Sunday, January 1, 2012
Sources: Jets will revamp 'O' staff
ESPN.com news services
After losing three straight to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs, the New York Jets will revamp their offensive coaching staff, despite an organizational philosophy of stability, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
While line coach Bill Callahan does not have a contract beyond this season, the drama will center around offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who this year signed a two-year, $3.2 million extension through 2013.
As coach Rex Ryan said last week, Scottenheimer may get a head coaching job, but if he doesn't, sources say the Jets will strongly consider Norv Turner and Josh McDaniels to replace him as coordinator if either is available.
If Schottenheimer doesn't land a head coaching job, the Jets would not necessarily fire him. They traditionally structure assistant coaches' contracts to allow the team to reassign duties.
Thus, Schottenheimer could face a demotion, but it would hinge on the team's ability to hire a capable replacement, such as Turner or McDaniels.
An option to replace Schottenheimer is Callahan, but that may not be a done deal. The Jets tried to sign Callahan to an extension, even recently, but he decided to keep his options open -- and now he could have leverage.
Former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano also could be in the mix as a replacement for Callahan, but Sparano has been linked to several top assistant jobs.
Schottenheimer insisted Thursday he's not worried about his job security and he doesn't think the final game will have any bearing on whether he returns as the offensive coordinator.
"I'm an excellent football coach," an upbeat Schottenheimer said. "Have we been inconsistent this year? Absolutely. I wish I could put a finger on it and say exactly what it was. There are things, clearly, I can do better. There are things, clearly, the unit can do better, but you don't have time to worry about it."
The Jets' offense has bottomed out the last two weeks, producing only 33 points in 31 possessions in losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. Schottenheimer was heavily criticized for his play calling in the Christmas Eve loss to the Giants, as quarterback Mark Sanchez attempted a career-high 59 passes.
"We lost the game, but Santa still came," said Schottenheimer, defending his play calling.
Publicly, Ryan has expressed lukewarm confidence in Schottenheimer, dodging questions about the future. Schottenheimer said he hasn't received any indication from the team about his future.
"I hate that people are pointing at Schotty and pointing at Mark," Ryan said. "It should be on my shoulders."
Schottenheimer, the son of former longtime coach Marty Schottenheimer, has been around football his entire life and he knows it's a cutthroat business. He saw his father get fired after a 14-2 season with the San Diego Chargers.
"This isn't the first time a Schottenheimer has been criticized," Ryan said. "I'm sure his dad was at some point. Those things happen."
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.