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With Edwards gone, Jets begin coach search

EMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Jan. 9, 2006) -- Looking to replace Herman Edwards, the New York Jets are talking to Jim Haslett, Mike Tice and Joe Vitt, all of whom were head coaches in the NFL this season.

General manager Terry Bradway said Haslett, fired last week by New Orleans, spoke with Jets officials on Jan. 9. He said the team also will talk to Tice, Minnesota's former coach, and Vitt, who went 4-7 as interim coach of the St. Louis Rams when Mike Martz left to have a heart ailment treated.

Bradway also said ex-Green Bay coach Mike Sherman might be in for a later interview but is not on his early list.

Edwards, hired by the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 9, coached the Jets for five seasons. He had two years remaining on his contract but was allowed to leave for Kansas City, where he began his coaching career as an assistant. The Chiefs gave the Jets a fourth-round draft pick as compensation.

Bradway said he had expected a call from Carl Peterson, the Chiefs' president, asking for permission to talk to Edwards after Dick Vermeil announced his retirement at age 69.

"In Herm's case, because of his relationship with Carl, the relationship that he has with a lot of people back there, it was an opportunity he wanted to look at," Bradway said. "I think Herm knew that we wanted him. There wasn't ever any conversation between anyone here that indicated otherwise."

Bradway had positive things to say about the three coaches he acknowledged considering.

He noted that Haslett, who had a winning record going into this season, is the only coach in the history of the Saints to win a playoff game and added that he thought he did a good job handling the travails of a team rendered homeless this season by Hurricane Katrina.

He referred several times to Tice, who grew up nearby on Long Island, as "a good coach," although he said geography would not necessarily be a factor in the hiring.

Of Vitt, he said: "Joe is a guy that's been in the league for 27 years. I thought he did a great job of coaching St. Louis last year; he finished 4?7, playing with the quarterback being hurt. And Joe deserves an opportunity to come in and talk."

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