From Comcast SportsNetFLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Jets' housecleaning will bring three new coordinators in 2013.Tony Sparano was fired Tuesday as offensive coordinator after one season in which the offense ranked among the league's worst.Sparano was hired last March to replace Brian Schottenheimer and take over an offense that struggled mightily. Instead, the former Miami Dolphins head coach wasn't able to jumpstart the running game or figure out a way to use Tim Tebow consistently as the Jets finished 30th in the NFL in total offense.Also gone is defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose contract expired. Coach Rex Ryan, who worked with Pettine the last 10 years, said Pettine was interviewing for the same job in Buffalo.The contract of quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh also was not renewed. Ben Kotwica replaces the retired Mike Westhoff as special teams coordinator.And the Jets are looking for a new general manager after Mike Tannenbaum was fired last week.Sparano was expected to use Tebow as a major part of the Jets' wildcat-style offense, but the popular backup quarterback was mostly a nonfactor, failing to get into the end zone during his first and likely only season in New York.Ryan admitted that Sparano had unusual circumstances to deal with, particularly when receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller got hurt."From a personnel standpoint, this was not the team we thought we'd have all season," Ryan said while also praising Sparano for his diligence."I want to be more of an unpredictable offense. As hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be offensively."Ryan believes Pettine will be some team's defensive coordinator next season. He said there are viable candidates among his defensive assistants to replace Pettine, but did not guarantee anyone would be elevated.
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Five Things to Watch:
1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.
2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.
3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.
4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.
5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.
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