New York Jets coach Todd Bowles filled two important positions Friday on his coaching staff, hiring defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers and special-teams coordinator Bobby April.
The addition of Rodgers, 45, most recently the defensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins, makes sense because he has a history with Bowles. They worked together on Bill Parcells' Dallas Cowboys staff (2005-07) and again with the Dolphins (2008-11).
Rodgers drew praise for his work with the Dolphins, but he has no coordinator experience on any level. That's particularly noteworthy because he will be calling the defensive plays.
Bowles said in his introductory news conference that he'd have a significant role in the operation, but that he'd leave the play calling to his coordinator. This sounds similar to the Rex Ryan-Mike Pettine arrangement, circa 2011. Pettine called the plays that year, but it was largely a team effort.
Rodgers has spent his entire career coaching the defensive line, so there figures to be an adjustment as he learns the entire defensive landscape. While coaching in Miami, from 2008 to 2014, the Dolphins recorded 287 sacks, the third-highest total in the league.
April, 61, is a well-traveled veteran, as this will be his eighth NFL team. He comes from a two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, where last season he had one of the best punters (Marquette King) and one of the best kickers (Sebastian Janikowski) -- and yet the Raiders finished only 22nd in overall special-teams performance, according to an annual study by the Dallas Morning News.
April won Special Teams Coach of the Year awards in 2004 and 2008, when he was with the Buffalo Bills. The Jets are getting used to having an April in the building. His son, Bobby April III, was on Rex Ryan's staff and followed him to Buffalo to be his linebackers coach.
The Jets also announced the hiring of eight position coaches:
Karl Dorrell, wide receivers -- Most recently, he was the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt. He has worked for the Houston Texans and Dolphins.
Robby Brown, quality control-offense -- He was the running backs coach at South Alabama.
Mike Caldwell, assistant head coach/inside linebackers -- He followed Bowles from the Arizona Cardinals.
Mark Collins, outside linebackers -- He comes from the Atlanta Falcons' staff.
Joe Danna, defensive backs/safeties -- He spent the last three seasons as the Falcons' secondary coach.
The strength and conditioning staff also was completed. The Jets retained Justus Galac, who returns for his third year as the head strength coach. His assistants will be Kavan Latham and Aaron McLaurin.