Ranking 5 Best Candidates to Replace Tony Sparano as Jets' Offensive Coordinator

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IJanuary 8, 2013

Ranking 5 Best Candidates to Replace Tony Sparano as Jets' Offensive Coordinator

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    A week after Black Monday, the New York Jets have finally fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. 

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Tuesday morning that the Jets informed Sparano of his dismissal Monday night.

    Sparano lasted just one season after replacing Brian Schottenheimer at the position. The Jets finished near the bottom of the NFL in most offensive categories, including 30th in passing yards (180.7/game), 12th in rushing (118.5), 30th in total yards (299.2) and 28th in points (17.6). 

    New York now has open coordinator positions on offense, defense and special teams. While a new general manager will likely need to be hired before each coordinator is selected, the Jets are currently gathering a list of candidates to fill the open positions. 

    In the following slides, we rank the potential candidates New York could look toward to fill the vacant offensive coordinator position. 

5. Brian Billick

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    Billick hasn't been a coach in the NFL since 2007, when the Baltimore Ravens canned him as their head coach.

    But over the years, Billick's name has came up for open offensive coordinator gigs—including last January, when the Atlanta Falcons were looking replace Mike Mularkey. According to Jason La Canfora, the Falcons had an interest in Billick before turning to Dirk Koetter. 

    Billick and Rex Ryan also have prior working experience, as Ryan was on Billick's staff in Baltimore from 1999-2007, including 2005-07 as the defensive coordinator. Maybe Ryan can sell Billick on helping him save his quarterback position and job in New York. 

4. Cam Cameron

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    Fired at the end of the regular season by Baltimore, Cameron's name reportedly sits near the top of Ryan's list of potential offensive coordinators. ESPN's Rich Cimini reported Ryan's interest Tuesday. 

    Cameron, 51, was a five-year offensive coordinator in San Diego (2002-06) before lasting for nearly five years in Baltimore (2008-12). At both stints, fans and players alike become disenfranchised with the inconsistencies in Cameron's offenses. 

3. Jeff Tedford

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    After five years as offensive coordinator at Fresno State (1993-97) and four more at Oregon in the same position (1998-2001), Tedford enjoyed a successful 11-year run as the head coach at Cal. 

    While not all of his quarterback prospects panned out in the NFL, his one major success story—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers—might be enough for Tedford to get looks as a coordinator at the NFL level. 

    Of course, Tedford has never called plays or coached in the NFL. But his work with quarterbacks is highly respected, and the Jets need all the expertise at the position they can get in 2013.

2. Hue Jackson

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    Currently an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson has years of coaching experience on the offensive side of the ball. He spent time in college as an offensive coordinator at Cal and USC before taking the same job with Washington, Atlanta and Oakland in the NFL. 

    Jackson is young (47) but experienced, and his work with the Oakland Raiders offense was widely praised before he was fired after the 2011 season. He deserves another shot as an offensive coordinator, and the fit with the fiery Jets seems like a good one for Jackson. 

1. Norv Turner

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    Turner, at least as it stands currently, appears to be the front-runner to be the next Jets offensive coordinator. As was the case for Cameron, ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that Turner—fired by the San Diego Chargers last Monday—is on Ryan's shortlist for the job opening in New York. 

    Turner has a long list of prior offensive coordinator jobs, including at USC, Dallas, San Diego, Miami and San Francisco

    The Jets may have to spend a considerable amount of money to get Turner to take the job, but if Ryan and the new general manager are dead-set on Turner as the guy who can turn around the offense, you'd think owner Woody Johnson would spend the money to get a deal done.