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Thread: edwards will go on offensive!

  1. #1
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    JETS: Edwards will go on offensive
    Monday, January 17, 2005
    BY DAVE HUTCHINSON
    Star-Ledger Staff
    As Jets coach Herman Edwards retools his team for next season, his first move probably will be to fire offensive coordinator Paul Hackett and search for an energetic, creative replacement who will help the Jets score points and be more effective in the red zone.

    Hackett's firing could come this week.

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    Criticized for being too conservative during his four-year stint with the Jets, Hackett sealed his fate Saturday when the Jets failed to score an offensive touchdown in a 20-17 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC divisional playoff game. After the game, a club official said, "Last season, we fixed the defense (by firing Ted Cottrell and hiring coordinator Donnie Henderson). This season, we'll fix the offense."

    A scarcity of points has bothered Edwards all season. The Jets ranked 17th in the NFL in points per game, with 20.8, and scored only 23 offensive points in four games against NFL powerhouses Pittsburgh and New England -- all losses.

    Near the end of the season, when the media prodded Edwards about Hackett, Edwards refused to give him a vote of confidence, saying Hackett had been "up and down."

    When Hackett is fired, Edwards will begin an exhaustive search, similar to the one that netted him Henderson. Edwards bypassed several experienced coordinators to give Henderson, a first-time coordinator, an opportunity.

    Edwards, a proponent of giving young coaches an opportunity, could go the same route this time. If so, one name on his short list could be Chiefs quarterbacks coach Jason Verduzco, who has been in Kansas City the past four seasons.

    Just 34, Verduzco has studied under offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Verduzco also has spent a season with the Redskins.

    If Edwards wants experience, Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy and Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan could be on his list. Also, former Giants coach Jim Fassel could get a call, although he appears close to landing the offensive coordinator's job with the Baltimore Ravens.

    McCarthy, whom Edwards knows from his days with the Chiefs, is in the final year of his contract and might be looking to leave New Orleans, where he has been since 2000. Linehan, in his second season with Minnesota, is also in the final year of his contract.

    Fassel, who served as a consultant with the Ravens this season, may be hired as their new coordinator as early as this week. With ties to the area, Fassel would answer the phone if Edwards called. As Giants head coach, he enjoyed being in the bright spotlight that comes from being in the NFL's largest market.

    After Saturday's loss, Edwards was visibly frustrated, and those close to him said he realizes it's time to cut the cord with his longtime friend. Edwards and Hackett have known each other since 1972, when Edwards was a player and Hackett a graduate assistant coach at the University of California-Berkeley.

    "We didn't score any touchdowns on offense," Edwards said. "Look at the football game. We didn't score. We scored on special teams and we scored on defense and we kicked a field goal. That is how we scored."

    In his search for a new coordinator, Edwards must find someone who is willing to adapt to the Jets' offensive talent -- such as quarterback Chad Pennington, who doesn't have the strongest arm in the NFL. Hackett seemed to accept those limitations. He protected Pennington with conservative play-calling instead of creating new ways to take advantage of Pennington's strengths -- accuracy in the intermediate passing game and reading defenses.

    In fairness to Hackett, Pennington wasn't the same after he suffered a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder this season.

    Hackett, renowned as a teacher, had a chance to correct most of the wrongs with a big showing in the postseason, but the offense was feeble against the Steelers. In eight quarters against the Steelers this season, the Jets managed only three field goals.

    NEXT PLAY IS HIS

    Jets coach Herman Edwards is expected to fire Paul Hackett and begin a search for a new offensive coordinator. Here's a look at possible candidates:

    Jason Verduzco: The 34-year-old quarterbacks coach for the Chiefs has spent the past four seasons working under respected offensive coordinator Al Saunders in one of the NFL's most explosive offenses. Edwards likes to give young coaches an opportunity.

    Mike McCarthy: The 41-year-old offensive coordinator has spent the past four seasons with the Saints. He knows Edwards from their years together in Kansas City (1993-98). McCarthy has a background in the West Coast offense but has added a big-play capability. He seems to be a good fit, personally and professionally.

    Scott Linehan. The Vikings offensive coordinator, 41, gained unwanted attention this season when he called a wide receiver pass by Randy Moss in a crucial game and the ball was intercepted. Even so, the Vikings were ranked fourth in total offense this season.

    Jim Fassel. The former Giants coach, 55, spent last season as an offensive consultant with the Ravens. He wants another head coaching job, but first may have to settle for an offensive coordinator's position. He could be named the Ravens offensive coordinator this week, but if Edwards calls, he'll listen.

    -- DAVE HUTCHINSON

  2. #2
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    that was a pretty good read...Jason Verduzco...have never heard of the guy...but he is a qb coach and is a young coach...he has been apart of a great offense and i wouldn't mind if they gave this guy a shot...anyone know anything more about him?

    hey...maybe he would be smart enough to hire a qb coach for penny?

  3. #3
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    I want Fassel if only for the fact that it would annoy Giants fans
    and plus I think he would do a good job

  4. #4
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    Please no more Chiefs staff.

  5. #5
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    Nice signature. Where did you find that picture of Clay Aiken?

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