Jets part ways with four coaches
One day after coming within a half of reaching the Super Bowl, the New York Jets parted ways with four assistant coaches and a consultant.
Among those let go were assistant defensive backs coach Doug Plank, assistant quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, special-teams coach Kevin O'Dea and defensive quality control coach Brian Smith. Plank was fired. The other three had contracts that expired and weren't renewed, a Jets spokesman confirmed.
Pass-rushing consultant Chuck Smith left to become defensive line coach at the University of Tennessee.
Jets coach Rex Ryan didn't mention the coaches by name at his Monday afternoon news conference but did say some members of his staff would not have expired contracts renewed.
"We're going to have, unfortunately the way everything is, there's some guys on our staff that their contracts won't be extended," Ryan said. "They ran out, and some contracts will not be extended, and that's unfortunate because some guys did a great job. I'd really rather not get into the particulars of things right now."
Plank is the most notable casualty. He wore No. 46 as a safety for the Chicago Bears and was the inspiration for the 46 defense, the innovative defensive scheme devised by Buddy Ryan, father of Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
Plank, who worked with secondary coach Dennis Thurman, was an assistant with the Atlanta Falcons last season.
DeFilippo joined the Jets after two years as the Oakland Raiders' quarterbacks coach. His job seemed superfluous with veteran quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on staff.
O'Dea worked with special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff. The club also had an assistant special-teams coach, Ben Kotwica.
Ryan asked Chuck Smith, a former Falcons defensive end, to remain with the club after helping in training camp.
Outside linebacker Calvin Pace recently praised Smith for helping him lead the Jets with eight sacks and 13 tackles for loss despite missing four games to suspension. But Smith couldn't help Vernon Gholston, the sixth overall draft choice in 2008, make any sort of impact.
Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com.