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Jets announce Sparano firing; Pettine leaving team

The SportsXchange

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan announced Tuesday that offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was fired and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is leaving the team.

It was the first time Ryan has met with the media since the regular season ended.

Sparano was let go after just one season. The move comes on the heels of quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh being told Monday that his contract will not be renewed when it expires in a few weeks, as first reported by the New York Daily News.

Sparano, the former Miami Dolphins head coach, replaced embattled Brian Schottenheimer last offseason, but was unable to turn around the Jets' offense. New York finished 30th in the NFL in total offense, 30th in passing and 28th in points per game.

More troubling has been the continued regression of quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has 52 turnovers over the past two seasons. Sparano and his staff were also unable to find a productive role for Tim Tebow.

"I want to be more of an attack-style team, whether it's running the pistol, different style offenses," Ryan said. "As hard as we are to attack defensively, that I want on offense. That's what we're looking for, what I am looking for and I can't wait to get the process started."

Pettine is likely to get a defensive coordinator job for another team. He is interviewing with the AFC East division rival Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.

"Mike Pettine is going to have several opportunities," Ryan said. "He has an interview with the Bills today. Hopefully he doesn't take that job. We've been together over 10 years, he's been a tremendous coach. He thinks it's best for him to move on. I wish him all the best unless he goes to Buffalo."

Secondary coach Dennis Thurman will reportedly take over as coordinator. The Jets did not allowed Thurman to interview for the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator position last season.

Also, assistant special teams coach Ben Kotwica will replace retiring special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired the day after the regular season ended.
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