Jets fans received excellent news late Tuesday night, as the New York Jets announced that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will not return to the team for the 2012 season. According to team sources, the Gang Green have had former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano as their top choice to replace Schottenheimer in the event of a vacancy. The Jets are expected to announce Sparano's hiring Wednesday.
Schottenheimer spent six seasons with the Jets after joining the team in 2006. Despite that Rex Ryan announced that the Gang Green expected Schotty to be back next season, most people realized that he just did not want to spoil Schottenheimer's chances to land the head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return to the New York Jets in 2012," Schottenheimer said in a statement released by the team. "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."
The Jets ranked only 25th in the league in total offense in 2011 and QB Mark Sanchez did not progress the way many had hoped he would. While Sanchez's stats improved in 2011, he did not show much improvement in decision making and pocket awareness, turning the ball over NFL-leading 26 times (18 INTs, 8 fumbles).
Tony Sparano, 50, spent last four seasons being head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but was fired on December 12th after losing 9 of the first 13 games. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Sparano spent five years with the Dallas Cowboys where he served as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach.