Jets' 'Outstanding' Coaching Staff Under Robert Saleh Is Taking Shape

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Robert Saleh's coaching staff is beginning to take shape. 

The Jets' new head coach is bringing along two offensive assistants from the 49ers, per Michael Silver of the NFL Network. 

Not only will San Francisco's passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur serve as New York's offensive coordinator under Saleh, but John Benton will reprise his role as an offensive line coach with the Jets, also working as New York's run game coordinator.

Further, per Silver, Saleh has reeled in Greg Knapp as his quarterback coach as well as Rob Calabrese to work as Gang Green's pass game specialist.

LaFleur, younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, wrapped up his third season as the 49ers passing game coordinator in 2020. With experience as San Francisco's wide receivers coach as well, LaFleur can help revitalize New York's offense, a unit that's been the league's worst in each of the last two seasons. 

Benton will bring 30-plus years of coaching experience—nearly two decades of which came in the NFL—to New York. Before joining San Francisco's staff, Benton served as the offensive line coach for the Houston Texans for eight seasons (2006-13). 

Both Benton and LaFleur spent four years with the 49ers. If that sounds familiar, it's because that's the same amount of time that Saleh served as San Francisco's defensive coordinator. He'll make the cross-country transition with this tight-knit group of talented coaches to try and turn the Jets franchise around. 

As for Knapp, the veteran has the most experience of the bunch. He's been coaching at this level for 25 years, serving as Atlanta's quarterback coach since 2018. Over the course of Knapp's career, he's worked with quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Steve Young, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer and most recently Matt Ryan.

For a team that's consistently struggled to develop young quarterbacks, Knapp's experience will be instrumental in New York's offensive success going forward. That's with Sam Darnold under center or a rookie from this year's draft class.

Finally, Calabrese joining the Jets' coaching staff is a homecoming. A graduate of East Islip High School, Calabrese had spent the last two seasons as an offensive quality control coach for the Broncos. Although Calabrese doesn't have too much NFL experience, he's versatile in his offensive knowledge. Before joining Denver's staff, he spent the previous three years at Wagner College, including two seasons as the school's offensive coordinator, one year as running backs coach and another as assistant special teams coordinator.

Now it's even clearer why Saleh was New York's top choice within their head coaching search. The Jets were looking for a head coach capable of leading the entire team on both sides of the ball. While Saleh is a defensive-minded coach, he can help this team excel on offense as well with a little help from his star-studded staff.

After Silver's report surfaced on Monday, ESPN's Dan Orlovsky shared a reaction that was music to the ears of Jets fans.

"I’m just telling ya. The staff Saleh is bringing with him to the Jets is OUTSTANDING," the former NFL quarterback tweeted.

The Jets have a lot of work to do in order to return to respectability on offense, and eventually contention, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. 

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