Rex Ryan hinted last month that it soon would be clear what the front office thought of his assistant coaches. Well, Ryan’s staff has started to take shape.
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar – a favorite among fans due to standout play of rookie tackle Sheldon Richardson and star lineman Muhammad Wilkerson – confirmed via Twitter Saturday that he will be returning this season.
“Thx for all the support Twitter Family! I'm back in G&W and the SOA will be rolling! Don't forget Rex is the Man!,” Dunbar wrote.
A source also told Newsday that assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn is “close” to returning as well. As deal hasn’t yet been finalized, but it’s expected to be done soon. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman -- who has been on the same coaching staff with Ryan since 2002 with the Ravens -- will reportedly return as well.
The contracts of all three assistants had expired after the season.
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, hasn’t formally announced any moves regarding their assistant coaches. During their season-end press conference on Dec. 30, however, Ryan said: “I think it would be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days.”
But according to an ESPN 980 (Washington, D.C.) report, the Jets requested an interview with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, but were denied. On Friday, new head coach Jay Gruden told The Washington Post that the Redskins had 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 re-up Thurman.
Earlier this week, the Redskins hired former Jets special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica for the same position. Prior to that, ex-Jets linebackers coach Brian Van Gorder left to become Notre Dame's defensive coordinator.