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Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine turns down extension

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a Jets' playoff game. (Jan. 5, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mike Pettine may be on his way out, but not because the Jets want him gone.

The defensive coordinator turned down a contract extension from the Jets, a source confirmed to Newsday. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum declined to comment and coach Rex Ryan toed the company line. "We never discuss contracts or any of that type of stuff until after the season," he said. "I think that'd be an appropriate time to comment on whatever it is regarding the staff."

Ryan said Pettine has "the pedigree" to be an NFL head coach. "He comes from a coaching family, he's a lifelong guy that's been in this business and he's a tremendous coach, he's got great knowledge of the game, very smart, and a creative guy, a tough guy," Ryan said. "I think he'll do an outstanding job as head coach."

The Jets' defense ranks 29th against the rush but second against the pass. Pettine has been Ryan's right-hand man since their Ravens days, but the defensive schemes they employ have long been considered Ryan's alone. But Ryan said: "It's not my defense. This is our defense, the New York Jet defense, and everybody contributes."

Cro named team MVP

There's only one Revis Island, but Antonio Cromartie came pretty close. The cornerback, named team MVP in voting by the players, has 31 tackles, 13 passes defensed and three interceptions (including a pick-6) in the absence of injured Darrelle Revis. Linebacker David Harris won the Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational Award, tight end Jeff Cumberland got the Ed Block Courage Award and defensive tackle Mike DeVito won the Marty Lyons Community Service Award. Quarterback Greg McElroy and tackle Austin Howard shared the Kyle Clifton Good Guy Award.

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