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Jets assistant withdraws from Dolphins search

MIAMI (Jan. 15, 2007) -- New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer withdrew from consideration for the Miami Dolphins' head-coaching job, further reducing their once-long list of candidates.

Former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora visited the Dolphins complex for a second interview. The only other candidate known to have met twice with team officials is Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey.

The team met with 12 coaches during the first round of interviews, which ended Jan. 10.

It wasn't known why Schottenheimer pulled out of consideration. He's the son of Marty Schottenheimer, whose San Diego Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs Jan. 14 by New England. The elder Schottenheimer's job could be in jeopardy, and if he's fired, there's speculation the Dolphins might pursue him.

Brian Schottenheimer, 33, was the Dolphins' youngest candidate. He has been an NFL assistant for eight seasons.

"I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the Miami Dolphins' head coaching vacancy," he said in a statement. "I am committed to the New York Jets."

The Jets made the playoffs this season, and their offense and quarterback Chad Pennington showed improvement in Schottenheimer's first year with the team.

"Brian's creative approach on offense was an integral part of our progress in the 2006 season," head coach Eric Mangini said in a statement. "I'm pleased he will remain with the Jets to build on that progress."

One candidate interviewed earlier by the Dolphins, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, became Arizona's head coach Jan. 14. Two others interviewed by Miami, Chicago Bears assistants Ron Rivera and Ron Turner, are unavailable for further talks while their team remains in the playoffs.

Also interviewed last week was Dolphins defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who then reached an agreement on a new three-year contract. It's unclear whether he remains in contention for the head job vacated when Nick Saban left for Alabama on Jan. 3.

AP NEWS
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