Jets announce most of Robert Saleh's coaching staff

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Robert Saleh threw out some not-quite-spoilers in his introductory press conference Thursday, but the New York Jets have officially announced most of Saleh’s coaching staff, as seen below:

Saleh said in his introduction that the team has not yet hired any special teams coaches, and there will still be some positional additions on the defensive side of the ball.

As for his coordinators, LaFleur has spent the last three seasons as the San Francisco 49ers’ passing game coordinator, working on the same staff as Saleh as the de facto offensive coordinator. LaFleur, the younger brother of Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur, has spent his entire career at the side of Kyle Shanahan, joining him as an offensive assistant in Cleveland in 2013 and following Shanahan to Atlanta (2014-16) and then San Francisco.

Ulbrich, a former NFL linebacker, spent the past six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, working as a linebackers coach from 2015-19 before being named assistant head coach and, eventually, defensive coordinator in 2020 after previous DC Raheem Morris took over as head coach.

Among offensive assistants, Brown and Washington are holdovers from Adam Gase’s staff, as Brown had been a defensive assistant working with inside linebackers and Washington was an offensive assistant.

Benton had spent the last four years as the 49ers’ offensive line coach, working hand-in-hand with LaFleur and San Francisco running game coordinator (and now offensive coordinator) Mike McDaniel. Austin was also part of that staff, working as an offensive quality control coach in 2019 before taking 2020 off to work on Monmouth University’s Board of Trustees.

Calabrese was a Broncos offensive quality control coach for the last two seasons – and, infamously, was one of the options Denver tried to activate to play quarterback against New Orleans this season after a COVID-19 scare left their entire depth chart inactive – while Knapp had been the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach for the least three seasons, and Middleton had been a tight ends/assistant special teams coach with Jacksonville since 2013.

Embree and VandeMerkt come from the college ranks, as Embree – who was also an offensive quality control coach in San Francisco from 2017-19 – was the tight ends coach at Colorado, while VandeMerkt was Lenoir-Rhyne’s quarterbacks coach.

As for the defensive assistants, Whitecotton is another San Francisco expat, having spent last season as their assistant defensive line coach after serving in the same capacity with the Bills in 2018-19. His assistant, Ollie, spent the last two seasons in the same capacity in Philadelphia.

Vaughn is a holdover, having spent 2020 as a Jets defensive assistant, while Pullard was a quality control analyst at USC last season after finishing a five-year NFL career, including two as a linebacker in Jacksonville while Saleh was that position’s coach.

Manning Jr., a former NFL cornerback, has not coached since 2017, when he served his second of two seasons as an assistant defensive backs coach in Seattle.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN

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