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New York Jets Assistant Coaches Without Contracts, Free to Speak with Other NFL Teams

January 11th, 2014 at 11:45 AM
By Donald Lappe

At the team's end of the year press conference, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the media, "I think it would be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days." Without any movement on new contracts for Jets assistant coaches nearly two weeks later, are we to believe that the Jets don't think much of the coaches on staff?

The decision to retain Rex Ryan as New York Jets head coach appeared to be one of maintaining stability for a team with a young quarterback and plenty of young stars defensively. It wasn't the right time to hit the reset button on a team with growth potential within the same system. When it comes to implementing an actual system, the assistant coaches in place are as important, if not more important than the head coach, especially the coordinators. That would lead you to believe that the Jets would lock up their assistants as quickly as possible.

As of right now, the Jets haven't made an offer to any of the assistant coaches with expiring contracts. That group is believed to include offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. With Rex Ryan being so heavy-handed in his influence defensively, Dennis Thurman loss likely wouldn't have as big of an impact. However, with Marty Mornhinweg already having a year of experience working with Geno Smith and reportedly already having an offseason training plan in place to get him ready for next season, his loss would be huge in terms of stability for Smith.

It's hard to imagine what the hold up could be. Even teams with new head coaches rarely turn over an entire staff of assistants, and where would Rex Ryan find six new coaches, including two coordinators, that fit the mold he wants? Beyond that, this team overachieved, even offensively. It is a general consensus that Marty Mornhinweg did an excellent job with a rookie quarterback and few weapons to choose from. It's hard to find fault in the defensive staff after the unit was dominant in 2013.

If the team was looking to transition a single assistant coach, it wouldn't make sense to hold up the others. That tends to hint that there is something else going on here, possibly even just a simple delay in the process.

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Tags: assistant coach, assistant coaches, contract, defensive coordinator, Dennis Thurman, Football, Geno Smith, Marty Mornhinweg, New York, New York Jets, NFL, offensive coordinator, Rex Ryan

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