Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Thoughts on the Jets and Tony Sparano
By James Walker
The New York Jets dropped two bombshells late Tuesday night with their offensive coordinator position.
First, the Jets announced that Brian Schottenheimer informed them he will not return in 2012. Then, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Schottenheimer's replacement would be former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.
Here are some thoughts on Sparano taking over the Jets offense next season:
- It's an interesting hire to say the least. On the plus side, Sparano is very well-liked and well-respected by players and coaches. That is much-needed in New York's locker room, as tensions brewed and chemistry dwindled down the stretch. Sparano is good at handling personalities and that skill will come in handy with the personalities in New York's locker room.
- On the minus side, Miami's offense was too conservative at times under Sparano. That was something Schottenheimer was criticized for this season. Sparano's offenses in Miami got progressively worse during his four-year tenure. The Dolphins were ranked No. 22 in 2011, No. 21 in 2010, No. 17 in 2009 and No. 12 in 2008. Sparano's success the first two years, in large part, was due to the Wildcat offense. Once opponents figured out the Wildcat, Sparano's offenses were never able to equal the early success.
- Finally, can Sparano develop Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez? That will be the most important factor in whether Sparano succeeds or fails as New York's offensive coordinator. Sparano tried to develop a young quarterback in Miami -- Chad Henne -- and it didn't work out. Now, he will try again with Sanchez. New York's former first-round pick has some tools Sparano can work with. But Sanchez needs to take a big leap forward next season to prove he is the long-term solution at quarterback in New York.