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Brian Schottenheimer Won't Return As Offensive Coordinator, Tony Sparano To Take Over Job

Brian Schottenheimer won't be with the Jets next season. (AP photo)
The day Jets fans have been hoping for, but never thought would actually happen, has finally become reality. The Jets announced Tuesday night that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer won't return next season. Multiple media reports have the Jets hiring former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano as the new offensive coordinator. He reportedly will be introduced Wednesday.

Schottenheimer signed a two-year contract extension last offseason but the offense tanked again this season, with quarterback Mark Sanchez regressing instead of progressing. Their was no vertical passing game and the running game, a former staple, struggled this season. Overall, the Jets were ranked 25th in offense. The offensive struggles were commonplace, however, for the past six years under Schottenheimer.

When word spread that Schottenheimer wouldn't return, message boards across the internet began to light up, with one poster simply saying, "This is the greatest day of my life." That feeling, although a little extreme, is close to what every Jets fan is going through right now. It's pure elation.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan said after the season they would welcome Schottenheimer back if he didn't get a head coaching job elsewhere. That, however, was seen as merely giving Schottenheimer a chance to become a head coach instead of simply firing him right away. Money was also a big factor in not firing him, as he was still due $3.2 million for the next two seasons.

Schottenheimer interviewed for the Jaguars head coaching position, but that job went to Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey Tuesday.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return to the New York Jets in 2012," Schottenheimer said in a statement. "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. My family and I would like to thank Rex Ryan and the entire Jets organization and wish them continued success. I look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead."

Schottenheimer joins Bill Callahan (offensive line) and Henry Ellard (wide receivers) as coaches who won't return next season. Callahan decided to take the same job with the Dallas Cowboys.

"Brian and I talked and I understand his decision to look for a fresh start," Ryan said in a statement. "I'd like to thank him for all of his contributions these past three seasons. He's been right there with me, shoulder to shoulder, and played a key role in our success, helping us to reach two AFC Championship games. As I've said before, coaching is in his bloodlines, he has a tremendous work ethic and I consider myself fortunate to have worked with him. He has acquired a lot of experience at a young age and has a bright future in front of him. I know that he will be a successful head coach one day - probably sooner than later."

The final straw for Ryan and the Jets with Schottenheimer had to come against the Giants in the Battle for New York. Schottenheimer called 67 pass plays in embarrassingly bad offensive showing in a 29-14 loss that basically knocked the Jets out of the playoffs. Read all about that disaster right here.

Now, the Jets finally move forward.

Sparano, the new Jets offensive coordinator, is a disciple of Bill Parcells. He was 29-32 in three-plus seasons as head coach of the Dolphins. He was fired with three weeks left in the season. Sparano's teams in Miami were anything but offensive juggernauts, so it will be interesting to see if he can turn the Jets offense around. He also couldn't turn young quarterback Chad Henne into a dependable starter. Obviously, Sparano is going to work closely with Sanchez.

Sparano has never been a coordinator in the NFL, but did call plays for the Cowboys in 2006.

Only time will tell if Sparano can bring a spark to the Jets stagnant offense, but with Schottenheimer finally gone, nothing can bring Jets fans down from this long-awaited moment.


  1. It's almost too good to even believe right now. But it's true.