Jets QB Whisperer Gets Preview at Future Promotion

Zach Wilson, Rob Calabrese

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and assistant coach Rob Calabrese talking things out during practice.

The New York Jets 2021 regular season may be over, but the coaching staff has another rare opportunity to work together in a very important capacity.

It was announced by Executive Director Jim Nagy that the Jets and the Detroit Lions would be heading down to the Senior Bowl to coach in the annual all-star game.

Although thanks to some new rules and twists thrown in this year, the green and white coaching assistants will have a cool opportunity to show what they’re made of.

In other words, head coach Robert Saleh will serve in an “advisory” role while select assistants on his staff will fill the larger roles.

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An Opportunity to Peek Into the Future

The three Jets assistants who will receive a temporary promotion are quarterback’s coach Rob Calabrese, tight end’s coach Ron Middleton, and linebacker’s coach Mike Rutenberg.

  • Calabrese will be the offensive coordinator
  • Rutenberg will serve as the defensive coordinator
  • Middleton will once again be a head coach

The Senior Bowl provides a perfect platform for these coaches to show that they’re more than capable of an expandable role. In particular, Calabrese’s promotion deserves extra eyes from Jets fans.

The 31-year-old has limited experience, only having been in the NFL since 2019, but a lot of people think pretty highly of him. This will be his first time being an offensive coordinator since 2017 when he served in that role for two seasons with Wagner.

Although if he plays his cards right, it won’t be the last time he is calling plays.

A 2023 Potential Promotion Could Be in the Cards

The concern from fans, if you can believe it, when Mike LaFleur was hired to be the Jets’ offensive coordinator last year was his tenure would be short-lived.

With his popular last name, the NFL being offensive-dominated, and his upside, the thought was he’d be a future NFL head coaching candidate.

While he started off slow with the Jets in 2021, LaFleur found his groove mid-season and showed enough pops that got people in and outside the building excited.

If his star continues to rise, LaFleur could be a head coach sooner rather than later. If that happens an in-house promotion to fill the vacant offensive coordinator position would make a lot of sense.

Zach Wilson is the Jets’ quarterback of the future and the best environment for him is continuity. Hopefully, Calabrese is absorbing everything LaFleur is doing and he can simply step in when called upon and can keep the train rolling.

That would be an ideal outcome for the Jets.

If LaFleur is receiving NFL head coaching consideration in the future, that likely means the Jets are doing pretty well offensively. This would mean that the patented San Francisco 49ers schemes made a successful transition to New York.

A wise man once said if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

This Senior Bowl experience will be a good litmus test for the young coach to see if he has the chops to be an offensive coordinator at this level. If he impresses, Calabrese could very well be the Jets’ offensive coordinator of the future if and when LaFleur ever leaves.

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