Skip to main content

Jets introduce Sparano as OC, discuss Sanchez controversy

Tony Sparano sat in front of Rex Ryan and rattled off his offensive philosophies and thoughts on how to be a winning football team. He said exactly everything the New York Jets coach needed to hear.

"It was like, 'Wow!' I was blown away," Ryan said Friday. "This is the guy I wanted."

So did general manager Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson. After the team and Brian Schottenheimer decided to mutually part ways early in the week, they knew Sparano was the perfect fit to be the Jets' new offensive coordinator.

"This is a physical football team," Sparano said during a conference call. "I like playing a physical style of offense. I think anybody that knows me knows I want to be physical."

Sparano wants the Jets to focus on the running game, but wants to also get the ball down the field. The Jets had just three plays of 40 yards or more all season, tied with St. Louis for fewest in the NFL.

"I'm a guy who believes you have to form an identity," Sparano said. "I want to have an identity here offensively."

Sparano, fired as Miami's coach last month, is high on embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez, describing him as "difficult" to prepare for.

As far as the negative talk in the locker room about Sanchez, and rifts that involved wide receiver Santonio Holmes and the offensive line, Sparano isn't concerned.

"I'm kind of a show-me guy," he said. "This is a show-me business, a show-me game. Once the players get here, it'll be a blank piece of paper, as far as I'm concerned. And I think that's a positive. Sometimes, change is good."

Darlington: Ryan, Sparano will work

Pairing the brash Rex Ryan and the understated Tony Sparano might seem odd, but Jeff Darlington argues it's actually a perfect match. **More ...**

In regard to the tumultuous season the Jets endured and the controversy surrounding anonymous remarks made by players about Sanchez, Ryan said he never truly had the pulse of the team in 2011, but that he knows what needs to be done to fix it, according to the New York Daily News.

Tannenbaum and Ryan said they conducted 25-30 exit interviews with players to determine the cause of the team's troubles, according to the Daily News.

But players speaking to the media anonymously does not sit well with Ryan.

"Saying things and not putting your name on it? That's not being a Jet," he said. "That's going to change, without question."

Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley visited the Jets on Thursday for a possible spot on the offensive staff under Sparano, but Tannenbaum said it was "hard to say" what would come of their meeting. Former Raiders wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal was hired for the same position with the Jets on Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.