Ravens lose two coaches to Jets Mangini, Pioli resign

Sheppard may go, too

February 06, 1997|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

New York Jets coach Bill Belichick is raiding the Ravens to help form his new coaching staff.

Both Ravens quality control assistant on offense Eric Mangini and Scott Pioli, the pro personnel coordinator, resigned late Monday night and joined the Jets' payroll yesterday morning.

The Jets also have gotten permission from the Ravens to speak with receivers coach Mike Sheppard, who is a candidate to be the Jets' offensive coordinator.

Belichick, who was fired last February by Ravens owner Art Modell after five years with the Cleveland Browns, was hired by the Jets on Tuesday. Belichick will coach the Jets next season, with Bill Parcells taking over in 1998 -- pending approval from commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Belichick said he planned to announce most of his staff today.

Sheppard spent three years as an assistant under Belichick with the Browns. Sheppard, who calls the Ravens' plays, was a candidate to be the offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars until the New England Patriots' Chris Palmer filled that position yesterday.

"It's an opportunity for Mike," said Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel. "I think it's going to be a tough decision for him, and a lot has to do with being off the field."

If Sheppard takes the Jets job, he would have to move his family for the second time in six months. Also, he would probably have a less wide-open offense under the conservative Belichick, who is considered to be more difficult to work with than Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda.

Pioli and

Mangini also worked for Belichick in Cleveland. Pioli, Newsome said, will become the Jets' director of player personnel. Mangini, who has close family ties with Belichick, will become an offensive line assistant.

Newsome said he wasn't concerned about Pioli sharing Ravens draft information with Belichick, who also signed a number of Ravens free agents last season when he was the assistant head coach of the Patriots.

"It's a similar situation we had with Bill and Mike [Lombardi, former Browns director of player personnel] last year," said Newsome about the draft. "Scott has some information, but it is information he worked for through his own evaluations. I'm not paranoid about his situation with the Jets."

The Ravens are expected to begin negotiations today or tomorrow with wide receiver Michael Jackson in restructuring his contract, which calls for $2.5 million in base salary next season. Almost $2.8 million of his contract counts against the salary cap.

Jackson had the best season of his six-year career, with 1,201 yards on 76 catches, and was tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions (14) with the San Diego Chargers' Tony Martin.

Re-signing Jackson and center Steve Everitt are considered two of the team's top priorities before the Ravens enter the free-agent market during the off-season.

The Ravens have offered Everitt, the team's transition player, a five-year contract worth $9 million, including a $2.5 million signing bonus. According to a source close to Everitt, the fourth-year center wants a five-year contract worth $15 million.

Everitt's agent, John Macik, said he expected to speak with Everitt about the offer as early as this morning.

Pub Date: 2/06/97

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