NY Jets add two more defensive assistants to Robert Saleh’s staff

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets will host a new-look coaching staff in 2021 under new head coach Robert Saleh. And on Tuesday, they reportedly added two more names to the defensive side of the ball.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the Jets have hired Marquand Manuel to be their safeties coach and Tony Oden as senior defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach.

Manuel and Oden join a list of other coaches to be added to Saleh’s new defensive staff including defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton, and assistant defensive line coach Nate Ollie, among others.

Notably, Manuel and Oden will provide experience to a relatively young coaching staff.

What are the NY Jets getting in Marquand Manuel and Tony Oden?

Manuel is a former NFL safety who played in the league from 2002 to 2009. Starting as an assistant special teams coach for the Seattle Seahawks back in 2012, Manuel followed Dan Quinn over to Atlanta in 2015 to become the team’s new secondary coach.

Within two years, he became Atlanta’s defensive coordinator, a role he held for two seasons until being let go ahead of the 2019 season. He spent 2019 out of football before joining the Philadelphia Eagles as their new defensive backs coach in 2020.

It should be noted that the Eagles recently hired former Jets defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson meaning that the two teams have essentially just swapped coaches.

The Falcons had the seventh-best defensive in terms of total yards in 2017 under Manuel before falling to 17th in 2018.

As for Oden, the well-traveled defensive assistant has been coaching since 1996 and received his first NFL job in 2004 as a defensive assistant with the Houston Texans.

And in every season since 2006, he’s served as a defensive backs coach in some capacity. Whether that role was overseeing safeties, cornerbacks, or the entire defensive backfield, that’s been his specialty.

He’s spent time with the New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and most recently the San Francisco 49ers where he worked under Saleh in 2020.

Oden was actually one of the few survivors from the Adam Gase coaching staff in Miami as he was retained under new head coach Brian Flores in 2019 only to be poached by Saleh and the 49ers in 2020.

The biggest takeaway from this is that the Jets have now added two veteran assistants to an otherwise pretty inexperienced coaching staff. While Saleh’s staff has received near-universal praise, the only real knock so far has been the staff’s lack of experience.

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Manuel and Oden help that and should be valuable members of the staff going forward.