Friday, March 8, 2013

Jets' Thurman has 'no problem' if Rex calls defense


Dennis Thurman was promoted to his New York Jets defensive coordinator post following the departure of Mike Pettine, who left for the rival Buffalo Bills.

Defensively, head coach Rex Ryan called the shots, on the field and off, for a good portion of Pettine's reign, and Thurman is well aware that the same will apply to him.

Having spent the last four years as Gang Green's defensive backs coach and one of the team's top assistants, Thurman knows how the defense rolls with Ryan at the helm and insists he's completely content with Ryan calling plays. (photo: Matt Britt Flickr)

“Rex and I haven’t really talked about it. I have no problem if Rex wants to call it. If we do it like we’ve done it in the past, my input will always be there,” Thurman told the team's website, via the Star-Ledger. “It’s not really the call — it’s how you play the call.

"So who’s calling it really doesn’t matter to me — it’s how the guys out there on the field are performing the call is what matters the most.”

Pettine thrived under Ryan, boasting one of the NFL's top defenses in each of his four years with the Jets. But he felt now was the time to shed Ryan's shadow and prove he could do it on his own.

Thurman is highly-regarded in coaching circles, so maybe he eventually takes a similar path. In fact, the Jets denied a request from the Oakland Raiders two years ago to interview Thurman for a coordinator gig.

Regardless, for now, he'll be the new, let's call it, "associate" defensive coach in New York.

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