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News » Add Shanahan to candidate list

Add Shanahan to candidate list

Add Shanahan to candidate list
The third day of the Jets' search for a coach wasn't nearly as exciting as the second. But that's not to say nothing occurred yesterday as the Jets continued to look for Eric Mangini's replacement.

Late Tuesday brought the news from Bill Cowher's agent that the former Steelers coach, whom the Jets were planning to interview and make a significant push for, was taking himself out of consideration.

But another prominent name is on the team's radar screen - albeit as a blip at this point, a league source said - and that coach made his intention to secure future employment known yesterday.

"I'll be coaching again," just- fired Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said at his going-away news conference. "I can't give you a time frame. I love the NFL, so I don't see getting out of it, but you just don't know."

When word reached the Jets' Florham Park facility Tuesday that Shanahan had been fired, his name entered the fray and still was being bandied about yesterday. But the Jets are only at the stage of "performing due diligence" on Shanahan, a source said, and have not scheduled an interview.

Shanahan said yesterday he had not been contacted by any team that needs a coach, but that is expected to change soon enough. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Browns owner Randy Lerner, in New York yesterday to interview Mangini for his team's opening, also is interested in Shanahan.

"How can you not?" the source told the Plain Dealer when asked if the Browns will try to talk to Shanahan.

The Jets have three interviews scheduled for this weekend, starting with two members of Mangini's staff. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line/assistant head coach Bill Callahan, the Raiders' coach from 2002-03, will interview tomorrow. Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who multiple sources believe is at or near the top of the team's wish list, is scheduled to come in Saturday.

"Am I surprised by it? Of course not, not at all," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday of other teams' interest in Spagnuolo. "So we will see where that goes. Steve is very, very well thought of by our organization, and he knows that. So we will see where that goes."

The Lions and Browns also are expected to interview Spagnuolo. To comply with the league's Rooney Rule, the Jets also have to interview at least one minority candidate.

A new name was thrown into the mix late yesterday afternoon as the Jets asked for and received permission from the Ravens to interview defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. He has been with the Ravens since 1999, the last four as defensive coordinator. The high-energy Ryan, like his father, Buddy, is not lacking for confidence. He presided over the league's top defensive unit in 2006 and the second-ranked unit this season.

He is beloved by his players for his charisma and aggressive schemes, and many of them were upset when he didn't get the Ravens' head job after Brian Billick was fired following the 2007 season. After he was hired, incoming coach John Harbaugh extended Ryan's contract as defensive coordinator and made him assistant head coach.

The Jets cannot interview Ryan until after the Ravens' season ends - Baltimore plays at Miami Sunday in an AFC wild-card game - but if the Ravens make the Super Bowl, the Jets can interview him during that bye week.

Another name that has been mentioned in the Jets' search is Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a Browns scout from 1993-95. Schwartz got to know Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum when Tannenbaum was a player personnel assistant with the Browns in 1995.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 1, 2009

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