The New York Jets have officially announced that former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano has been hired to replace Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator, according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini. After a disappointing 8-8 season someone had to go, and Schottenheimer was let go after six seasons with the organization.
Enter Tony Sparano, the Bill Parcells-mold coach who has a similar high-energy style that could complement Rex Ryan. Sparano was fired in December after compiling a record of 29-32, with his best season being his first. In 2008, he led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and the AFC East title.
Sparano is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who wants to run the football. Sparano inherits a divided locker room with uncertainty at the quarterback position. However, the Sparano hire is not the last move the Jets intend on making on the offensive staff.
New York is reportedly interested in former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, who began his NFL career as a member of the New York Jets staff, as Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The Haley hire would likely result in Sparano controlling the run game and Haley working with the passing attack.
"When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense,” coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. “I’ve admired his work as a competitor in the division for the past three seasons. His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed.”
Sparano faces the enormous challenge of improving the league's 25th-ranked offense and also unifying a fractured team whose chemistry problems came to fruition in the season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
"A breath of fresh air might be what this team needs," Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold told The Michael Kay Show on 1050 ESPN New York. Sparano should mesh nicely with the Jets coaching staff and could lead the team back to the postseason next season.