The New York Jets changing of the guard at the receivers coach position is now complete.
Less than two weeks after hiring former Jets wideout and coach Shawn Jefferson to guide their receivers next season, former coach Zach Azzanni has joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same capacity, per NJ.com.
Azzanni, who coached five seasons with the Denver Broncos before coming to New York, spent just one season with the Jets. Under Azzanni's tutelage, the team's pass-catchers struggled due to poor quarterback play and ineffective talent management. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked them 31 of 32 NFL teams. The exception to the rule, star receiver Garrett Wilson, caught 95 passes for 1,042 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Jets failed to receive notable contributions from the remaining components of their positional depth chart -- most notably Allen Lazard, who despite signing a four-year, $44 million deal with New York last offseason, logged only 23 catches for 311 yards and one touchdown.
While Azzanni was still under contract, the Jets decided to reunite with Jefferson, who served as the Jets’ assistant head coach/wide receivers coach under Adam Gase for two seasons (2019-20). In addition to the Jets, Jefferson has spent time as a coach for five other NFL teams over the past 18 years, including the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and most-recently the Carolina Panthers.
In addition to Azzanni's departure, former director of player personnel Chad Alexander has also traded life on the "green" side of the Meadowlands for the west coast. Alexander, who spent the past five seasons with the Jets, is set to become the Los Angeles Chargers’ new assistant general manager, according to SNY’s Connor Hughes, working under new GM Joe Hortiz, as well as with new head coach Jim Harbaugh.