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New York Jets Coaching Staff Will Be Very Similar in 2014

January 19th, 2014 at 11:06 PM
By Donald Lappe

The New York Jets will bring back the majority of their coaching staff in 2014, maintaining continuity despite a brief period when much of the staff was left without deals as the team sewed up a contract extension with head coach Rex Ryan. The Jets did lose linebackers coach Brian VanGorder, who became the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, as well as special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica, who took the same position with the Washington Redskins. The Jets have replaced Brian VanGorder with Bobby April III.

'New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan' photo (c) 2011, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As has become nearly a yearly tradition, the New York Jets saw a member of the defensive staff move on to become a defensive coordinator elsewhere. Last season it was Mike Pettine and Bob Sutton moving on to call the shots defensively with the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City chiefs, respectively. This offseason, Brian VanGorder was poached by the University of Notre Dame after Bob Diaco took the head coaching job at UConn.

The only other change on the coaching staff will be at special teams coordinator. Ben Kotwica is joining the Washington Redskins as their special teams coordinator after being with the Jets since 2006. Last season was his first as special teams coordinator, previously serving as an assistant to Mike Westhoff.

To replace Brian VanGorder, the Jets have tapped Bobby April III. April served as a defensive quality control coach with the Philadelphia Eagles the past two seasons.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return, welcome news for the Jets offense. Mornhinweg showed plenty of creativity this past season and turned a unit low on talent into a competent offense. Another season with Geno Smith, preceded by a full offseason tutoring the young quarterback, should bode well for the Jets offense. A solid offseason in free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft should give Marty Mornhinweg more to work with this season.

Dennis Thurman will be back as the team's defensive coordinator, obviously sharing the reigns of the defense with Rex Ryan. Another solid season in should make for a likely departure following the 2014 season if Thurman wants to run his own show. If history holds true, he will get that shot.

The biggest piece in all of this is that Rex Ryan is still in place as head coach, and his contract extension was the likely holdup as everyone waited for the rest of the coaching staff to be set. The Jets are hoping that coaching staff continuity, player development and offseason additions will add up to a winning formula for the 2014 season.

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Tags: Ben Kotwica, Bobby April, Brian VanGorder, contract, defensive coordinator, Dennis Thurman, Football, Marty Mornhinweg, New York, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan

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