FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan would not address the contract status of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, but did say Pettine could be a head coach in the league.
“I don’t think there is any doubt,” Ryan said. “I think you look at his pedigree, and everything else, he comes from a coaching family, he’s a lifelong guy that’s been in this business and he’s a tremendous coach.”
Pettine did turn down an extension to remain the Jets defensive coordinator, ESPNNewYork.com has confirmed. Pettine turned it down earlier this season, as first reported in the Wall Street Journal. Ryan brought Pettine from Baltimore when he first took the Jets' head coaching position in 2009.
Although Ryan wouldn’t confirm Pettine had turned down the extension, he went out of his way to mention that several coaches had stayed with the Jets despite interest from other teams.
Ryan said that Bob Sutton, an assistant head coach working with linebackers, has turned down coordinator positions elsewhere to stay with the Jets, and defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman has also turned down opportunities.
Pettine isn’t the only Jet in wait-and-see mode. The front office has plenty of question marks, including general manager Mike Tannenbaum. A new GM might mean a new coach or parts of a new coaching staff.