Johnson said Ryan will have a say in hiring the new GM. San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble has been considered by many to be the front-runner, but he has attracted interest from several teams. So has Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell, who was hired Tuesday by Jacksonville.
The team also met with Marc Ross, the Giants’ director of college scouting, and in-house candidate Scott Cohen, the Jets‘ assistant GM. Johnson acknowledged that the team has told candidates they will have to be willing to work with Ryan, who brushed off any talk that he could be considered a lame-duck coach.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll have the exact same agenda as the general manager,” Ryan said. “We want to win.”
Sparano was fired Tuesday after one season in which the offense ranked among the league’s worst, and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is also out after four seasons.
“I have failed in that area,” Ryan said.
Neither Sparano nor Cavanaugh could get Sanchez to make the next step in his development, and the quarterback actually regressed this season _ culminating in the first benching of his career. Sanchez’s 52 turnovers the last two seasons are the most in the NFL. Ryan and Johnson insisted money wouldn’t factor into any decisions on personnel _ despite the fact Sanchez is owed $8.25 million in guarantees and would cost the Jets a $17.1 million salary cap hit if they cut him.
The Jets also couldn’t figure out a way to effectively use Tebow, who failed to get into the end zone all season and stood mostly on the sideline, though he was supposed to be a major part of Sparano’s offense. Tebow is expected to be traded or released _ but personnel moves will largely depend on the next general manager.
“It is way too early to say what any of our players’ futures are,” Ryan said.
Ryan hinted that Pettine’s replacement would come from within the franchise, likely secondary coach Dennis Thurman. Westhoff will be replaced by his assistant, Ben Kotwica.
Ryan’s much-discussed tattoo of his wife wearing a Sanchez jersey _ photographed while he was vacationing in the Bahamas _ also came up. The coach laughed at the question, saying he’s had it on his right arm for nearly three years.
“I know what you’re thinking. Obviously, if Sanchez doesn’t play better that number is changing,” Ryan said with a laugh. “I’ve been married 25 years and, in my eyes, my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world.”