FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets are preparing to face their old offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, who holds the same title for the Rams. On Thursday, Rex Ryan declined to revisit Schottenheimer's departure from the team after last season.
"I don't even want to get into it because several things went into it -- this person's decision, that person's decision," Ryan said, cryptically. "I'd rather not re-visit it. I will say this: We won a lot of football games together. I admire and respect Brian."
Schottenheimer was the Jets' coordinator from 2006 to 2011, the last three seasons under Ryan. He was signed through 2013, but he left the team in what was described as a mutual parting. The Jets were hoping he'd land the Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. As soon as Schottenheimer lost out on that job, the Jets announced the decision to part ways. That night, they hired Tony Sparano, a curious bang-bang development.
The Jets' offense has sputtered under Sparano, but Ryan backed his new coordinator even though they're ranked 30th in total offense and 24th in scoring offense.
"I'm happy with the job he's done," Ryan said. "I'm not happy with the results. To say I'm pinning it on Tony, there's no way."
Ryan lauded Sparano's work ethic and determination. But in seven of their nine games combined, the Jets have managed only six touchdowns.
During the latter stages of last season, with speculation swirling that Schottenheimer was in trouble, Ryan also consistently backed him with public votes of confidence. And then Schotty was gone, the announcement coming in the form of a late-night press release.
Ryan said he will enjoy the "cat and mouse" game with Schottenheimer on Sunday.