Friday, December 28, 2012
Rex mum on Sparano's future
By Matt Ehalt
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets coach Rex Ryan did not comment Friday on whether he would like offensive coordinator Tony Sparano to return next season. Sparano could be on shaky ground -- the Jets are ranked 30th in total offense.
"It's an organizational policy, we don't talk about anybody's situation," Ryan said. "We don't talk about mine. Am I going to be here, whatever. Nobody talks about anybody's situation."
Ryan also said he has not talked to Sparano about the report that Ryan would be willing to get fired if resources aren't used and changes are not made on offense. If the team were to make moves offensively, it seems Sparano's dismissal would be at the top of the list.
"I never talked to him because, quite honestly, I thought when I looked at it I thought the brunt of the story was the fact that unless I got my way, I wanted out," Ryan said about the story. "I have not talked to Tony specifically about it."
Sparano's initial season as the Jets offensive coordinator has been quite mediocre. While he hasn't been helped with major injuries, Sparano hasn't galvanized a struggling unit. Most notably, the hyped Wildcat package the team worked so hard on during the preseason hasn't made a difference, and the acquisition of Tim Tebow hasn't paid dividends.
On Thursday, the coordinator differentiated the Wildcat package from the plays Tebow runs, describing Tebow's offense as more of a zone-read package. He said the Wildcat had been successful while Tebow's package was "hit or miss." Sparano believed that Tebow's lack of playing time in the offense affected the zone-read offense.
"I think if it’s not something you do all the time where you’re showing your line and you’re showing your quarterbacks and your running backs those looks on a consistent basis, and you really can’t do that all the time right now with a player that’s a part-time player," Sparano said. "You can’t afford to be able to do that all the time. And I think that’s where maybe the lack of big plays come because you’re not able to do it all the time."
With the passing game, quarterback Mark Sanchez's regression and injuries played a factor. Santonio Holmes only played four games with a lisfranc injury. Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill have also been sidelined with injuries. Sparano mentioned those injuries when asked if the season was a reflection on him, and he believes the Jets offense can rebound.
If he's around to lead that improvement, though, will be the big question.
"Those younger players are getting good work right now, and that part of it, when I look at it, I look at saying 'when you get a full deck and then you have a guy like [Clyde] Gates or a Stephen Hill, or some of these young players who have been playing an awful lot, I feel really good about where that can be," Sparano said.