Mark Stoops considering Rob Calabrese, NY Jets QB coach, for Offensive Coordinator vacancy

On3 imageby:Nick Roush02/22/22


Rob Calabrese, Zach Wilson
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

There’s a new name in the mix to become Kentucky’s next offensive coordinator. Sources tell KSR that Mark Stoops is considering Rob Calabrese to succeed Liam Coen in Lexington.

Calabrese was the New York Jets quarterback coach for Robert Saleh in 2021, tasked to groom No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. The Jets went 4-13 as the rookie completed 55.6% of his passes for 2,334 yards, 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 games.

The young coach spent the previous two seasons as a quality control analyst for the Denver Broncos. During his time at Mile High, he almost suited up for Denver. When COVID-19 wiped out the Broncos’ quarterback room in 2020, Denver petitioned the NFL to let the former UCF quarterback suit up against the Saints. The NFL ultimately denied the request, forcing the Broncos to play practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton.

Why Calabrese? The answer is simple.

Calabrese has McVay-Shanahan Connections

Even though the Jets’ offense did not hum like the Green Bay Packers or the San Francisco 49ers, they ran a lot of the same stuff. Sean McVay disciple Matt LaFleur’s younger brother, Mike, was the Jets’ offensive coordinator in 2021. Prior to his gig with the Jets, the younger LaFleur spent four seasons as an assistant for Kyle Shanahan with the San Francisco 49ers. If you recall, new Kentucky offensive line coach Zach Yenser was employed by the 49ers last year.

It’s not the only connection Calabrese has to the Shanahan coaching tree. Like Liam Coen, Calabrese previously had play-calling experience at a Northeast FCS school. Coen spent a year at Maine, while Calabrese did three years at Wagner. Calabrese assumed play-calling duties at Wagner following Rich Scangarello’s departure. Scangarello, a coaching journeyman with seven years of NFL experience, eventually got Calabrese his first NFL job with the Broncos. Now he serves as Shanahan’s righthand man, coaching the 49ers’ quarterbacks.

Calabrese is a young coach with only eight years of experience. However, he does have something few other candidates have, Liam Coen’s stamp of approval.

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