New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Jets announce Rex Ryan's coaching staff -- to date
Rex Ryan got his extension – and now he’s got his coaches back.
The team announced Saturday that its staff is all but complete, save a special teams coordinator. But 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, however. Earlier this week, Ben Kotwica left the Jets 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 due to standout play of rookie tackle Sheldon Richardson and star lineman Muhammad Wilkerson – announced his return via Twitter hours before the team’s 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 also expired after the season, also will return. So, too, will secondary coach Tim McDonald, who signed a two-year deal last January.
On Thursday, the Jets announced they had reached a multiyear contract extension with Ryan (though the deal essentially amounts to a one-year fully-guaranteed extension). The team, however, hadn’t formally announced any moves regarding its assistant coaches until Saturday. But Ryan his staff would be retained during the team’s season-end press conference on Dec. 30.
“I think it would be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days,” the coach said.
However, the Jets reportedly requested an interview with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, but were denied. According to ESPN 980 (Washington D.C.), the Redskins denied the Jets' request and inquiries from “at at least one other team.” On Friday, new head coach Jay Gruden told The Washington Post that the team decided to retain Haslett and will look into the possibility of extending the defensive coordinator's contract.
At the moment, it’s unclear whether that the Redskins’ refusal affected the Jets’ decision to stick with Thurman or other defensive assistants.
Here is Ryan's coaching staff for 2014 (to date):
Offensive Coordinator — Marty Mornhinweg
Defensive Coordinator — Dennis Thurman
Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs — Anthony Lynn
Assistant Special Teams — Louie Aguiar
Linebackers — Bobby April III*
Offensive Line — Mike Devlin
Defensive Line — Karl Dunbar
Head Strength & Conditioning — Justus Galac
Tight Ends — Steve Hagen
Assistant Offensive Line — Ron Heller
Wide Receivers — Sanjay Lal
Quarterbacks — David Lee
Defensive Backs — Tim McDonald
Assistant Strength & Conditioning — Pierre Ngo
Assistant Strength & Conditioning — Paul Ricci
Assistant Defensive Backs — Brian Smith
Assistant Defensive Line/Linebackers — Jeff Weeks
* handled quality control-defense last season