Mangini Accepts New York Jets' Job

The New York Jets have their new head coach, and it is not a guy named Mike. The Jets didn't wait very long and didn't travel very far to find their man. Patriots' defensive coordinator Eric Mangini has decided to accept New York's offer to join New England's division rival as reported this evening.

Just a few short hours after concluding their interview of former Viking's head coach Mike Tice, ESPN broke the story that Mangini was the guy for Gang Green. The AP has also run a story indicating an unnamed source has confirmed Mangini will be the Jets' next head coach, although no official announcement has been made.

The Jets conducted a head-coaching search that included former head coaches Tice, Jim Haslett (Saints), Joe Vitt (Rams) as well as Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Three Jets coordinators also interviewed for the position, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff. It was widely believed Owner Woody Johnson preferred a candidate outside the organization.

Terry Bradway spoke highly of Tice and Haslett in his press conference last week as two coaches the Jets wanted to talk to. When questions surfaced regarding Mangini, he wouldn't rule out hiring a coach without prior head coaching experience and declined to place specifics on age being a factor

"You look at experience and you look at ability, and those are the things that are important," Bradway said.

It appears that Mangini possessed both of those in abundance considering Tice's interview was this afternoon, and the Jets decided to pursue Mangini immediately.

Jets assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum has been a strong advocate of Mangini since the coaching search began. He has been Mangini's friend since the Patriots' assistant was a Jets' assistant under Bill Belichick. While current GM Terry Bradway advocated Tice's interview, Tannenbaum got his way on Monday evening.

Mangini is walking into a quagmire of talent, cap issues, injury concerns and a front office not well known for having their house in order. Former Jets' head coach Herm Edwards left New York to take the Kansas City Chiefs' opening, in part, because of the mess he knew he could leave behind.

The Jets have some work to do to get things back on track on offense. They have an injured, aging running back, an injured underachieving and possibly overpaid quarterback, and they have concerns along the line and at wide receiver. In short, they need to desperately pay attention to the offense.

Fortunately for Mangini, who is considered an excellent defensive mind, the Jets defense is one of the best. With loads of talent, the biggest challenge for Mangini there will be to retool the roster with players the team can afford as they rebuild their offense.

Mangini leaves the Patriots after serving ten years under Bill Belichick's tutelage, five with New England.

One interesting decision Mangini will have will be whether to keep former Patriot Ty Law on the roster. Law is due a large bonus this spring, which could cause the Jets problems with the salary cap.


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