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Sparano named offensive coordinator

Well, that didn't take long.

Barely 12 hours after Brian Schottenheimer announced in a release through the team that he decided not to come back for a seventh season, the Jets have named former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano as their offensive coordinator.

Sparano, who was Miami's head coach for three-plus seasons, was fired by the Dolphins in December in the midst of a 4-9 campaign. He's a member of the Bill Parcells coaching tree, starting off as a tight ends coach under Parcells in Dallas in 2003 before eventually being elevated to the offensive line coach as well as the assistant head coach prior to leaving for Miami in 2008.

“When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense,” Rex Ryan said in a statement released by the team. “I’ve admired his work as a competitor in the division for the past three seasons. His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed.”

Sparano called the plays with the Cowboys in 2006, so he has experience in that department. Matter of fact, when Sean Payton left the Dallas staff to take over as the Saints head coach, he wanted to bring Sparano with him but Parcells wouldn't allow it.

Now, Sparano has the challenge of improving an offense that ranked 25th overall this season, averaging just 23.6 points and 311 yards per game despite what many felt were enough weapons to be among the league's elite offense.

“I’m very proud to be part of such an outstanding organization and to have an opportunity to work with these players,” Sparano in the statement. “I know this division very well and I’m looking forward to that challenge. I’d like to thank Mr. Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum and Coach Ryan for giving me the opportunity.”

As for Schottenheimer's next move, the Birmingham News reported he's expected to meet today with Alabama coach Nick Saban about the Crimson Tide's vacant offensive coordinator position. The report says Saban wants to hire an experienced offensive coordinator.

Schottenheimer is familiar with the landscape of the SEC, having backed up Danny Wuerffel at Florida during the mid 90s when Steve Spurrier was leading things in Gainesville, Fla.

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