Thursday, January 24, 2013
It's official: Mornhinweg, Thurman hired
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- From the worst-kept-secrets department: Rex Ryan confirmed Thursday that Marty Mornhinweg and Dennis Thurman have been hired as offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.
Mornhinweg will install the West Coast offense, a departure from the Jets' run-oriented approach.
"I thought it was important to get a guy with a proven track record -- a proven track record as a quarterback developer and proven track record, statistically, as a guy who has been there and done it and a proven track record as a play caller," Ryan said. "And we got all those with Marty."
Ryan said he expects QB Mark Sanchez to click with Mornhinweg and newly hired QBs coach David Lee -- a tacit acknowledgement that Sanchez will return.
Ryan called Lee, most recently the Bills' QBs coach, a "frontrunner with the new style of offense," meaning the Pistol. Lee also is known as the inventor of the Wildcat, but that probably won't be part of the offense -- assuming Tim Tebow is a goner.
"I can't wait to get out there and see how our offense looks," Ryan said. "Will it look different? Yes, it will."
Mornhinweg and Lee will replace Tony Sparano and Matt Cavanaugh, respectively, both of whom were fired after the season.
As expected, Thurman will run the defense, replacing Mike Pettine (Bills). Thurman's old job, secondary coach, will be filled by former Fresno State assistant Tim McDonald, the former NFL star. Brian Smith, a former quality-control coach, was promoted to the assistant secondary coach.
Technically, the only opening on the staff is a linebackers coach. Ryan said he has interviews scheduled for later in the week.
OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo is under contract, but no decision has been made on his status. It wouldn't be a shock if he's fired, considering he was closely aligned with Sparano. RBs coach Anthony Lynn will return. In fact, the Jets refused to grant permission to at least two teams that wanted to interview him.
As previously reported, Ben Kotwica is the new special teams coach, having replaced the retired Mike Westhoff.