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New Jets head coach Ryan retains Schottenheimer to run offense

NEW YORK -- Brian Schottenheimer is sticking around to run the New York Jets' offense despite losing out to Rex Ryan for the head-coaching job.

Schottenheimer has been the Jets' offensive coordinator the past three seasons, but it was uncertain if he would stay after Ryan was hired Monday. After meeting with Ryan and Jets owner Woody Johnson on Thursday, Schottenheimer decided to return.

Schottenheimer, 35, had one year remaining on his contract and reportedly received an extension, but the team wouldn't comment on the deal Saturday.

Ryan is in the process of putting together his staff and now has his three coordinators in place with Schottenheimer, Mike Pettine (defense) and Mike Westhoff (special teams). Bill Callahan, who also interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy after Eric Mangini was fired, was retained as the offensive line coach.

At his introductory news conference Wednesday, Ryan called Schottenheimer "a tremendous coach." Ryan also said he was looking forward to speaking with Schottenheimer because Ryan went through a similar situation last offseason when he was passed over by the Baltimore Ravens, who hired John Harbaugh as their head coach.

"If anybody has gone through what Brian has, I know the disappointment he's feeling by not getting this job," Ryan said.

Apparently, whatever Ryan said worked. The Jets have been high on Schottenheimer, the son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, for a few years and consider him one of the league's top young offensive minds.

Schottenheimer took some criticism from media and fans for being too predictable and conservative with the game plans. But he had to simplify the offense in training camp when the team acquired Brett Favre and released Chad Pennington, and the quarterback took some time to get up to speed with the new playbook. The Jets finished with the league's 16th-ranked offense, but Thomas Jones led the AFC in rushing behind a revamped offensive line that included Pro Bowl picks Alan Faneca and Nick Mangold. The Jets also scored 405 points, the third-highest total in franchise history.

Whether Schottenheimer's quarterback is Favre again this season remains to be seen. Favre, 39, is mulling retirement while also healing from a torn biceps tendon in his right arm that might have contributed to his ineffectiveness down the stretch.

Also, Ryan hired Jim O'Neil as his defensive quality-control coach and Jeff Weeks as a defensive assistant.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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