The New York Jets camp made a big splash this offseason hiring of a new general manager, but tucked in between Idzik’s appointment and the impending player cuts was the formation of a new assistant coaching staff. Let’s take a look at some of the new coaches what they will bring to the team and why exactly the old ones were ousted from Florham Park.
The New: Steve Hagen | Tight Ends coach Hagen made the jump to the Jets after holding the same position in the Cleveland Browns organization. He takes over for Mike Devlin, who will now coach the offensive line. Hagen has coached the Browns’ tight ends for seven years (from 2001-2003 and 2009-2012). Hagen doesn’t have any tight ends that he coached that put up impressive stats but you have to take that with a grain of salt considering the system and team that he coached. During his two year tenure at the University of North Carolina he coached up Brandon Quinn whose impressive blocking ability saw fly off the draft board in the second round. This might be his first opportunity to coach up an offensively gifted tight end in Dustin Keller and give him some help with his blocking technique.
The Old: Tony Sparano | Offensive coordinator: A lot of fans were excited to see Sparano hired, as they saw an offensive-minded Rex Ryan. He seemed brash, aggressive, and willing to work on the little things in order to execute. Instead the Jets were muddled with injuries and he had trouble using any creative formations to utilize the Wildcat package. Overall Sparano’s body of work proved he wasn’t a viable offensive coordinator for the Jets, or any team for that matter.
The New: Mary Mornhinweg | Offensive Coordinator A coaching position that has recently gotten a ton of heat because of the lack of offensive production is now in the hands of the man who called the plays for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2007-2012. Morninweg was given offensive play-calling duties in 2007 and his previous experience calling plays for Jeff Garcia in San Francisco helped spawn a seven game winning streak which propelled the Eagles into the playoffs. He runs a West Coast system, which typically focuses on timing patterns and short passes. The one complaint of Mornhinweg was his lack of commitment to the running game, but he never had the personnel to truly use a run-heavy attack, as the Eagles didn’t have the lineman to become a true run-blocking team. This coaching change seems to be a great fit for Holmes as he is a pure route runner when motivated. The Jets will need to find a dynamic pass-catching back to complement Mornhinweg’s focus on the short passing game.
The Old: Mike Pettine |Defensive Coordinator There wasn’t much to complain about when looking at the Jets defense. They rely on both Sione Pouha and Darrelle Revis to cement the defense and they still played admirably without both of them for chunks of the season. It was another season in which too much pressure and too many possessions were given to the opposing offense as the Jets offensive continued to sputter. Football outsiders ranked the Jets as the 10th best defense in the league, which is relatively impressive when you realize they were missing the centerpiece of their defense. The defensive unit has been excellent throughout Pettine’s tenure in New York but the question has always centered around the amount of control Pettine actually had. We’ll see now that he has a fresh start in Buffalo.
The New: Dennis Thurman | Defensive Coordinator You can only say positive things about the former defensive backs coach. He did a great job incorporating both LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell into the secondary, even though both play the same position. The secondary has consistently been one of the bright spots on the team and he seems to have a strong connection with Ryan as they both coached the Baltimore Ravens. Look for the same type of aggressive defense that fans are accustomed to seeing.
The Old: Mike Westhoff |Special teams coach He is a legend among special teams coaches as he consistently made the Jets a top-five special teams team. Field position is something that Ryan has savored being a defensive-minded coach and Westhoff helped give Ryan the field position that the offense constantly needed. Westhoff made Chad Morton, Leon Washington, Brad Smith, and Joe McKnight into household names because of his fantastic wedge blocking schemes. He will be a tough man to replace.
The New: Ben Kotwica | Special teams coach It’s tough to know how equipped Kotwica is to take on the coaching responsibilities, but you have to have faith in a man who had a couple years of experience learning under Westhoff.
Many wondered why he was kept on the coaching staff after the team let Brian Schottenheimer go partly because they thought he was as much to blame for Sanchez’s failures. You have to look at his body of work with Sanchez and you have to partially question his job performance by what Sanchez did the past two seasons.
The New: David Lee | QB coach The name doesn’t indicate that an NBA basketball player switched professions but the Jets should be happy with the hire anyway. He is known for his work as the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins where he reinvented the “Wildcat”. Lee worked a few years as the QB coach at Ole Miss where he tutored Jevan Snead and Jeremiah Masoli. He has coached for the Cowboys, the Arkansas Razorbacks, and most recently the Buffalo Bills. His broad experience may help Sanchez progress in the West Coast system.