As the Jets' coaching staff rounds into place, so does the realization that this defense will get its first fresh pair of eyes in more than half a decade.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday Jets head coach Todd Bowles will tap Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers as his defensive coordinator, per sources informed of his thinking. The 45-year-old had a brief NFL career before climbing the coaching ladder, which included stops at Middle Tennessee State, Arkasas and Dallas.
Rodgers' area of expertise, defensive line, clearly accentuates the team's biggest strength at the moment with Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples and Damon Harrison in the mix.
His arrival, along with that of Bowles, though, is also a signal that the Jets' defense is changing.
Ryan was a coach who had absolute and obsessive control over one side of the ball for six years, which meant dozens of draft picks and free agent signings spent specifically on one vision. Both of his coordinators were Ryan lifers, in-house coaches who aligned with his specific philosophy.
But now, a defense that has had so much invested into it -- six first-round picks over the last five years -- will be readjusted, re-imagined and realigned for the first time.
Because of the complexities of Ryan's scheme, an approach so layered that some former staffers would worry about a mental overload, will it be an easy adjustment for Bowles to make? Could his new talent be in a knot too difficult to untie?
This will be a challenge for the new coach and first-time coordinator. They need to take a defense synonymous with an old coach and make it their own.
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