Monday, February 13, 2012
Analysis of Rex's coaching staff
By Rich Cimini
At long last, the Jets announced their full coaching staff Monday. The headline is Matt Cavanaugh, who was retained as the quarterbacks coach. Some quick thoughts on the staff:
1. The Cavanaugh move (or non-move) is a stunner, considering Mark Sanchez's struggles in 2011 and the fact that Cavanaugh's former boss, ex-coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, was shown the door. When a new offensive coordinator comes in (see Tony Sparano), he usually likes to surround himself with people he knows. This could be an awkward marriage.
2. Why keep Cavanaugh? Three possible reasons: A) They didn't want to create too much upheaval around Sanchez, B) They couldn't get anyone better; C) They didn't want to eat the final year of Cavanaugh's contract. I think there were elements of all three that factored into the decision.
3. The coaching staff lacks a so-called passing guru. Sparano, who made his bones as a line coach, is a run-first kind of guy. The new wide receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, has only three years experience as a position coach. That leaves Cavanaugh as the most experienced guy on staff in a passing-related role.
4. If the Jets are plotting a pursuit of Peyton Manning, they sure have a funny way of showing it. First, they hire Sparano, a run-oriented coach. Now, they retain Cavanaugh, Sanchez's personal coach. Based purely on these two moves, you'd think they have no interest in Manning. (Personally, I think they do, and will explore the situation.)
5. This isn't news, but they made a smart move by keeping RBs coach Anthony Lynn. Aside from being a good coach, he's familiar with Sparano, having worked with him in Dallas.
6. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the new DL coach, Karl Dunbar, but I do know this: At least he has experience coaching the defensive line (the last six years with the Vikings). His predecessor, Mark Carrier, was a secondary coach miscast as a DL coach. He was hired Monday by the Bengals to coach the secondary.
7. LBs coach Bob Sutton, who has been around here longer than anyone, was given the title of "assistant head coach" -- and deservedly so. Previously, the title belonged to former OL coach Bill Callahan.
Here's a breakdown of the coaching staff:
Head coach: Rex Ryan.
Offense: Tony Sparano (coordinator), Matt Cavanaugh (quarterbacks), Anthony Lynn (running backs), Dave DeGuglielmo (offensive line), Mike Devlin (tight ends/asst. offensive line), Sanjay Lal (wide receivers), Lance Taylor (asst. tight ends/quality control).
Defense: Mike Pettine (coordinator), Karl Dunbar (defensive line), Bob Sutton (asst. head coach/linebackers), Dennis Thurman (secondary), Mike Smith (outside linebackers), Jim O'Neil (asst. defensive backs), Brian Smith (quality control).
Special teams: Mike Westhoff (coordinator), Ben Kotwica (assistant special teams).
Strength and conditioning: Bill Hughan (head), Justus Galac (assistant) and Paul Ricci (assistant).