Jeremy Kerley, Calvin Pace say coaching turnover would impede Jets' progress

Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley runs with the Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley runs with the football during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Aug. 24, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The adjustment wasn't easy, but it was necessary.

Each year brought a new Jets offensive coordinator, and Jeremy Kerley had no choice but to adapt to all of them.

"Three years in a row, I had to change up what I was doing, and it was difficult,'' the slot receiver said earlier this week. "I hope, I pray that doesn't happen again.''

Brian Schottenheimer, Tony Sparano and Marty Mornhinweg have served as the Jets' offensive coordinator in the Rex Ryan Era. But after five years and three non-winning seasons, Ryan could be in his final days as the coach of the Jets, which means his entire coaching staff is vulnerable.

Ryan and his players say they're building something good here. That's why Calvin Pace thinks personnel changes would disrupt everything the Jets have been striving toward in 2013.

"Any time you make a change, you automatically have to reset,'' said the outside linebacker, who has a career-high 10 sacks in his 11th season. "You've got a new system; a guy might want to bring some of his people in. As a player, it's not ideal. It's not. It's chaos. 'Cause then you're seeing bodies, people getting cut and whatnot.

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"Again, I think Rex is the guy for it. But they didn't ask me my opinion,'' added Pace, who said there's "a 1,000-percent chance'' he'll come back if the Jets (7-8) want him and Ryan is the coach.

Only owner Woody Johnson and first-year general manager John Idzik know what Ryan's fate will be. But if they decide to go in a different direction, Mornhinweg and the rest of the staff could be on their way out as well.

"It just seems like I had to change my playing style with each coordinator,'' said Kerley, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2011, Schottenheimer's final year with the team. "Each guy likes something different and wants you to bring something different. They let you play within yourself a little bit, but each guy has a different style of what they're looking for, so you've got to give that to them.''

On Monday, rookie quarterback Geno Smith credited Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach David Lee for his development, saying: "I know as long as David Lee is my coach and Marty is my coach, they won't allow me to take any breaks or take any shortcuts.''

On Thursday, Smith called Lee "one of the hardest coaches I've ever played under and it's made me better in so many ways.''

But Smith, like many of his teammates, insisted he's focused only on facing the Dolphins (8-7), not the job security of his coaches.

Naturally, Ryan and his staff are saying the same thing publicly. "Look, we're so busy trying to score points against Miami, really,'' Mornhinweg said before attempting to change the topic. "I have yet to read a New York paper. I don't know where to get one.''

When pressed about his desire to remain with the team, he said: "I love coaching. I love teaching. We all do. That's what we do. I think we have some really high-character players . . . We have some real winners on this football team.''

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