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The Jets Decide It’s Time to Change Pretty Much Everything

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins leads his team against the Dallas Cowboys during the Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

In the wake of an extremely frustrating and demoralizing season, it seemed like the Jets weren't going to make the dramatic changes required after such disappointment. Brian Schottenheimer was staying, Mark Sanchez was staying, all good here. It was all Santonio Holmes's fault. For whatever reason — perhaps Rex Ryan ate something that left him unsettled? — that all changed yesterday: The Jets did some serious housecleaning.

Turns out: Schottenheimer is out, and Tony Sparano, recently canned coach of the Miami Dolphins and one of the main reasons the "wildcat" returned to the NFL (even if no one ever quite uses the terminology right), is in. Prepare yourself for several years of Tony Soprano puns. It's not just Schottenheimer either; fellow coaches Henry Ellard, Jeff Weeks, and Bill Callahan are out as well. Can we call it Bloody Tuesday? Sure, let's call it that.

Schottenheimer found out yesterday that he wasn't getting the head coaching job at Jacksonville, but he might be up for a spot with Tampa Bay, if his father Marty gets the head coaching job there. (It's oddly reassuring that teams are still looking to hire Marty Schottenheimer.) Brian Schottenheimer claimed that it was his decision to leave, but, from all accounts, it wasn't. The clean sweep of the offensive staff has finally happened.

Jets fans are going to love Sparano, and not just because of his name. He's an endlessly entertaining sideline presence, to say the least; our favorite Sparano moment was the time he lost his mind because of a field goal.


Sparano sort of already feels like a Jets coach; he sort of feels like a Jets fan, actually. Of course, one potential concern about Sparano is that he's not exactly Mike Martz, or anything. The main frustration with Schottenheimer was his conservative playcalling, but you can make an argument that Sparano is even more conservative, pseudo-wildcat aside. You're not going to all of a sudden see a dramatic change in this offense because of Sparano. You'll more see a dramatic change in sideline demeanor.

Of course, the real offensive change, the truly all-encompassing housecleaning, would be if there were a change at quarterback. If that happens, we'll know the Jets are truly serious about this. But at the very least, Jets fans don't have Brian Schottenheimer to kick around anymore.

Photo: Tom Pennington/2011 Getty Images