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Tag:Tony Sparano
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:49 pm
 

Jets seem split over whether to go after Manning

If Manning were to replace Sanchez in New York, that would be somewhat awkward. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

While some players have begun to tweet out their desires to play with Peyton Manning -- I’m looking at you Darnell Dockett of Arizona and Raheem Brock of Seattle, who asked current Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson not to take offense -- I’m not sure anybody has been as forceful as what one unnamed Jets player told the New York Daily News.

“I want him in New York,” that player told Manish Mehta. “He needs to be a Jet.”

Oh, and no offense to Mark Sanchez, right?

No matter what the Jets current quarterback thinks about it, the paper reports there have been “serious” internal discussions in the organization about whether it should try to entice Peyton to become the second Manning boy to quarterback a New York team.

“I think any team in the league without an elite quarterback has to be interested in a healthy Peyton Manning,” a team source told Mehta.

But that doesn’t mean everybody in the organization believes the Jets should get involved in the Manning sweepstakes. And that doesn’t mean Manning would want to involve himself with the Jets.

After all, the organization wasn’t exactly stable in 2011 -- with Rex Ryan’s guarantees and Santonio Holmes basically quitting and Bart Scott shooting reporters the finger and, well, just about everything that’s happened there in the past 12 months -- and Manning’s presence might add to the instability.

Leave aside for the moment about the Tony Sparano issue -- would the new offensive coordinator want to change his conservative offensive philosophy to acquiesce to whatever Manning wants? -- the Jets have to weigh the risks of trying to land Manning.

“Can you imagine if word gets out that we’re trying to get Peyton Manning and then we don’t get Peyton Manning?” a member of the organization asked the paper. “Then we have to play with Sanchez?”

But according to general manager Mike Tannenbaum, every option is open in the name of improving the team.

"You still have to do what’s in the best interest of the team," Tannenbaum said last month. "My philosophy is you’ve got to be aggressive, you have to know what’s going on out there, and you have to look for opportunities. Sometimes there will be consequences, some are intended, some are unintended, and with that, you kind of factor that into the equation, and then you go from there."

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:01 pm
 

Sherman doesn't think Fins are 'that far away'

ShermanBy Josh Katzowitz

For a guy who lost out on the Buccaneers head coaching job to Greg Schiano and instead had to take a job as the Dolphins offensive coordinator, it’s nice to see Mike Sherman maintaining his sense of humor.

I mean, the idea that Sherman said he doesn’t think the Dolphins are far away from a Super Bowl is absolutely hysterical. Good one, Mike, you slay me every time!

Oh … he wasn’t kidding? OK, then.

"I've watched the tape, I don't think we're that far away," Sherman told reporters today, via the Miami Herald. "We're missing a couple of pieces here and there and we have a chance to build upon what Jeff Ireland has put together here. After watching the tape, I feel like we get a couple of pieces here and there and we'll be close."

So, um, what?

"We'll have some very explosive potential with the talent we have on offense," he said. "We have to fill some holes but overall we have some explosive players and that's exciting. If you have explosive players, you should have explosive plays."

Right, right.

OK, I’m obviously being snarky with his comments, because last year, Miami was nowhere near qualifying for the postseason (or a winning record, for that matter). To think the Dolphins can completely turn around their organization in a year with a first-time head coach in Joe Philbin and a starting quarterback in Matt Moore and/or Chad Henne who is not exactly elite and a defense that was almost exactly average last year seems a bit … oh … optimistic.

But it’s not like the Dolphins have to climb out of hole the Rams or the Buccaneers find themselves in. There were times last year, especially when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, that the team actually played well. And Sherman is right that there is talent.

The emergence of Reggie Bush was one of the more underplayed stories in the AFC East this year, and Brandon Marshall is a top-flight receiver. Assuming the Dolphins go after a free agent quarterback in the offseason (perhaps a guy like Peyton Manning?), Sherman might have a decent point.

The Dolphins aren’t Super Bowl bound anytime soon, but perhaps they can put together enough to compete for a division title.

"I never think much more than this year so next year or the following year, we're going to be as good as we can be this year," Sherman said. "We'll see what happens and see how it goes. I don't think anyone would have picked the Giants necessarily to win the Super Bowl this year."

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:45 pm
 

Report: Philbin won't retain Bowles in Miami

BowlesBy Josh Katzowitz

Todd Bowles has been linked to the head coaching openings in Oakland and, considering he was the Dolphins interim after the organization fired Tony Sparano, in Miami. Instead, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hired Joe Philbin as the head coach, and now, it appears Bowles is out of a job completely.

That’s the word from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which writes that Philbin won’t return Bowles to his previous position as defensive coordinator and won’t consider him for a secondary coach job.

Since he was hired last week, Philbin has met with Sparano’s holdover assistant coaches, but he apparently is interested in hiring Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle as Miami’s new defensive coordinator.

Bowles -- who went 2-1 after replacing Sparano -- was in charge of the Miami defense for the past four seasons, and this year, the Dolphins ranked sixth-best in the league in points allowed. 

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Fins to take 2nd look at McCoy, Philbin, Bowles



By Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like the Dolphins are getting closer to hiring a new coach. At the same time, they’re not getting very close at all.

After failing to land Jeff Fisher, who spurned the organization for St. Louis, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will get his second interview with Miami owner Stephen Ross when Ross travels to New York to meet with him. But … just because you’ve received a second interview doesn’t necessarily put you in elite company.

That’s because Todd Bowles, who replaced Tony Sparano for the final three games of the season (and went 2-1 in the process), will get a second interview as well. As will Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (before you count out Philbin, whose 21-year-old son died earlier this month, the Miami Herald reports that Philbin wants the Dolphins job and is eager to relocate his family to Miami).

In fact, it seems the only coaches who didn’t make the second interview cut were Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- who, once again, probably won’t get the head coaching job he deserves -- and Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, who signed a two-year contract extension with Chicago on Tuesday.

So, the Dolphins are making progress, down from five candidates to three. But it seems like it’ll be a couple more days before Miami fans find out who will be next to lead the team.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:15 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 7:40 am
 

Jets RB suggests WRs called out Sanchez to media

Tomlinson, like new OC Sparano, supports Sanchez. (AP/US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Given LaDainian Tomlinson's remarks following the Jets' embarrassing Week 17 loss to the Dolphins, it's not altogether surprising that he would again suggest that the wide receivers were one of the reasons for the team's lack of cohesion this season.

First, a refresher: LdT's comments in Miami after Santonio Holmes was benched for insolence -- and worse -- quitting on his team.

"Let me just say that there were guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone’s demeanor," Tomlinson told reporters on January 1. “And when you have a group of guys who are fighting their butts off, and one guy who -- for whatever reason, his demeanor isn’t with ‘em -- you’ll have guys try to say something to him, just pretty much tell him how they feel. That’s what you got today.

"I’ll tell you what, it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. When you’re a captain, guys are looking at you, you’ve got to lead by example. You’ve got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that don’t happen, you have guys looking at you in a way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader. "

Head coach Rex Ryan's solution: do away with team captains. He might also want to give some thought to doing away with Holmes (although at the Jets' end-of-season presser, both Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum sounded like Holmes would be back).

Tomlinson shed more light on the Jets' season of discontent during a Sunday appearance on ESPN's NFL Countdown. LdT didn't name names but as ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini points out, he didn't have to. It doesn't take Norman Einstein to piece together that Tomlinson seemed to indicate that Holmes and Plaxico Burress might be responsible for recent not-so-nice -- and anonymous comments about quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"I think some things that happened in the locker room between [Sanchez] and the receivers, I think that's where this is coming from -- some of the disconnects that happened throughout the year, maybe some of the arguments you guys heard about throughout the year," Tomlinson said. "So I think this is where it may be coming from."

Last week, unnamed sources in the Jets organization described Sanchez as "lazy" and "coddled". That came days after former Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins suggested that “[Calling out Holmes publicly like backup Greg McElroy did] would have been all part of the process of [Sanchez] growing a pair and standing up and being a man. But the thing is, he lost his because he got caught up in the wash that is New York, the spotlight, taking pictures in the magazines and doing all that stuff. That’s just what everybody has seen with Mark Sanchez, they got tired of it.”

Center Nick Mangold and owner Woody Johnson both came out in support of Sanchez, as did Tomlinson Sunday.

"Listen, there are a lot of things you can say about Mark Sanchez, but to call him lazy is a bit much," he said. "This is a guy that has worked very hard off the field ... in the film room, I've seen it ... the weight room, putting in extra time with the coaches early in the morning ... after practice, when everybody is gone, putting in time. So he's not lazy."

Whatever Sanchez does away from the field, the reality is this: he's underperformed in 2011. His third NFL season was a disappointment punctuated by the Jets missing the playoffs. The team has since parted ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (he could end up as part of Jeff Fisher's new staff in St. Louis) and hired Tony Sparano.

During his introductory press conference Sparano proclaimed that "We’’ll be explosive. We’ll be able to get it down the field."

And during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show this week, Sparano was even more effusive.

“I’m really excited about being a part of the entire Jets organization here and getting a chance to work with Rex here and work for Rex," he said via SportsRadioInterview.com. … "As far as Mark goes I am very excited about getting a chance to work with Mark Sanchez. When you are in the other locker room he causes you so many problems in your preparation because of the way he can move and escape and extend plays and make all the throws. This guy has won a lot of games in the 4th quarter of games, so those type of things are the things that excite me.”

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Report: Rams interested in Brian Schottenheimer

Brian Schottenheimer isn't in line for head-coaching jobs, but he's in demand as an offensive coordinator. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Rex Ryan announced at the Jets end-of-season press conference on January 2 that he'd welcome Brian Schottenheimer back as offensive coordinator should he not land a head-coaching gig. Well, Schottenheimer hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for any of the various vacancies around the league but he's not coming back to New York.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return to the New York Jets in 2012," Schottenheimer said in a statement issued by the team on Tuesday. "I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the six years I have been here. I am grateful for the relationships that I have with our players and coaches and appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into our success."

The Jets have since hired Tony Sparano, the former Dolphins head coach, who wants to get back to "square one" with embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez and promises to "be more explosive" in the process.

Schottenheimer, meanwhile, has been mentioned as a possibility with the Falcons. On Saturday, he interviewed with Nick Saban about the University of Alabama offensive coordinator's gig, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas reports that he's also on the Rams' radar to fill the position vacated when Josh McDaniels returned to the mothership in New England.

"Multiple league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Saturday that Jeff Fisher is interested in hiring Schottenheimer as his offensive coordinator with the Rams," Thomas wrote Saturday.

"…Fisher has been given the green light by the Rams to 'officially' talk to potential members of his coaching staff. Fisher has been informally working on his staff over the past week or so as he contemplated whether to coach for St. Louis or Miami."

The appeal for Schottenheimer in St. Louis is that the Rams have a legitimate franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The downside: Bradford struggled with injuries and consistency in 2011 (we could say that about just about everybody on the team) and the team won two games. 

On the other side of the ball, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is expected to give serious consideration to joining Fisher in St. Louis in the same role. The two worked together in Tennessess, and Williams' contract expires after the 2011 season.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that "Williams has grown close to Sean Payton" but will "be torn when Fisher comes calling."

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 5:06 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 5:22 pm
 

Rex Ryan takes his turn defending Mark Sanchez

Sparano wants to get Sanchez back to 'square one.' (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Rex Ryan spoke to the media Friday, ostensibly to introduce new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. The head coach also spent a non-trivial part of the conference call speaking to the quotes from anonymous teammates about quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was described as "lazy" and a "baby."

Nightmare in New York
On Wednesday, center Nick Mangold came out in support of Sanchez, and owner Woody Johnson did the same a day later. And on Friday, it was Ryan's turn.

“I don’t know how many that don’t feel confident in Mark Sanchez,” he said according to the Newark Star-Ledger. “I’ll tell you this, if it’s not all of them, it’s the majority of our football team has a great deal confidence in Mark Sanchez. And when he walks through that door, his head is going to be held high, there’s no question about it. That’s what I know.”

Well, we know it's not "all of them" because of Santonio Holmes' Week 17 temper tantrum. But we take your point, Rex.

The embattled head coach also addressed the unsourced nature of the comments.

"An anonymous source, or whatever it is, doesn’t speak on behalf of the entire football team; doesn’t put his name to a quote and things like that. Believe me, there's a lot of people that I know specifically -- a ton of our players, and everybody in this organization, in my opinion, that has a great deal of belief and admiration for Mark Sanchez."

Whether Ryan actually believes what he's saying shouldn't obscure the bigger message: if you're willing to publicly blast your teammate but aren't willing to take responsibility for it, you're a coward.

During the team's end-of-year press conference last week, general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted that Sanchez needs to play better. He echoed those sentiments Friday, though expressed them more diplomatically.

"He needs to be more consistent, and he'd be the first one to tell you that," Tannenbaum said. "With that being said, he's done a lot of good things over three years, and we're going to learn from where he can be better, and we’ll move forward. Having Coach Sparano here, we’re excited about those two guys working together."

And lest you fear that Sparano may be in over his head since he's never previously been a coordinator ... well, fear not. 

"I called plays in Dallas during that period of time, working with Coach Parcells," he said according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman.

There's more:"We’’ll be explosive. We’ll be able to get it down the field," Sparano said, presumably not having watched the Jets-Dolphins regular-season finale.  

Sparano's optimism aside, here's the reality: Sanchez is entering his fourth NFL season. If he doesn't show marked improvement in 2012, he and Ryan both could be looking for new gigs 12 months from now.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Jets could scale back playbook for Mark Sanchez

Sanchez -- and maybe Rex Ryan -- will be out of excuses if he struggles in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been a rough week for quarterback Mark Sanchez, which is saying something because the Jets' season ended ingloriously in South Beach 11 days ago. A quick recap:

* Wide receiver Santonio Holmes quits on team during loss to Dolphins;
* Former Jets player Kris Jenkins says mean things about Sanchez;
* Unnamed players rip Sanchez as "lazy;"
* Jets center Nick Mangold rips unnamed players, supports his quarterback.

And then on Thursday, team owner Woody Johnson, who must feel at times like he's the proprietor of a traveling circus, said that he's never heard Sanchez described as lazy.

Nightmare in New York
“He’s the first guy in the building every morning and the last guy to leave. So, the last thing he is is lazy," Johnson said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." … "He’s an NFL quarterback. That’s what you expect from an NFL quarterback….I think everybody is a little frustrated.”

Johnson was also asked how the Jets could un-derail the train.

“How do you correct that? That’s alchemy," he said. "Inside the locker room is one of those things that every year is a little different. Thirty percent new players. The fact that we didn’t go to Cortland maybe hurt us… Every team didn’t have an offseason. So maybe it hurt us a little more than some others."

Maybe that's the problem: Johnson thinks sorcery will solve the Jets' locker room issues. That, and doing away with captains should fix everything. But the owner explains that the salary cap and personnel evaluations also play a key role.

“I think the money and rules… The rules prevent you from stocking players and recruiting players the way you can do in some of the college systems,” Johnson said. “Everybody has the same amount of money to spend . So, there’s a certain accountant factor of being a good NFL owner or manager or coach. There’s a risk-reward you have to look at very carefully.”

So while players not willing to go on record are happy to point out that Sanchez is a shiftless layabout, he has the support of his center and his owner.

And now that the metaphorical albatross from around his neck has been removed (at least that's the hope; if Sanchez struggles next season then the Jets will be out of excuses), the plan is to simplify the playbook.

It'll be one of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's first acts. ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini explains:

“Look for Sparano to scale back the playbook. Schottenheimer ran a high-volume offense and it overwhelmed Sanchez at times. Sanchez also needs a quarterback coach who can help him better understand pass coverages. Too often he doesn’t know how to react when his first read is covered.”

Maybe that's the problem: Sanchez isn't lazy, he just had trouble understanding what Schottenheimer was trying to do. Sparano, no doubt, will solve everything.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com