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Jets in no rush to hire Mangini's replacement

NEW YORK -- Two weeks into their coaching search, the New York Jets appear content being patient while searching for a successor to the fired Eric Mangini.

The team has interviewed seven confirmed candidates, but was no closer to making a decision as of Tuesday night, a person familiar with the search told The Associated Press. No follow-up interviews had been scheduled for this week, although it's believed Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will meet with Jets officials in the next few days.

Spagnuolo, Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are widely believed to be at the top of New York's list, although the team had not yet decided on finalists for the job.

While Cleveland has already hired Mangini as its coach and Denver filled its vacancy with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, New York appears to be in no rush to hire anyone. That approach has drawn some criticism from media and fans who have said the team has looked indecisive and lacking direction during its search.

Perhaps delaying the team's decision is the fact that two of its prime candidates -- Ryan and Arizona assistant head coach and offensive line coach Russ Grimm -- are still in the playoffs. Ryan's Ravens are at Pittsburgh on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, while Grimm's Cardinals will host Philadelphia for the NFC title.

"This is an important choice and the Jets are going to take the time necessary to make sure it's the right choice," said the person familiar with the search who requested anonymity because the individual wasn't authorized to discuss it. "The team is seeking a passionate, dynamic leader that can create a winning atmosphere where players enjoy coming to work and are held accountable."

Indianapolis defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski and Jets assistant head coach-offensive line coach Bill Callahan have also interviewed with the team. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has also reportedly met with Jets officials, but the team would neither confirm nor deny that an interview took place.

Meanwhile, the Jets are beginning to lose assistant coaches to other teams. Seattle recently hired defensive line coach Dan Quinn for the same job under Jim Mora. Mangini is also believed to be close to hiring quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll, who worked closely with Brett Favre this past season, as his offensive coordinator.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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