Former Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano hired as assistant coach with Raiders

Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano looks on as

Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano looks on as the players warm up prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins. (Sept. 23, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

It didn't take Tony Sparano long to land on his feet.

Two weeks after the Jets fired him as their offensive coordinator, the Raiders hired him as an assistant coach/offensive line coach.

Sparano, who was fired as coach of the Dolphins in December 2011, has taken two steps backward professionally in the past 14 months.

The Jets, who are on their third offensive coordinator in three years, named Sparano last offseason to replace Brian Schottenheimer. At the time, Rex Ryan raved about Sparano, calling the two of them "like-minded'' coaches. But after a 6-10 season in which the Jets' offense was ranked 30th, Ryan fired Sparano Jan. 7.

Although Ryan acknowledged that injuries severely limited the offense, he said, "At the end of the day, I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively.''

In search of a new "attack style'' offense, Ryan hired former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg last week as Sparano's replacement. Breaking free of his affinity for the ground and pound, Ryan settled on Mornhinweg, who is best known for utilizing the West Coast passing offense.

"I think before, maybe I misjudged the thing about I just want to ground and pound, that type of mentality,'' Ryan said. "Maybe I bought into that more than maybe I should have. Maybe I needed to be more open-minded and look at things a little bit differently, but we have to have it. We have to have that kind of mentality, and we have some players certainly capable of playing with that kind of mentality.''

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