Jets, Spagnuolo have second meeting

Updated: January 16, 2009, 8:54 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Jets had a second meeting with Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo earlier this week about their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the search told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Spagnuolo, considered one of the top candidates for the job, met with owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum on Tuesday at the Jets owner's Manhattan office, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the Jets are not discussing the interviews.

Johnson was on vacation when Spagnuolo first met with the Jets on Jan. 3 and wanted him to come back for a personal meeting. Johnson did the same for the first two candidates: Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

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The team has interviewed at least six other candidates. No other interviews were scheduled as of Thursday night.

Spagnuolo, Schottenheimer and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan are widely believed to be at the top of New York's list, although the team has not decided on finalists. The Jets appear to be in no rush to hire a coach, and perhaps delaying the team's decision is the fact that Ryan and Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm are still coaching teams in the playoffs.

Ryan's Ravens are at Pittsburgh on Sunday for the AFC championship, while Grimm's Cardinals will host the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC title.

Ryan, who has also interviewed for the St. Louis Rams job, met with the Jets for several hours Sunday and reportedly impressed team officials. He might hold a slight edge over Spagnuolo because Ryan runs a 3-4 defense -- which the Jets used the last few years under Eric Mangini -- while the Giants coach prefers a 4-3.

"I'm excited about the interviews and all that, but I'm excited about coaching right now," Ryan said. "Hopefully if there's another day to interview next week that would be great, but I just want to get a Super Bowl and coach this team."

Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski also interviewed with the team. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has also reportedly met with Jets officials, but the team would neither confirm nor deny that an interview took place.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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