Monday, January 7, 2013
Updated: January 8, 12:45 PM ET
Source: Jets, QB coach part ways
By Rich Cimini
In what could be the start of a shakeup to Rex Ryan's coaching staff, the New York Jets have parted ways with quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, a league source confirmed Monday.
The move didn't come as a surprise. Cavanaugh, whose contract is set to expire, was Mark Sanchez's position coach from the moment he was drafted fifth overall in 2009. Sanchez regressed in 2012 under Cavanaugh and offense coordinator Tony Sparano, who also could be replaced in the coming days.
The Jets also may lose defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Buffalo Bills, under newly hired coach Doug Marrone, requested permission Monday to speak with Pettine about the same position, sources said. Permission has yet to be granted. Pettine, too, has an expiring contract.
The firings started last Monday, with the dismissal of longtime general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Since then, the coaching staff has been in limbo as the organization conducts its GM search. After a week off, during which Ryan's vacation in the Bahamas became front-page news, the coaches returned Monday.
Cavanaugh's office was closed and there were boxes outside his door early in the day, fueling speculation within the building that he had been dismissed.
Cavanaugh's job was thought to be in jeopardy last offseason. In fact, the Jets actually interviewed candidates for his job, but they decided to pair Cavanaugh with the incoming Sparano, who was hired to replace Brian Schottenheimer.
They kept Cavanaugh because they wanted to maintain continuity for Sanchez. Sources said they also didn't want to eat the final year of Cavanaugh's contract. As it turned out, Sanchez struggled mightily, finishing near the bottom in many of the major statistical categories. He had 26 turnovers for the second year in a row.
The Cavanaugh firing was first reported by the New York Daily News. Sparano could be the next one out, as Ryan looks to bring in a quarterback-savvy coordinator.
Norv Turner and Cam Cameron are on his short list.
Ryan and owner Woody Johnson, who indicated last week that he will retain Ryan, are scheduled to address the media Tuesday for the first time since the season ended. They ducked the media last week as they began the GM search.
The Jets have interviewed at least four candidates for the job -- 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Jets assistant GM Scott Cohen. Ross and Cohen were scheduled to meet Monday with team officials. Gamble was the early favorite, but Caldwell has entered the picture.