Conventional wisdom around the Jets coaching search is that Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is the favorite for the job, with the caveat that he must keep Brian Schottenheimer as the team's offensive coordinator. Ryan is said to be okay with that, reportedly because lost out on the Chargers coaching job three years ago by balking at keeping the since-fired Ted Cottrell on his staff.
Adam Schefter of the NFL Network, however, is reporting that isn't true. He writes that the strong belief is that Schottenheimer would look to leave the team if Ryan is hired. Schottenheimer pulled himself out of the chase for the Dolphins head coaching job in 2007 and, per Schefter, would be peeved if he was passed over for the head job with the Jets.
The only response to that is tough nuts. For one thing, unless he gets a head coaching job, unlikely considering no other team has asked about interviewing him, he's bound to the Jets. For another thing, overseeing an offense that failed to properly use Leon Washington and staggered down the stretch is hardly what you'd call leverage in an argument about what role you deserve. Schottenheimer, quite frankly, is lucky that he's still got the offensive coordinator job.
This entire problem, if it exists, speaks to a fundamental problem with the way the Jets are doing business. There have been whispers that Tannenbaum wants to hire Schottenheimer but fears a public backlash if he goes through with it, which is why Ryan's moved into the front-runner's spot. If that's the way Tannenbaum feels, he should hire Schottenheimer and let the fans and media come around if he's successful. Joe Torre wasn't a popular hire in 1996 either, and memories are short when clouded by winning seasons.
The problem with that is that every single move the Jets have made has been leaked to the press which means that the waters are chummed for sharks to pounce at the moment they name a new coach. The team is overly concerned with public opinion, wildly lurching from one direction to the other at a whim instead of taking the time to make their decisions and then opening them up for public consumption.
If Schottenheimer's the guy, take the hit and have the confidence of your convictions. If Ryan's the guy and Schottenheimer doesn't like it, thank him for his time and send him packing. Either way, make a decision based on what's best for the team, not what's best for your job security or what gets you the biggest headlines.