Jets aide Dennis Thurman expected to assume DC role


Fresh off his Bahamas getaway, coach Rex Ryan sat before the local media on Tuesday to talk of changes ahead for the New York Jets.

Confirming multiple overnight reports, Ryan -- sitting alongside team owner Woody Johnson -- announced that offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been fired after one trouble-filled season in Florham Park.

"At the end of the day, I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively," Ryan said.

Sparano isn't the only assistant on his way out: Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's contract is up and he won't be back in 2013, Ryan confirmed.'s Kimberly Jones cited a team source to report that defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman is expected to replace Pettine.

Thurman has done excellent work with New York's secondary and stands among Jets players as one of Ryan's most popular assistants. Ryan made it sound throughout his press conference that an in-house candidate might be in store.

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Pettine, meanwhile, is set to interview for jobs, including a coordinator position with the Buffalo Bills, a role Ryan doesn't hope to see his longtime aide accept.

"I hope Pettine doesn't take the (Bills) job," Ryan said.

On offense, Ryan spoke of installing dynamic help, saying he wanted a "physical, aggressive, attack style" in 2013. He even cited the "pistol" offense to describe what could be ahead for the Jets.

Before wrapping, Ryan promised the room that next year's Jets would -- sigh -- take on more of his personality, not less.

"I don't think I've done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team," Ryan said.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.