Ravens' Henderson may get job with Jets

He appears to be favorite for defensive coordinator

Pro Football

January 24, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens secondary coach Donnie Henderson appears to be the front-runner to be offered the New York Jets' defensive coordinator position.

One of the Jets' candidates, Ron Rivera, agreed to become the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears yesterday. Rivera, the seventh person the Jets have either interviewed or were highly interested in to decide to go to another team, was considered the front-runner.

Henderson could not be reached for comment. He and former New York Giants defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn are the only two remaining candidates who have interviewed for the Jets' job.

While the Jets are not expected to make an announcement until next week, a league source said the team is leaning heavily toward Henderson. There is a chance the Jets will wait until after the Super Bowl to talk with New England Patriots secondary coach Eric Mangini, but the Patriots may deny Mangini the opportunity to interview for the job immediately.

New England would likely promote Mangini to defensive coordinator if Romeo Crennel, who currently holds that position, becomes the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are expected to interview Crennel after the Super Bowl.

Mangini is in the final year of his contract. The Jets could wait until two weeks after the Super Bowl to talk to Mangini, when he would officially become a free agent, if the Patriots deny permission. But the Jets are not expected to hold open the position that long.

If Henderson, 46, leaves, the Ravens may promote assistant secondary coach Dennis Thurman.

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