With February dawning on Eric Mangini and his new team, the Jets have still not chosen an offensive coordinator to replace Mike Heimerdinger, who left last week for greener pastures out west.
Heimerdinger was officially announced today by Denver as their new Assistant Head Coach. Sources close to the team have confirmed that currently the two top candidates to replace him are former Texans' OC Chris Palmer and Eagles' QB Coach Pat Shurmur. Palmer has ties to Mangini being a Bill Parcells disciple and having years experience as a head coach and coordinator. However, in Houston, Palmer did a poor job with a Texans’ offense that was third last in the NFL this past year ahead of only the Jets and San Francisco. Palmer’s QB David Carr, also regressed by getting sacked 68 times and ending the season with a 77.2 QB rating. Despite his rough time in Houston, Palmer is also reportedly being considered by Parcells in Dallas as a replacement for OC Sean Payton who was hired as the Head Coach of the Saints.
Shurmur, who has been the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach for the past four years is a highly regarded up and coming coach but at age 40, lacks experience. With Mangini himself raw, some would argue that bringing in an experienced and seasoned coordinator would be beneficial to the new head coach.
Although the aforementioned individuals are said to be at the top of the Jets' list, the team is reportedly still looking at other candidates. Some other names floating in the media are former Saints OC Mike Sheppard and Chargers QB coach Brian Schottenheimer.
Jets offensive line coach Doug Marrone was finally released from his contract last week and was immediately hired as an offensive assistant in New Orleans. The Jets swiftly replaced Marrone with Tony Wise who has been a line coach in the NFL for 16 seasons.
On defense, as reported several days ago, Jets' LB's Coach Bob Sutton is the new coordinator taking over for Donnie Henderson who was released from his contract. After being rumored to be heading for New Orleans, Henderson was hired this weekend as the new defensive coordinator for the Lions. The Jets are expected to officially announce Sutton’s promotion this week.
Jets GM Terry Bradway and several staff members just completed the week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile Alabama and several sources are reporting that two players garnered a lot of Bradway’s interest. One, is the massive Virginia Tackle D’Brickshaw Ferguson and the other, Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler. Ferguson is practically a lock if the Jets stay at the 4 spot. However, with the uncertain status of Chad Pennington, the team may be in the Cutler stakes if they decide to trade down in the first round. Most draft boards have Cutler ranked third behind USC’s Matt Leinart and Texas’ Vince Young.