With Brian Schottenheimer out and quarterback Mark Sanchez coming off a disappointing season, the New York Jets looked to Tony Sparano to right the ship, hiring him as the team's offensive coordinator.
“When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense,” said Head Coach Rex Ryan. “I’ve admired his work as a competitor in the division for the past three seasons. His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed.”
Sparano joins the Jets after spending the previous four seasons as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
In his first year with the Dolphins, Sparano posted an 11-5 record -- a ten game improvement from the prior year -- and won the AFC East. In his three-plus seasons with the Dolphins, he compiled a 29-32 record.
Under Sparano, Miami’s offense saw QB Chad Pennington throw for a career-high 3,653 yards in 2008 and post a 97.4 passer rating en route to winning the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.
Sparano's retro "Wildcat" offense -- borne out of necessity due to the lack of weapons in Miami -- has influenced offensive football at all levels, as most offensive coordinators now have some run package involving direct snaps to a running back. Given such history, expect Sparano to emphasize more of a run-first approach next year.
Under Sparano’s offense, the Dolphins had running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams each register at least 600 yards rushing from 2008-10, while Reggie Bush this season registered his first 1,000-yard rushing performance of his career.
“I’m very proud to be part of such an outstanding organization and to have an opportunity to work with these players,” said Sparano. “I know this division very well and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Prior to being named head coach in Miami, Sparano coached the Dallas Cowboys. In 2006 as the primary play-caller, the Cowboys offense ranked fourth in scoring and fifth in total offense, producing two 1,000-yard wide receivers in Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, and a 1,000-yard rusher in Julius Jones.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald