New York Jets quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese was hired in 2021 when Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur both joined the Jets. Calabrese is from East Islip and grew up a Jets fan. He is a very young coach at 32 years old. Throughout the offseason, there was some buzz surrounding Calabrese. He reportedly had an offensive coordinator opportunity elsewhere. Ultimately, Calabrese is back with the Jets for his second year and will be crucial to the development of Zach Wilson.
The Jets’ current quarterbacks coach is a former player of the position. At East Slip High School, Calabrese broke a multitude of records that Boomer Esiason held. He went on to play at UCF for five years, from 2008-12.
From there, Calabrese started his coaching career at the high school level. He spent a year in 2013 coaching quarterbacks at Oviedo High School. Then, he went back to UCF for two years in 2014-15 as a graduate assistant. After that, Calabrese spent the 2016-18 seasons at Wagner. Over those three years, he held multiple titles as an offensive coordinator, running backs coach, and assistant special teams coordinator.
Calabrese finally got his first NFL coaching opportunity in 2019 with the Denver Broncos as an offensive quality control coach. The offensive coordinator on that staff was Rich Scangarello. Scangarello was with Mike LaFleur and Robert Saleh in San Francisco for two seasons in 2017-18, which might have played a part in LaFleur bringing in Calabrese last year. He also spent the 2020 season with the Broncos before coming to the Jets.
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Brief 2021 review:
The situation last year was tough. It was Wilson’s rookie year, Matt Cavanaugh and John Beck were on the staff to help, and Calabrese was a young coach in a new role himself. The big thing was that Wilson made progress toward the end of the 2021 season, especially in turnovers. He looked more comfortable in games against the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, which Calabrese played a part in.
Calabrese’s job directly relates to Wilson and his anticipated year two leap. The main points will be working with Wilson on his mechanics with short accuracy and limiting mistakes. Overall, building on what was achieved in the final five games of last season. As Calabrese has stated, Wilson can be special if improvement is shown in these key aspects. It will only lead to great notoriety for Calabrese.
Final preview thoughts:
Calabrese is Wilson’s main guy without Cavanaugh and Beck on the staff this year. It is a significant role knowing Wilson’s potential and how much the organization invested this offseason to help him flourish. With Wilson now having a year of experience and much better personnel around, Calabrese should have a great year in 2022 with the Jets.