Kentucky Nearly Stole Away Key Jets Assistant: Report

Robert Saleh Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh making a call during an NFL contest.

This year’s 2022 Senior Bowl provided a unique opportunity for assistant coaches to assume larger roles.

Both the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets embraced the new rules changes and they have already paid off major dividends.

Gang Green was almost set to lose a key member of its coaching staff based on the latest buzz, but a late pivot changed that plan.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network shared that the Kentucky football program is hiring Rich Scangarello as the new offensive coordinator. Previously he served as the San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach.

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Decision Time Could Be Rapidly Approaching


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Nick Roush of KSR shared that Jets offensive assistant Rob Calabrese was “in the mix” to become Kentucky’s next offensive coordinator, prior to going in a different direction on Friday afternoon.

The head coach of the Wildcats, Mark Stoops, was considering the 31-year-old (will turn 32 in March) as a potential replacement for Liam Coen in Lexington.

Calabrese’s past connections with both Sean McVay and the Kyle Shanahan coaching trees would make him a natural fit.

However, it appears the major promotion he received with the Jets this offseason on the offensive side of the ball was the difference. After spending the 2021 season as the quarterbacks coach, he will now have more freedom and a bigger voice, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic.

With John Beck and Matt Cavanaugh exiting this offseason, the Jets plan is to have a less is more approach in the quarterback room with Zach Wilson.

If and when offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur ever chooses to leave for a future NFL head coaching opportunity, the path is clear for Calabrese to assume that promotion.


When It Rains, It Pours


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The Jets have already lost multiple coaches this offseason after an impressive Senior Bowl.

Matt Burke joined the Arizona Cardinals as their new defensive line coach after spending this past season in a game management role for Gang Green.

Then a short while later we saw assistant offensive line coach Jake Moreland get poached away by the Denver Broncos. He assumed a new role as the team’s tight-end coach.

Head coach Robert Saleh had said when the new rule changes were announced that he was happy his coaches were getting this opportunity to grow. Not really sure how he feels about it now, however.

If the Jets coaching staff is getting poached, that is actually good news. That means other NFL teams think so highly of what the green and white are doing that they feel compelled to steal their coaches away.

While it may stink on the surface from a selfish perspective, you can’t help but feel good for all these coaches who are getting brand new opportunities and bigger paydays in new places.

With Calabrese staying, now the main components of the Jets offensive coaching staff are locked in heading into 2022. He should have a large role this season and if he plays his cards right for many more years to come.


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