|Gang Green begins the offensive coordinator search in case Brian Schottenheimer doesn't return. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
When Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum held their somber end-of-season press conference last Monday, they indicated, among other things, that Mark Sanchez would remain the starting quarterback in 2012, and Brian Schottenheimer, should he not get a head-coaching gig, would return as the offensive coordinator.
Schottenheimer arrived in New York in 2006 and he's been a favorite punching bag of Jets fans since. Still, he's annually mentioned as an rising star in the coaching ranks and destined to be a head coach. He was rumored to be in the running to replace Nick Saban in Miami following the 2006 season but later removed his name for consideration.
Perhaps ready to move on, Schottenheimer interviewed for the Jaguars job Friday. Jacksonville fired Jack Del Rio in November, the franchise was sold to Shahid Khan in December, and are desperately seeking an offensive identity.
While Schottenheimer's head-coaching fate remains undecided, the Jets are making contingency plans to fill his job. The potential replacements, according to the New York Post? Recently fired Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and the man behind the Jags' 31st-ranked offense, Dirk Koetter.
We hear those two names, think about the barrage of criticism fans directed at Schottenheimer on a weekly basis and "Be careful what you ask for" immediately comes to mind. Schottey deserved the scrutiny, but if you were wondering how things could get worse, that answer might lie with Sparano or Koetter.
That's not completely fair; Sparano arrived in Miami in 2008 with Bill Parcells' blessing and immediately led the Dolphins to 11 wins and the postseason a year after they went 1-15. And Koetter, who came to Jacksonville in 2007 from Arizona State, was responsible for the Jags' third-ranked offense his first season. But they've slipped in the subsequent seasons (2008, 11th; 2009, 17th; 2010, 14th; 2011, 31st).
ESPN reported earlier that Sparano and former Chiefs coach Todd Haley have discussed "joining forces" as a packaged deal. Sparano would handle the running game and Haley would handle the passing game. No word on possible destintions although Fantasy Island immediately comes to mind. (Really, who has two coordinators on the same side of the ball? Then again, maybe "Joining Forces" is the name of their comedy troupe or lounge act. Or both.)
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