Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Brief Overview of the New Coaches

Heard from Siyamak who was curious about Rex Ryan's new coaching staff. From what we can tell, this is a staff that all fall in line with Ryan's hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners philosophy.

Ryan of course retained Offense Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer who will be coaching his third (or is it fourth) quarterback since Mangini brought him on in 2006. Given that the offense is pretty well intact from last year, with the exception of that pesky quarterback position, the only thing I would expect to see more of is the running game. Ryan has stated unequivocally that the Jets will run the ball more this year and in our conversation with him a few weeks ago, Schottenheimer concurred. Of course, given Thomas Jones' boycott of the off-season program while protesting his contract, the question of who will be running it is also somewhat in question - Leon Washington notwithstanding.

On defense I've talked previously about new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine who the defense players are already working with and seem to have taken to very quickly. Bob Sutton, who served as the defensive coordinator for the last few years is back at linebackers coach, also providing some nice continuity. The players love him and clearly Ryan didn't want to lose him.

We haven't had a chance to get to know the position coaches yet but they come to the Jets with solid experience. It's a long list, but here's some odds and ends on a couple of the new arrivials.

Henry Ellard, the new receivers coach is a former Pro-Bowler who played in the NFL for 16 seasons. He came over from the Rams where he has coached since 2001. His success there speaks for itself with the likes of Torry Holt. Things are a little unsettled at wide receiver and I would think the Jets are going to try to grab somebody in (or via) the Draft that they can make use of right away.

Dennis Thurman is another Ravens immigrant, having coached defensive backs there for the past six seasons. He knows Ryan's system and according to his stats on newyorkjets.com, during his tenure with the Ravens, they led the NFL with 126 interceptions and 18 interception returns for touchdowns. Pretty good.

Matt Cavanaugh has come on board as quarterbacks coach. Cavanaugh played quarterback for more than 10 years in the NFL before starting his coaching career. For the past four seasons, he has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh - the team he led to a national championship as a college quarterback in 1976.

The running backs will now be coached by Anthony Lynn who Ryan stole away from the Browns. (OK, that's just me adding some fun drama.) Lynn was on the Denver Broncos Super Bowl champion teams of 1997 and 1998.

Kerry Locklin, the new defensive line coach, is the only new coach with no NFL experience. Ryan brought him over from Fresno State. Their connection goes back to the early 1990s when they coached together at Morehead State.

The Jets hold their first mini-camp under Rex Ryan at the end of the week so hopefully I'll have some good stuff for you from there.

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