Mike Tannenbaum put the Brian Schottenheimer speculation to bed right away.
"We do expect Brian Schottenheimer back," the Jets general manager said of the embattled offensive coordinator this afternoon. "We have been with him now for six years and I really respect the job he's done, in terms of working with three different quarterbacks, two [AFC] championship games, and he's done a really credible job for us."
Still, there's a slight chance Schottenheimer won't return. He's been given permission to interview for the Jaguars' vacant head coaching position.
"I'll say this," Rex Ryan said. "I hope Brian the best as he goes for the interview here in Jacksonville. I mentioned last week, I think it's whether a 50-50 deal whether Brian is back here or not because I think he'll be a head coach. He's got everything it takes to be a successful head coach in this league.
"I think it starts with pedigree, but more importantly, here is a guy that's been successful, he knows how to develop players, and we have gone to two back-to-back AFC Championship games. A lot of that is due to his work ethic, which I think is tremendous."
Even though Schottenheimer has been under fire for an underperforming offense that finished the regular season ranked 27th overall -- averaging 311.8 yards and 23.6 points -- Ryan said there was never any doubt during the season he had doubts about bringing Schottenheimer back.
"We signed Brian to a contract extension," Ryan said. "Both of us felt great about that. And you know, we have the opportunity to work with Brian every day during the week. We know the kind of work ethic he has. He's smart, he's a football guy, and I think that's the big thing about Brian is.
"We know he's an outstanding football coach."