Schotty fails in Jax bid; Callahan to 'Boys

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
10:50
PM ET
Eventful night on the Jets' coaching front: Brian Schottenheimer is staying (for now); Bill Callahan is going.

Schottenheimer interviewed for the Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy, but Jacksonville has decided to hire Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, the Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Callahan was hired by the Cowboys to replace retiring offensive-line coach Hudson Houck, as first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Let's try to make some sense of these moves.

This doesn't mean Schottenheimer is back for good as the Jets' coordinator because, no matter what they say, the Jets still are hoping/expecting he lands a job elsewhere. Now there are rumblings about him becoming Nick Saban's OC at Alabama. He had been linked to the Florida OC opening, but that reportedly went to Brent Pease of Boise State.

The key question is: Did the Jets lose Callahan because of this silly dance with Schottenheimer? If they did, they should be ashamed of themselves.

They're telling everyone Schottenheimer will be back as the coordinator if he doesn't get another job, but one league insider called that a "charade," suspecting the Jets don't want to fire him so they don't have to eat the last two years of his contract ($3.2 million). The Jets have been known to pinch pennies when it comes to coaches' contracts.

Meanwhile, Callahan had no contract, as ESPNNewYork.com reported a couple of weeks ago. He opted to become a free agent, turning down a contract extension a year ago and another offer about a month before the season ended, according to sources.

I'm told Callahan would've stayed if the Jets had offered him the coordinator job, but they either couldn't or wouldn't do that. There's a big difference between couldn't and wouldn't. If it's the latter -- if they told him he wouldn't be Schottenheimer's replacement -- it means they have a solid fallback plan in place.

They're interested in former Cowboys coach Tony Sparano and former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, according to sources. It's possible they could try to bring them in as a package deal, with Sparano (OL coach) handling the running game and Haley (WRs coach) the passing game. Haley is a strong personality, known to clash with players, so that would make for an interesting dynamic with Santonio Holmes.

Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson, fired Tuesday, also is available as a potential coordinator/QB coach. He and Rex Ryan worked together in Baltimore in 2008.

Callahan spent four seasons with the Jets, presiding over one of the league's best lines for the first three years. It took a big step back this season, in large part, because he believed he could turn RT Wayne Hunter into a solid starter. That didn't work out.

Callahan won't call the plays in Dallas, so he essentially made a lateral move, which always raises eyebrows. Two days before the final game, Callahan told me, "I absolutely love it here."

Meanwhile, the Jets also said goodbye to WRs coach Henry Ellard and OLB Jeff Weeks, sources confirmed. Like Callahan, their contracts had expired. The Daily News first reported their departures.

When the season ended, Ryan scoffed at an ESPN report that said he was planning to revamp his offensive staff. Well, guess what? He's revamping.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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