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Vitt, Haslett on deck


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Vitt, Haslett on deck

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Star-Ledger Staff The Jets have scheduled an interview with Rams interim head coach Joe Vitt on Monday and plan to meet with former Saints coach Jim Haslett later in the week about their head coaching vacancy, according to someone with knowledge of the club's thinking.

The Jets also plan to interview coordinators Donnie Henderson and Mike Heimerdinger. Henderson interviewed for the vacant Saints job yesterday.

"We will begin interviewing head coaching candidates immediately," Jets general manager Terry Bradway said yesterday in a statement.

Vitt, 51, is a career defensive assistant/linebacker coach who grew up in Blackwood, N.J. He posted a 4-7 mark this season as a replacement for Mike Martz, who had health issues.

Vitt, who has spent the past five seasons with the Rams, is an old- school disciplinarian and a good motivator. He has coached in the NFL for 27 years, with stints with the Chiefs, Packers, Eagles, L.A. Rams, Seahawks and the then-Baltimore Colts.

Haslett, 50, who has interviewed witth the Lions, has speny the past six seasons as coach of the Saints, compiling a 45-51 record, including a 3-13 mark last year in a season ruined by the havoc caused by Hurricane Katrina.

He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Bills (1979-86) and Jets (1987).

Mike Sherman (Packers), Jim Fassel (Ravens) and Russ Grimm (Steelers) and Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff are also on the Jets' list of potential replacements for Edwards.

A dark-horse candidate may be Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, although his age -- he turns 35 next week -- could work against him. He has been under Patriots coach Bill Belichick since the two were together with the Jets and is a clone of his mentor.

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