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Jets Hire Veteran Coach Nolan

Mike Nolan, who has coached in the NFL for 14 years, was hired today as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

Nolan spent the last three seasons with the Washington Redskins and coached the New York Giants defense from 1993-96. He also coached with the Denver Broncos from 1987-93, first as special teams coach and then as a defensive assistant and linebackers coach.

The hiring of Nolan continued the team's coaching shakeup.

On Jan. 3, Bill Parcells stepped down as head coach and was replaced by Bill Belichick, the defensive coordinator whose contract stipulated he would be elevated when Parcells stopped coaching.

A day later, Belichick quit, citing uncertainty with the team's ownership. But Belichick actually wanted to coach the New England Patriots. After several weeks of turmoil including Belichick filing a grievance with the league and seeking a federal constraining order he signed with the Patriots when the two teams worked out a compensation agreement.

Linebackers coach Al Groh was promoted to head coach. Defensive line coach Romeo Crennel, whom both Parcells and Groh envisioned taking over as coordinator, left for Cleveland.

So the Jets turned to Nolan.

"Mike Nolan's career and our conversations together all add up to the realization that he is smart, tough and focused," Groh said. "As such, I feel very good about our ability to work together and the leadership style that he will bring to the defense. Our players are accustomed to expect a high standard in coaching and preparation and that is what they will get from Mike."

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