Brant Boyer was hired by the New York Jets to be the special team’s coordinator in 2016. He has had a great run to this point, with the Jets leading this phase of the team that has flown under the radar. For Boyer to last with the Jets under three different head coaches indicates the fantastic job he has done. Going into year seven with the Jets, significant expectations for Boyer to lead the special teams unit to more success are in place.
Review of 2021:
Last year, Boyer did a terrific job with the Jets’ special teams. Despite multiple kickers and punters having to be utilized throughout the year, he still had this group excel. The Jets’ special teams unit ranked second in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) per Football Outsiders.
Most notably, he contributed to a career year for Braxton Berrios as a kick returner. Berrios was tremendously productive, leading the NFL in average yards per kick return with 30.4. He also had the longest kick return in football last year of 102 yards, which went for a touchdown. Overall, the scheme coordinated by Boyer played a part in Berrios’ first-team All-Pro kick returner accolade.
Boyer had new players in Justin Hardee, and Del’Shawn Phillips come in and become core contributors. Lastly, long snapper Thomas Hennessy was a key asset to the unit in 2021 and is now going into year six together with Boyer leading the Jets’ special teams.
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Boyer has proven himself to be an elite special teams leader as both a player and a coach. As a player, he was a core contributor and a team captain. Throughout his coaching years, Boyer has worked with many talented special teamers. Starting with his first four years coaching, as an assistant special teams coordinator from 2012-15 with the Indianapolis Colts, Boyer coached Adam Vinatieri, Pat McAfee, and Matt Overton. With the Jets, he had been successful with Berrios, Hennessy, Andre Roberts, and Jason Myers. In 2018, both Roberts and Myers made the Pro Bowl. Roberts led the NFL in average yards per punt return.
Boyer has had somewhat of a lack of consistency in terms of personnel with the Jets and still done his job. Overall, he has proven himself to have kick and punt return schemes that can be amongst the best in football. The Jets have also been toward the top of the league in certain years under Boyer with blocked punts and coverage on kick and punt returns.
The goal is for Boyer to do yet another stellar job with the Jets in 2022. With core members like Berrios back, along with Hennessy, Hardee, Phillips, and Nick Bawden, his unit should have difference-making moments that propel the Jets. His phase has talent, and they now have experience together.
Obviously, the kicking competition between Greg Zuerlein and Eddy Pineiro will be worth keeping an eye on. Hopefully, now healthy punter Braden Mann gets back to his rookie year form. Any sort of consistency from kicker and punter would only help Boyer. By the end of the year, Boyer should once again have his special teams ranked near the top of the league.
Final preview thoughts:
Boyer is one of the Jets’ most underrated assets. He has established himself to be one of the team’s best-proven commodities. He will very likely have another awesome year in 2022 for the Jets special teams unit. The group should remain one of the best in the game. Simply expect Boyer to continue his impressive run in his seventh year with the Jets.