|Bill Callahan hired as assistant head coach by Jets|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 18 January 2008 14:25|
Callahan, who coached the Oakland Raiders to the 2002 AFC championship before they lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl, has 31 years coaching experience, including nine in the NFL.
``Bill brings valuable experience as an assistant coach and head coach on both the college and NFL levels,'' Jets coach Eric Mangini said. ``His expertise with the running game and with protections will be a big asset. I look forward to adding him to our staff.''
The 51-year-old Callahan had a 27-22 record during a contentious four seasons with Nebraska, where he often was viewed as an outsider by Cornhuskers fans. He was fired after a 5-7 season by former Cornhuskers coach Tom Osborne, who returned to the school as interim athletic director.
But now Callahan's back in the NFL, where he'll work primarily with the offensive line.
``I am excited about the opportunity to join the New York Jets,'' Callahan said. ``Coach Mangini has assembled a fine coaching staff and I look forward to working with them and contributing to the team.''
Although the Jets acquired running back Thomas Jones last year from Chicago and Jones rushed for 1,119 yards, the rushing attack was considered to have underachieved. New York's two first-round draft picks, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold, didn't progress much in 2007.
Tony Wise and Mike Devlin worked with the offensive linemen last year. Wise is not expected to return.
Callahan was Jon Gruden's offensive coordinator in Oakland, and the Raiders led the NFL in rushing in 2000. He replaced Gruden in 2002 when Gruden went to the Buccaneers, and the Raiders led the NFL in passing offense that season for the first time in franchise history. They also led the NFL in total offense in 2002, but lost to Gruden's Bucs in the Super Bowl.