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Jets lose Schottenheimer, three others, hire Sparano as OC

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  • By NFL.com
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Brian Schottenheimer is off the hot seat and out the door.

The embattled New York Jets coordinator told the team Tuesday that he will not return next season after six years of running an offense that often failed to live up to expectations.

The Jets, who just missed the playoffs for the first time in coach Rex Ryan's three seasons, hired former Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to replace Schottenheimer, the team announced Wednesday.

“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 joins the Jets after spending the previous four seasons as head coach of the Dolphins. He was fired on Dec. 12.

"I’m very proud to be part of such an outstanding organization and to have an opportunity to work with these players," Sparano said. "I know this division very well and I’m looking forward to that challenge."

In a statement released by the team Tuesday night, Schottenheimer said he made the decision "after much thought and consideration." Schottenheimer was highly criticized for the Jets' inconsistencies on an offensive unit that ranked 25th overall in the NFL and for quarterback Mark Sanchez not progressing in his third pro season.

Schottenheimer, 38, said in the statement that he was "very proud of what we have accomplished" during his time with the Jets, and he thanked Ryan and the organization. Ryan said in a statement he had spoken with Schottenheimer and understood "his decision to look for a fresh start."

Schottenheimer is the son of longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, who recently interviewed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' vacant head-coaching position. The Jacksonville Jaguars received permission to interview Brian Schottenheimer for their head-coaching job, but they hired Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey instead.

Schottenheimer's future has been uncertain for several weeks, despite the votes of confidence from both Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Ex-Chiefs coach Todd Haley is interviewing with the Jets for a coaching position Wednesday, team sources told NFL Network's Albert Breer. Haley and new Sparano shared coordinator duties in Dallas in 2006, after Sean Payton left for New Orleans.

La Canfora also reported Tuesday that offensive line coach Bill Callahan is leaving the Jets. Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck, 68, told ESPN that he's retiring and Callahan will replace him. Callahan, who was the Oakland Raiders' coach in 2002 and 2003, joined the Jets' staff in 2008.

The New York Daily News cited sources in reporting that receivers coach Henry Ellard and defensive line coach Jeff Weeks also will not be asked to return to the team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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