Most of Jets' coaching staff to return
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Rex Ryan got his extension, and now he has his coaches back.
The Jets announced Saturday that their staff is all but complete, aside from a special-teams coordinator. And the good news for Ryan is this: Almost every coach from last season will be back in 2014.
Bobby April III, who was responsible for the team's quality control-defense last season, was promoted to linebackers coach. That position belonged to Brian VanGorder, who left to become Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. The Jets still are in need of a special-teams coordinator. Ben Kotwica left the Jets this past week to assume the same position with the Redskins.
As expected, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return for Year 2 with the team along with quarterbacks coach David Lee. Assistant head coach / running backs coach Anthony Lynn, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar also will be back.
Dunbar -- a favorite among fans because of standout play by rookie tackle Sheldon Richardson and star lineman Muhammad Wilkerson -- announced his return via Twitter hours before the official announcement.
"Thx for all the support Twitter Family!" he wrote. "I'm back in G&W and the SOA will be rolling! Don't forget Rex is the Man!"
Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, whose contract expired after the season, also will return, as will secondary coach Tim McDonald, who signed a two-year deal last January.
On Thursday, the Jets announced they had reached a multiyear extension with Ryan (though the deal essentially amounts to a fully guaranteed one-year extension). Though the Jets did not formally announce any moves for the assistant coaches until Saturday, Ryan had said Dec. 30 that his staff would be retained.
"I think it would be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days," the coach said.
The Jets reportedly requested an interview with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett but were denied. According to ESPN 980 in Washington, the Redskins denied the Jets' request and inquiries from "at least one other team." On Friday, new head coach Jay Gruden told The Washington Post that the team would retain Haslett and will look into extending his contract.
It's unclear whether the Redskins' refusal affected the Jets' decision to stick with Thurman or other defensive assistants.