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Jets Journal

Jane McManus of The Journal News on the Jets.

Archive for December, 2008

Next up: Rex Ryan


The Jets asked for and got permission to talk to Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, although no meeting has been scheduled since his team is still in the playoffs. Ryan, 46, was with the Ravens for their 2000 Super Bowl victory, and is in his ninth year with the team. He is in the first of a two-year deal with the Ravens.

He has quite an NFL lineage as the son former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, and the twin brother of Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

The Ravens will play the Dolphins on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Posted at 4:15 p.m…. Have a Happy New Year everyone.

Posted by Jane McManus on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 5:26 pm |

Jones calls out Favre, and more


A few things for a snowy day.

Bill Callahan and Brian Schottenheimer are slated to interview for Eric Mangini‘s former job on Friday, and Steve Spagnuolo is coming in Saturday. Bill Cowher is out, and some outlets are reporting that’s because Woody Johnson insists on having quarterback Brett Favre back if he decides to come back.

However, the Jets are willing to negotiate on Favre depending on what a new coach wants. Last night, a Jets spokesperson said negotiations never got that far with the former Steelers coach.

Notably absent from the interview schedule right now, fired coach Mike Shanahan, Jets defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and popular special teams coach Mike Westhoff.

On to running back Thomas Jones. Mr Cee on Hot 97 got a better, more honest reponse out of Jones than anything extracted in the Jets locker room. Jones said the three interceptions against Miami — and Favre’s interceptions in general — were a game-killer.

“When someone’s not playing well, you come out of the game,” Jones said.

He also said that the interceptions made players “pissed off.”

To be fair, Jones didn’t have a great game against Miami with 10 carries for 23 yards. But he did set a bunch of records for the Jets with 15 touchdowns and led the AFC in rushing this season.

And he has a fair point. Favre’s interceptions undermined the effort of every player on that team. But Mangini and staff never took Favre out of the game for cause. No matter what the decisions were made by the quarterback, even when he fell on his own shoulder trying to tackle after the first interception last Sunday, Kellen Clemens warmed up briefly before halftime but Favre started the third quarter.

Lastly, get out the tissues, Jets fans. The AP just named Chad Pennington comeback player of the year. And Patriots draft pick Jerod Mayo defensive player of the year. The linebacker was taken three spots after the Jets picked Vernon Gholston.

Update 3:12 p.m.: Oh, and Justin Miller KR, now with the Raiders, was one of the AFC’s players of the month for December.

Posted by Jane McManus on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 1:32 pm |

Cowher backs out


This just in, Bill Cowher is no longer in the running to be the Jets head coach.

The Jets released this…

“After reaching out to coach Cowher’s representatives, we were informed tonight that he is not a candidate for the position,” said team spokesperson Bruce Speight.

Many Jets fans had been hoping for Cowher, 51, a proven winner in 15 seasons with the Steelers. He has another year left on a contract with CBS, where he serves as a football analyst, but could consider an early return to coaching for the right position. There was a report early yesterday that wherever he went, Cowher wanted to bring in his own personnel director.

That could have been a dealbreaker, since Johnson had said on Monday that he didn’t consider firing Tannenbaum along with coach Eric Mangini after the 1-4 season-ending slide. Tannenbaum brought in roughly $154 million in free agents during the last offseason, and the class yielded three Pro Bowl players in NT Kris Jenkins, LG Alan Faneca and QB Brett Favre.

“We’re under the impression that he does does not need total control over personnel,” a the source said when a meeting was still on the table.

Johnson said that he does not believe one person can serve as a coach and GM, and the source reiterated the owner’s intent to have two people in those roles.

“Any head coach would have to fit in that structure,” the source said.

Cowher could address the situation on Sunday during the CBS wild card pregame show.

Two candidates on the current coaching staff who will also interview for the Jets head spot are offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant offensive coach Bill Callahan, the former Nebraska coach who worked primarily with the offensive line. Marty Schottenheimer, Miami’s Bill Parcells and Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels are not yet on the short list.

Mike Shanahan was fired by Denver yesterday as well, and could affect the coaching carousel by becoming a candidate for an open spot, or allowing the Broncos to snare one of the coveted coaching prospects.

Posted by Jane McManus on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 12:22 am |


Spags and Favre’s shoulder


The news just keeps breaking here.

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been granted permission to speak to the Jets and will that meeting will take place on Saturday.

An the front of Brett Favre‘s achey shoulder, ESPN is reporting that sources say he can avoid surgery in the offseason or have a torn bicep tendon treated with arthroscopic surgery. That same source said the Jets have encouraged Favre to take as much time off as possible.

In the last two weeks, Favre has sounded like he’s ready to pack it in. Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum obviously want Favre to stay, and must be hoping that his time off will have the effect it always has had — make the future Hall of Fame quarterback want another year in the game.

Update 4:44: Eric Mangini will interview for the head coaching vacancy in Cleveland on Tuesday in the New York area, a source told the Associated Press. Mangini was a public relations person with the Browns in 1994, and would buy pizza for the writers there every time he returned with the Jets. The Browns just fired Romeo Crennel.

In unrelated news, the NFL announced the 2010 Pro Bowl will be in Dolphin Stadium the week before the Super Bowl.

Posted by Jane McManus on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 4:52 pm |

Cowher will talk to Jets


Despite reports to the contrary, a source close to the team said the Jets and Bill Cowher have agreed to talk about the head coaching position. A time for the meeting has not yet been set up.

Yesterday team owner Woody Johnson said that GM Mike Tannenbaum was not going to be let go, but Cowher would like to bring in a personnel director, which currently is Tannenbaum’s job. Apparently, that isn’t an impasse.

Fans on this blog and elsewhere have been clamoring for Cowher, who has a year left on his contract with CBS. He will likely talk about his future during the show on Sunday.

In other news, yesterday afternoon the white bus that normally sits behind Brett Favre‘s home in New Vernon, N.J. was out front and being loaded up. Several players said the quarterback wasn’t crazy about Eric Mangini‘s coaching style. Mangini might have realized that he needed to win over more players during the 1-4 slide to end the season, and he reached out to some of them on a personal level.

This was after a history of creating strict boundaries between himself and players, which could go as far as not offering a simple hello if they passed in the hall. Still, players like WR David Clowney said they respected Mangini’s smarts.

“He’s a tough guy, he’s a hard hitter,” Clowney said, “but at the same time he gives you everything straight up and makes sure you’re prepared for the game.”

Clowney, by the way, will stay in New Jersey during the offseason with his little brother, Jordan, who he has custody of and is enrolled in school there.

Posted by Jane McManus on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 1:33 pm |

Favre and Mangini


A few final thoughts on a two-day whirlwind.

Most of the players didn’t want to say anything negative about Eric Mangini on the day of his firing. That said, a few privately said that Brett Favre‘s relationship with Mangini was strained, and that when the powers that be had to decide between the two, Favre ultimately won the vote of confidence.

Right tackle Damien Woody said he thought Favre could be competitive next season despite the 22 interceptions — and nine in the final five games of the season — that led to the Jets’ reversal of fortune.

“I think he just wore down. I think just the fact that he came late, came in training camp. It’s a big deal when you’re not here in the offseason, you’re not in the minicamp. All those things are building blocks to help you build toward the season. When he got here we had to change everything. We were just doing things on the fly for a long time. In the end I think it caught up with us.”

And Kerry Rhodes: “If he’s dedicated and wants to come back and do this thing the right way and come here and be here when we’re here in training camp and minicamps then I’m fine with it. But don’t come here if it’s going to be half hearted or he doesn’t want to put the time in with us.”

Favre has not sounded like he wanted to return, no matter how much general manager Mike Tannenbaum and team owner Woody Johnson want him back. My thought, given that Favre’s locker was pretty well cleaned out before the media availability (except for some weird shrine with a signed helmet and football wrapped in plastic), was that Favre is on a strongly encouraged media timeout.

Favre does no good to management as a lure or bargaining chip with a future coach if he is already talking like he is out the door.

A few players are up for negotiation this year prominently including Favre, Mike Nugent, Eric Barton, Bubba Franks, Tony Richardson and Chris Baker — who hit incentive markers on his summer compromise after sitting out of OTAs.

Posted by Jane McManus on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 1:17 am |


Favre and away


Two notable absences from media availability today at Florham Park — Brett Favre and Eric Mangini. Both were here for player meetings but ducked the press. Favre refused all interviews, and Mangini will issue a statement later which is in keeping with his less-is-more media policy.

As for the shoulder, Favre said Sunday night that he had an MRI planned for today. The Jets will not confirm or deny that. Team owner Woody Johnson was asked why the team didn’t have Favre’s shoulder examined during the 1-4 slide to end the season, and had a somewhat unbelievable explanation.

“I think it’s up to Brett whether he wanted an MRI or not,” Johnson said.

Certainly a team has the right to ensure the safety of a $12 million throwing shoulder, which Favre said hurt down the back, side and sometimes to his neck. A Jets spokesperson said there would be no information on the injury from the club, but Favre expressed doubts last night that he would want to come back from a potential surgery.

Update 5:08: The Jets get the 17th pick in the 2009 draft.

Jets opponents for 2009: Home — New England, Miami, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Carolina and Cincinnati. Away — New England, Miami, Buffalo, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Oakland.

Posted by Jane McManus on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 3:32 pm |

Mangini out, search begins


Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum addressed a packed press room and announced this morning that Eric Mangini is no longer coach of the Jets. The two made the decision to fire the coach last night after talking about extending Mangini when the team was 8-3.

I asked if he thought Mangini lost the locker room, and Johnson, the team owner, said they had considered that. Both refused to say anything negative about Mangini, and wouldn’t address the specifics that went into the decision. The coordinators, Bob Sutton and Brian Schottenheimer, are also on the line.

“We’ve got a lot of talent in the building, no question about it,” Johnson said. “So that will be part of the process as we roll this forward.”

Both were vague about what kind of a coach they were looking to find, or who would be brought for an interview.

As for Brett Favre, Johnson was adamant about wanting him back. “Brett Favre was a huge net positive for this team,” he said. As general manager, Tannenbaum said he wanted to get a coach in place before deciding on Favre, which contradicts what Favre said he wanted in a timetable last week.

Here is Johnson and then Tannenbaum on whether Mangini lost the locker room.


Posted by Jane McManus on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 11:46 am |

Mangini vigil


At 10 a.m. Woody Johnson is expected to announce that Eric Mangini is no longer the head coach of the New York Jets. Last night, after backing Mangini all season, Johnson announced that he would evaluate everything this week.

Apparently he didn’t need that much time. At 2:45 in the morning, the Jets PR sent out a Metsian press release announcing this 10 a.m. meeting with the owner and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Here is a telling sound bite from Woody Johnson during an Aug. 2 lunch meeting. It’s pre-Brett Favre, and Johnson said there is no mandate and that he expects to make the playoffs. Very telling, have a listen.


Posted by Jane McManus on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 10:25 am |
| | 1 Comment »


Game thread Miami


Pats win 13-0. Baltimore plays at the same time as the Jets.

One note before the game. After the pregame warmups, all the Jets ran into the lockerroom. Brett Favre met his wife Deanna, their two daughters and a few others for a group shot in the Jets endzone. Will that moment illicit happy memories? On to the game.

Miami won the toss and elected to defer. That’s right, a vote of no confidence for the Jets. And no score on the opening drive for the Jets. A series later, Brett Favre threw his 20th interception of the season.

The stadium didn’t show the Baltimore score until Jacksonville went up 7-3, and then it went on the Jumbotron to loud cheers. No score yet in the game, but the Jets just forced the Dolphins to punt. End of the first Q 0-0.

The good news first. Jets scored when Favre tossed it to Laveranues Coles on a crossing route, Coles ran it in for a 13-yard TD, but a botched snap foiled the PAT. 6-0 Jets. The bad news is the Ravens are up 10-7. No, that revised score has not flashed inside the stadium.

Miami WR Ted Ginn just caught a beautiful 27-yard pass deep in the end zone over Jets CB Dwight Lowery. The score (and successful PAT) make it  7-6 Miami with 2:18 left in the half. And the Ravens lead 17-7 over the Jags.

Even worse. Favre’s first throw from scrimmage was intercepted by Phillip Merling and returned for a TD. Favre tried to tackle and landed on his ailing shoulder, and Kellen Clemens is warming up on the side. It’s 14-6 Miami and Baltimore is up 24-7. The Jets do manage a FG before the half, 14-9 Miami.

Jets fans, don’t be alone this halftime. If you need to, call a friend, reach out to someone who cares. If you have some kind of prescription anti-anxiety medication, consider taking some.

Leon Washington opens up the 2nd half with a 10 yard scoring run and the Jets get the conversion with a pass to Cotchery. 17-14. That Washington. Still though, no Calvary coming out of Jacksonville.

Who said Chad Pennington couldn’t throw deep? He just hit Anthony Fasano in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. And had a 44-yard pass before it that was all air. Miami is up 21-17.

Carpenter hits a 48-yard FG for Miami with 9:20 left in the fourth. 24-17 Miami. No change in the Baltimore score.

It’s a wrap. Season over, Favre (probably) over, Sutton, Franks, Baker, Nugent and Barton? Let the speculation begin…

Posted by Jane McManus on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 4:59 pm |

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A team of Journal News reporters share their thoughts on the Jets with the Lower Hudson fans.

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Jane McManusJane McManus joined The Journal News in 1999, after working at The Daily News and Newsday. Since she's been here, she's covered everything from girls basketball to the Final Four, the U.S. Open of both golf and tennis and recreational sports from rock climbing to roller derby (which she liked so much she joined the team). READ MORE
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