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Monday, December 29, 2008
With Mangini gone, what next for Jets?


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

NEW YORK -- Jets owner Woody Johnson was appalled by his team's performance throughout the course of the season, but said he made up his mind Sunday night he would fire head coach Eric Mangini.

So, Jets fans, feel free to us this forum to share your favorite Mangini memories or lobby for your preferred replacement. Here are a few names to mull:

The Jets finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs despite a splendid showing deep into November, when they had compiled an 8-3 record after consecutive road victories over the New England Patriots and the undefeated Tennessee Titans.

"We just felt we could get a better fit moving forward with someone else at this point," Johnson said at a Monday morning news conference.

But Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum were vague and dodged questions when reporters tried to get specific reasons why Mangini was fired.

Maybe Mangini refused to accept demotion to the cafeteria. We're not sure yet.

Johnson suggested he had decided a change was needed early in the season, but there's no way Mangini's dismissal would be in the cards in November, when they were the fashionable pick to win the AFC and perhaps play an all-New York Super Bowl against the Giants.

Tannenbaum, who made the decision to trade for Brett Favre and cut Chad Pennington, apparently is safe.

"Mike has done a very good job trying to get talent and to fill all positions with talent and backups," Johnson said.