New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has turned down the team's offer of a contract extension, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Pettine is in the final year of his current contract with the Jets. Turning down an extension frees him to pursue other opportunities after his current team wraps up its disappointing 2012 run. Pettine's potential departure is another sign that things could be unraveling in New York.
On Thursday, the Jets defensive coordinator admitted that his players were upset with the responsibility put upon them by the team's struggling offense, via the New York Daily News:
"I know it's frustrating that they feel like they have to do it. In the past maybe it affected me as a play caller where you feel like, ‘Hey, listen I can't go too much risk-reward here because if we go down a certain amount, there's a reasonable chance we're not going to get back in it.' ... I think I changed that where we stayed aggressive maybe in times I wouldn't have. I just think it's human nature. I think it wears on our guys. They are competitive. They want to win. They want to do everything they can to help the team win ... We just preach to our guys: Stay the course ... When we get out there, it's more TV time for us."
The Jets defense has been surprisingly effective this season, even without cornerback Darrelle Revis. They are the only team allowing fewer passing yards per game, on average, than the Jets. Overall, New York is giving opponents an average of 330 yards per game, eighth-best in the league. That alone might be enough to get him some head coaching job interviews.
Pettine joined Rex Ryan's Baltimore defensive staff in 2002. He left the Ravens for his current position when Ryan took the Jets head coaching job in 2009.