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AP Source: No decision yet on Jets OC Sparano

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AP Source: No decision yet on Jets OC Sparano

NEW YORK (AP) Tony Sparano is still the Jets' offensive coordinator.

And, as unlikely as it seems, there remains a chance he could be running Rex Ryan's offense next season.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Jets have not yet made a decision on Sparano's job status despite many fans and media having speculated that Sparano will certainly be fired after one season. That means there's a possibility, although it would appear slim, that Sparano could remain on Ryan's staff. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the status of the coaching staff.

Ryan, along with all of his assistants, are off until next Monday as they take a break following a dismal 6-10 season that was capped by general manager Mike Tannenbaum being fired Monday. Ryan, who is vacationing in the Bahamas, and owner Woody Johnson will not address the media until next Tuesday.

While Johnson said in a statement that Ryan will remain the Jets' coach next season, there still remains some uncertainty on which coaches will be back and which ones will not as the team searches for a new general manager. San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and former Cleveland GM Tom Heckert are expected to be among those interviewed by the Jets starting later this week.

Much of the coaching staff decisions will likely depend on who the new general manager is. It is believed Ryan will be safe - at least for next season - regardless of who is hired, but there could be changes made on the coach's staff. While Sparano's status is uncertain, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine turned down a contract extension earlier in the season, and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired after the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

Sparano was hired last March to replace Brian Schottenheimer and to turn around 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. Sparano was expected to use Tebow as a major part of the Jets' wildcat-style offense, but the popular backup quarterback was mostly a non-factor - failing to get into the end zone during his first and likely only season in New York.

Mark Sanchez also had a miserable season, getting benched for the first time in his career and leaving his status as the team's starting quarterback next year in serious doubt.

``He's working his butt off and starting to go through player evaluations and things like that that coaches do right after the season ends and these next couple days I'm sure they'll do that,'' Sanchez said Monday as the players cleared out their lockers. ``But he's a fighter, he's a tough guy and he's doing his best to try and help the team.''

Sparano was also working with a makeshift lineup in some cases as top wide receiver Santonio Holmes was lost for the season early with a foot injury. Tight end Dustin Keller played in only eight games because of injuries, while rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill played in just 11 and finished the season on injured reserve with a sprained knee ligament.

Sparano had no comment after the season-ending 28-9 loss to the Bills on Sunday, and many thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would be out as the team's offensive coordinator. Ryan also declined to comment on the futures of any of his coaches after the game.

``What I am as a coach or any of those things, it's for somebody else to evaluate and obviously there are a lot of people evaluating me,'' a joking Sparano said in his weekly news conference last Thursday. ``All that being said, I think that when we had those pieces which was not very long, we didn't have them together very long, meaning Tone (Holmes), Stephen and Keller, having all the players out there together at one time, I thought that we were getting really close to where we needed to be.''

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NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

After signing Markieff Morris to a contract following the former Wizard's buy out from the Pistons, the Lakers reportedly waived center DeMarcus Cousins to open a roster spot. 

Health has been a major issue over the last two years for Cousins. He hasn't played a game this year thanks to a torn ACL he suffered before the season, and he missed all but 30 games last year due to an Achilles injury he suffered with the Pelicans midway through the 2017-18 season. 

Before injuries robbed Cousins of the majority of his prime, he was arguably the best big man in the game. Prior to his Achilles injury in New Orleans, he was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 47% percent from the floor and 35.4% from three on 6.1 attempts per game. 

For the Wizards, Cousins could represent another low risk, high reward big man acquisition that the Lakers couldn't find any use for. Washington acquired both Thomas Bryant and Moe Wagner from LA for practically nothing and both have played well after their relocation to D.C. 

Also, John Wall played with Cousins at the University of Kentucky and both have mentioned a desire to play together again at some point. Neither player is expected to return from injury this season, so they could both go on an NBA revenge tour together alongside Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. 

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see what Cousins decides to do. According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, Cousins won't officially be waived until Sunday. The team who claims him will be able to offer him up to $4.2 million in salary this summer. 

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Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Baseball isn’t quite in full swing yet. But it’s close enough. 

The Orioles will open up their spring slate of games on Saturday against the Braves in North Port, Fla. It’s both the first game of spring training for both teams. 

The game can be listened to on Orioles.com or on the MLB At-Bat app. 

So here are three things to pay attention to during the first game of the spring: 

1. The starting pitching

The pitching was, to be frank, atrocious last season for the Orioles. 2020 doesn’t figure to showcase a large jump, either. 

Baltimore will start Chandler Shepherd against the Braves, a pitcher who started three games last season in Baltimore. He allowed 23 hits and 14 earned runs in 19 innings pitched and posted a 6.63 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Ty Blach will pitch in relief of Shepherd. Blach pitched in five games last season for the Orioles and threw 20 ⅓ innings with an ERA 11.32. 

While neither will likely make the Opening Day roster, it’ll give an interesting look at what could be in store for the rest of spring training in Sarasota. 

2. How much the prospects play

For most major league clubs, there’s not much to get excited about for the first few games of spring training. The Orioles, though, are in a bit of a unique circumstance. 

In the second year of a rebuild, the Orioles are placing their future in the hands of younger prospects, meaning there’s always a chance for a few players to stand out in the first weeks of camp. 

While the lineups aren’t known yet, both for Saturday’s game and for the immediate future, getting a glimpse at some of the younger prospects like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Gunnar Henderson, and DL Hall is what fans have been clamoring for. 

3. The return of baseball

It’s not the return of baseball in the truest sense of the phrase.  

The Orioles aren’t going to play their top of the line prospects, or their major league club. But the first game of the spring means that baseball, officially, is back for Baltimore. 

Even though the 2020 season almost assuredly won’t be one that resembles any kind of contention, the Orioles hitting the field once again is always an exciting time.

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