When the Jets' season ended last January, they received an inquiry from the Raiders, who sought permission to speak with secondary coach Dennis Thurman about their defensive-coordinator vacancy. Rex Ryan denied the permission. By rule, he had that right.
On Wednesday, Raiders coach Hue Jackson was asked about the snub.
"I was a little surprised," he told the New York media on a conference call. "I’ve known Dennis for a long time. We go way back, worked together at USC; (we) have a personal relationship, but I understand the situation. You hate to lose good coaches, and Dennis (is) a very good coach for that football team.
"If the organization has the opportunity to not let a coach move forward in his career, they can do so. So I do understand the rule, but I do understand that everybody does have aspirations and goals that they want to attain, and I know that’s something that Dennis wants to do, but obviously it didn’t work out this time."
It's interesting to think what might have happened if the Jets had let him go. With Thurman in Oakland, the Raiders would've had a better chance of recruiting free-agent CB Antonio Cromartie, who was coveted by the Silver & Black before re-signing with the Jets. Thurman played a key role in Cromartie staying, texting him every day during the team's ill-fated courtship of Nnamdi Asomugha.
If the Jets had lost Thurman and Cromartie ... you don't want to imagine that.
UPDATE: Later in the day, Ryan was asked about the Raiders' request for Thurman.
"I have a responsibility to this organization, first and foremost," he said. "I love Dennis like a brother, but I'd keep my brother, too. It's just the way it is. Dennis aspires to be a head coach one day. That's the seat he wants more than anything else. We don't have an open-door policy here, where you can just come and take any coach you want. That's not what we signed up for."