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Tony Sparano hired by Raiders as assistant

Tony Sparano coaches during the Jets' season opener

Tony Sparano coaches during the Jets' season opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 9, 2012) Credit: Getty

It didn't take Tony Sparano long to land on his feet.

Two weeks after the Jets fired him as their offensive coordinator, Oakland hired him as their assistant coach/offensive line coach.

Sparano -- who was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in Jan. 2011 -- has now taken two step backwards professionally in the past two years.

The Jets, who are now on their third offensive coordinator in three years, tabbed Sparano last offseason to be their replacement for Brian Schotteinheimer. At the time, Jets coach Rex Ryan raved about Sparano, calling himself and Tony "like-minded" coaches. But after an 6-10 finish, in which the offense finished 30th in the NFL, Ryan fired Sparano on Jan. 7.

Though Ryan acknowledged injuries severely limited the Jets offense, “At the end of the day, I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively," he said.

In search of a new "attack-style" offense, Ryan hired former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg last week as Sparano's replacement. Breaking free of his affinity for the ground and pound, Ryan settled on Mornhinweg, who is best known for utilizing the West Coast Offense.

"I think before, maybe I misjudged the thing about I just want to ground-and-pound, that type of mentality," the Jets coach said. "Maybe I bought into that more than maybe I should have. Maybe I needed to be more open-minded and look at things a little bit differently, but we have to have it. We have to have that kind of mentality and we have some players certainly capable of playing with that kind of mentality."

New York Sports