and
guarantee hope for change.
From the conference call we learned that (officially) Schottenheimer wanted fresh a start and both Tannenbaum and Rex agreed he should move on. The Jets then interviewed both Bill Callahan (who is now moving on to Dallas) and Tony Sparano.
Based on Ryan’s glowing endorsement of Sparano, it seems no other interviews were necessary, which would explain why the process went so quickly.
As for their hopes for next season, Ryan and Sparano both talked more about a “fresh start” for the team’s offense, with an emphasis on a “physical” and “explosive” style of offense. We already know that Sparano in regarded for his run-first approach in addition to his background as an offensive line coach and we can expect that the running game and protecting the quarterback will be big priorities for the 2012 Jets offense. That said, Sparano also mentioned that he would like to “get big chunks of yardage” in the passing game and stretch the field – something te Jets struggled with in 2011.
Another point Sparano was sure to emphasize that I think Jets fans will identify with : His desire to form an offensive identity.
I am a guy that believes that you have to form an identity. I want to have an identity here offensively. I want our players to be able to walk into the meeting room and not be surprised about some of the things that are going to be in the game plan each week, because they believe that we’re going to do them really well.
In light of the Daily News article released this week, which revealed several “anonymous” Jets players’ not-so-complementary thoughts on Mark Sanchez, Ryan has firm in his opinion on the QB saying he and the team, “have a great deal of belief and admiration” for Sanchez.
I don’t know how many that don’t feel confident in Mark Sanchez. If it’s not all of them, it’s the majority of our football team that have a great deal of confidence in Mark. When he walks through that door, his head will be held high. An anonymous source doesn’t speak on behalf of the football team
Sparano said he believes he can help Sanchez in “a lot of different ways” with will return to fundamentals and an emphasis on clock management and ball security.
As for those anonymous snitches who buried their QB in the Daily News? Rex wasn’t too fond of it.
Saying things and not putting your name on it, that’s not being a Jet. So that’s going to change, without question.
Rex, Sparano and Tannenbaum mentioned that their primary focus will be on building team chemistry
It’s the biggest thing that we can fix, but I also think it’s the easiest thing we can fix. When I look at the things that we can fix in a hurry, that is going to be the No. 1 thing.
They addressed several more questions about team chemistry and locker room troubles throughout the call and ensured that it will not happen again.
You can interpret this in whatever way you see fit, but it seems that Joe Namath is “stumped” by the Sparano hire and mentioned on the Michael Kay Show that he thinks the hire was due in large part to the fact that both Sparano and Tannenbaum are from the Bill Parcells coaching tree. Namath doesn’t necessary agree that Sparano has the credentials to be an OC.
The team announced late last night that they have hired Sanjay Lal to fill the wide receivers coach vacancy. Lal replaced Henry Ellard. Lal had been the Raiders WR coach for the past three years.
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York suggested that the hiring of Lal does not necessarily impact the likelihood of Todd Haley joining the offensive coaching staff.
Tannenbaum said, “It’s hard to say,” whether Haley will land in New York and that the team has other interviews to conduct. Haley has also received interest from the Arizona Cardinals, and perhaps the decision is his – not the Jets – to make.
Former Vikes defensive line coach Karl Dunbar interviewed with the Jets yesterday.
Lastly, per Jenny Vrentas, the Jets have signed LB Mathias Berning, who played well in camp, to a reserve/future contract.