Jets hire former Raiders WRs coach

January, 13, 2012
1/13/12
8:45
PM ET
The Rex Ryan-Tony Sparano tandem made their first coaching addition, hiring Sanjay Lal as the wide receivers coach, the Jets announced Friday night.

Lal replaced Henry Ellard, whose contract wasn't renewed.

So now you're thinking, who is Sanjay Lal? Well, he spent three seasons as the Raiders' wide receivers coach. Before that, he was a Raiders quality-control assistant for two years. That pretty much sums up his NFL experience.

On the surface, this is a curious hire. Neither Ryan nor Sparano has coached with Lal, but he was recommended by Ryan's brother, Rob Ryan, a former Raiders defensive coordinator.

Lal apparently did good work this season with rookie WR Denarius Moore, a fourth-round pick who averaged 18.7 yards per reception -- fourth in the NFL. (The Jets certainly have bad memories of Moore.) But if we're going to give Lal credit for Moore, it also has to be mentioned that he has coached the slow-developing Darrius Heyward-Bey, who finally put up respectable numbers after two awful seasons.

Obvious question: Does the addition of Lal preclude the Jets from hiring former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, whose specialty is wide receivers? The answer is no, he still could come as a passing-game coordinator. As of Friday night, the Jets still weren't ready to move on from Haley, although the chances seemed to be fading.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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