New York Jets fans have their wish. Brian Schottenheimer, the team's much-maligned offensive coordinator, stepped down late Tuesday night. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the Jets are expected to name former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as Schottenheimer's replacement as early as Wednesday.
Schottenheimer's departure headlines a shuffle throughout the Jets' coaching staff. Offensive line coach and running game coordinator Bill Callahan is also on his way out, as he's taken the same position with the Dallas Cowboys. The team also announced that wide receivers coach Henry Ellard would also not return next season.
Schottenheimer, the son of former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, ran the Jets' offense since 2006, working with three different starting quarterbacks. He was a part of three playoff teams, in 2006 with Chad Pennington as quarterback, and twice during the Rex Ryan era in 2009 and 2010 while tutoring young quarterback Mark Sanchez (with the forgettable 2008 Brett Favre season in the middle). But the Jets never had a consistently good offense under Schottenheimer. The team's overall offensive ranks (by yardage) in his six seasons running the show were as follows: 25th, 26th, 16th, 20th, 11th, and 25th. Jets fans had become increasingly tired of his conservative approach and are clearly frustrated with Sanchez's lack of development.
Interestingly, Sparano's Dolphins were never an offensive show themselves. It was thought that the Jets would go towards a more pass-heavy direction, trying to find the right person to nurture Sanchez into a top-flight quarterback. But Sparano had marginal quarterbacks during his time in Miami and stuck to a very run-oriented system -- which falls very much in line with the type of team Rex Ryan wants for his football team. The Dolphins were a top-11 rushing team in three of Sparano's four years, and conversely were a mid-to-low ranking passing team.
It remains to be seen if Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh will stay or will be let go.
Jets fans no longer have to worry about pulling their hair out on Sundays yelling at Schottenheimer through the television. Perhaps they'll just be directing their ire at Sparano in 2012.