Kind of fitting that Tony Sparano will be coaching in the backyard of Tony Soprano, no? NFL.com reports:
Having the understated Sparano replace Brian Schottenheimer as the brash Ryan’s offensive coordinator in New York might not initially seem to make much sense. But dig deeper — begin to realize what each of these men can offer the other — and you might be looking at a perfect match. Forget oil and water. Think Starsky and Hutch.
In the last two months, both could have used some neutralizing. While the culture created by Ryan’s bravado seemed to spin out of control late in the Jets’ season, Sparano’s often-slumped shoulders helped Dolphins ownership decide to fire him.
If anyone needed an injection of swagger, it was Sparano. And if anyone needed a dose of humility, it was Ryan. Both are good men with great potential. And together, as odd as it might seem, they have a chance to reach it.
This isn’t as much of a stretch as you might think.
From a football standpoint, Sparano’s play calling is an ideal fit for a Jets team that might benefit from more of a ground-and-pound approach. Was it boring in Miami? Often, yes. But if you go back to Sparano’s days in Dallas, when he called plays under Bill Parcells, his approach was often much more aggressive, if still run-oriented. Saints coach Sean Payton, whose team has come to be known for its explosive aerial attack, actually attempted to hire Sparano to run his offense in 2006 (they are close friends), but Parcells blocked the move. Sparano’s style could make for an ideal union with Ryan’s defense.