As reported exclusively over three weeks ago by Jets Insider.com, the Jets officially announced that former Jets players FB Richie Anderson and LB Bryan Cox have joined Eric Mangini’s coaching staff. The team also finally confirmed that former LB’s coach Bob Sutton was promoted to defensive coordinator and announced the remainder of the coaching staff.
Anderson joins the staff as the assistant WR’s coach under newly hired Noel Mazzone from Ole Miss. Cox joins the staff as an assistant defensive line coach under the returning Denny Marcin. Anderson recently signed a contract with the Jets so that he could retire as a player for the Jets. He had played his final two seasons with the Cowboys and sat out last season after being released from Dallas. He played for the Jets for ten years prior to signing with Dallas. Cox, who played three seasons for the Jets (1998-2000) also played for Miami, Chicago and the Patriots during his 12 year NFL career.
Former Jets defensive lineman Rick Lyle who played with the Jets between 1997 and 2001 also was hired as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Joining Lyle and head strength coach Markus Paul is rookie NFL coach Brett Bech as an assistant strength coach. Former Dolphins offensive line coach Tony Wise was confirmed at the same title with the Jets with Mike Devlin assisting Wise after being hired from the University of Toledo.
Jimmy Raye makes his second appearance with Gang Green as running backs coach after two seasons as offensive coordinator with Oakland. He served as a senior offensive assistant under Herm Edwards in 2002 and 2003. Sam Gash returns as assistant RB’s coach.
New defensive coordinator Sutton, who has been with the team since 2000, keeps Corwin Brown as the defensive backs coach while Jim Herrmann is hired as LB’s coach after 20 years of service at the University Of Michigan. Andy Dickerson joins the staff as a coach’s assistant after working with Mangini in New England last season in operations while Jason Mandolesi returns for his second season with the Jets as a quality control coach.
Mangini had a conference call with the media after the announcement of his staff and as expected, was evasive when asked questions about the situations of QB Chad Pennington and DE John Abraham.
“Mike Tannenbaum and I are in the process of evaluating all personnel and as soon as we make any decisions we will let you know as soon as we can,” said Mangini after almost every question regarding any player in flux.
He confirmed that he has spoken to Pennington several times but would not elaborate on his progress of recovery or contract situation. He said he has not spoken to Abraham and did not confirm that Abraham would be franchised. Abraham is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 1st and it’s a lock that he will be franchised for the second season in a row. Mangini praised Abe as a player but would not bite when asked if the team wanted to sign him long term or trade him. Mangini also made no commentary on the Jets direction in the upcoming draft, where the team owns the fourth overall pick.
-The Jets did not name an official TE's coach but Mangini noted that newly hired assistant OL coach Mike Devlin will split the duties with Richie Anderson. Devlin will coach the run blocking parts and Anderson will handle the passing parts of the position.
-Former Jets defensive back Jerome Henderson, who played for the team in 1997-98 was hired as a director for player programs.
-Despite Mangini's role as defensive coordinator for the Patriots, he noted that newly promoted DC Bob Sutton will call all the defensive plays for the Jets this season.
-When asked, Mangini didn't committ to either a 3-4 or 4-3 set on defense and said the team will likely use both. Whether the team has the personnel to run a 3-4 is yet to be seen.
-The Jets decided to stream the media conference call on their website for the public for the first time and it was a bit embarrassing as several beat reporters were goofing off and making off color remarks on the call before it officially started as they obviously were unaware the public was listening.
-Mangini and Tannenbaum have their work cut out for them to trim a reported $26MM from the team's salary cap by March 3rd. Ty Law's $11MM option is a lock not to be picked up and other locks to go are T Jason Fabini and QB Jay Fiedler. Also, with BJ Askew ready to start at FB, Jerald Sowell will likely be gone as well. RB Curtis Martin, C Kevin Mawae, G Pete Kendall, QB Chad Pennington will all surely also be asked to restructure their deals to bring relief and could be in jeopardy of release if they are not cooperative.
The team now prepares itself for the upcoming NFL college scouting combine in Indianapolis and Mangini said the entire coaching staff will attend.
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