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Turmoil For Gang Green - Schottenheimer, Sanchez, and Manning

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

The Jets fired Brian Schottenheimer while unnamed players call for Peyton Manning.

Turmoil For Gang Green - Schottenheimer, Sanchez, and Manning

And so Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has resigned. Yes, he has resigned.

More accurately, he has “resigned.”

Per a league source, Schottenheimer resigned after being told by the Jets to get another job, or get out.  With the Jaguars’ head-coaching job going to Mike Mularkey and no other team interested in Schottenheimer as a head-coaching candidate, it was time to go.

So who will replace Schottenheimer? Look down south to the Jets rivals in Miami.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Tony Sparano is  expected to get the Jets coordinator job, with an announcement likely Wednesday. Manish Mehta of theNew York Daily News confirms Sparano will be the team’s next coordinator.

Sparano was the Dolphins head coach for four years, where he compiled a record of 29-32 and made the playoffs in his first year only.

Todd Haley, who put together a 19-26 record in three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, could join Sparano on New York's staff as well.

Haley and Sparano, who were fired as head coaches of the Chiefs and Dolphins on the same day, are friends and former colleagues who would like to work on the same offensive staff together. With the Jets, it might make sense for Sparano to have the offensive coordinator title and Haley to have the assistant head coach title that Bill Callahan left behind on Tuesday when he departed to coach the offensive line in Dallas. The combination would leave Sparano primarily responsible for the run game and Haley primarily responsible for the passing game.

It's normal for a team to make changes in the coaching staff after a disappointing season, but it's another thing to have players anonymously trashing their "franchise" quarterback while calling for a new one to come in.

“Come on.  That’s a no-brainer,” one Jets source told Mehta.  “If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid.  If I could get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning, then, hell yeah, I would trade Sanchez.”

At a minimum, the feeling is that Sanchez needs to be pushed harder from within.

“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” one player told Mehta.  “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”

Mehta’s sources “raised serious doubts about [Sanchez's] ability to lead the Jets, questioning everything from his practice habits to the organization’s coddling of him to how much of a role he truly played in the team making two consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances.”

Another “well-respected player” agreed with the idea of making a move for Manning:  “We already have his coach — Tom Moore.  Plus, he’s a field general and will get everyone lined up.  He will get his playmakers the ball.  We can win a Super Bowl with Peyton.”  That’s something that some current members of the team believe will never happen with Sanchez under center.

“How can we when he’s not improving at all?” one of the players told Mehta. “He thinks he is, but he’s not. He has shown us what he’s capable of.”  

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Frankly, I think these players are right. I used to be a Sanchez defender. After all, he made the AFC Championship game twice in his first two years. But he hasn't improved and put the defense in tough spots throughout the year by making awful decisions. It's not best for the team to make these proclamations to the media, but it certainly paints a clear picture of what the guys who see the quarterback everyday really think about him and what role he played in their playoff runs. The Colts are going to take Andrew Luck. If the Jets can make the numbers work, it would be wise for them to go all in with Peyton Manning.

Remember when it was all fun and games with Sanchez, Schottenheimer, and the Jets? It seems so long ago.


Pro Football Talk

Pro Football Talk

Pro Football Talk

Pro Football Talk

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