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Jets fire offensive coordinator Tony Sparano

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2013 at 11:34 am •  Published: January 8, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets' housecleaning will bring three new coordinators in 2013.

Tony Sparano was fired Tuesday as offensive coordinator after one season in which the offense ranked among the league's worst.

Sparano was hired last March to replace Brian Schottenheimer and take over an offense that struggled mightily. Instead, the former Miami Dolphins head coach wasn't able to jumpstart the running game or figure out a way to use Tim Tebow consistently as the Jets finished 30th in the NFL in total offense.

Also gone is defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose contract expired. Coach Rex Ryan, who worked with Pettine the last 10 years, said Pettine was interviewing for the same job in Buffalo.

The contract of quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh also was not renewed. Ben Kotwica replaces the retired Mike Westhoff as special teams coordinator.

And the Jets are looking for a new general manager after Mike Tannenbaum was fired last week.

Sparano was expected to use Tebow as a major part of the Jets' wildcat-style offense, but the popular backup quarterback was mostly a nonfactor, failing to get into the end zone during his first and likely only season in New York.

Ryan admitted that Sparano had unusual circumstances to deal with, particularly when receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller got hurt.

"From a personnel standpoint, this was not the team we thought we'd have all season," Ryan said while also praising Sparano for his diligence.

"I want to be more of an unpredictable offense. As hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be offensively."

Ryan believes Pettine will be some team's defensive coordinator next season. He said there are viable candidates among his defensive assistants to replace Pettine, but did not guarantee anyone would be elevated.


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