NY Jets add veteran assistant coach Matt Cavanaugh to staff
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets have reportedly made a late-August addition to their coaching staff in the form of longtime NFL assistant Matt Cavanaugh.
As first reported by Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets are hiring Cavanaugh to be their senior offensive assistant.
Cavanaugh brings 27 years of NFL coaching experience having most recently spent time with the Washington Football Team. He previously served as the Jets' quarterbacks coach from 2009 to 2012.
The Jets were in need of a veteran offensive assistant following the tragic death of pass-game specialist Greg Knapp last month. Cavanaugh gives the team exactly what they were looking for.
The NY Jets are getting an experienced offensive mind in Matt Cavanaugh
A former NFL quarterback, Cavanaugh was originally a second-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 1978 NFL Draft. He spent 13 years in the NFL starting games with the Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles before finishing his career with the New York Giants.
He got his start coaching at his alma mater, Pittsburgh, in 1992 as the school's tight ends coach before joining the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff in 1994 as their quarterbacks coach.
Cavanaugh was later promoted to offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears and spent six years as the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, including in 2001 when he helped lead his team to a victory in Super Bowl XXXV.
Cavanaugh worked hand-in-hand with former Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez under Rex Ryan. While Sanchez's career fizzled out, he still found considerable success in the postseason while with Gang Green.
In many ways, Cavanaugh helped maximize Sanchez's abilities. He's done the same with the likes of Jay Cutler (in Chicago) and Kirk Cousins (in Washington) as each quarterback found plenty of success working with Cavanaugh.
He most recently spent time with Washington first as their quarterbacks coach (2015-2016), then as their offensive coordinator (2017-2018), and finally as a senior offensive assistant (2019).
The Jets were desperately in need of a veteran in the quarterback room, a role that was previously filled by Knapp prior to his passing.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is just 34-years-old and has only been coaching at the NFL level for a few years. Quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese is even younger at 31-years-old with just two years of NFL experience.
Combine that with the fact that the Jets don't really have a veteran quarterback, with the exception of Josh Johnson, and you begin to see how vital Knapp was to the coaching staff.
The hiring of Cavanaugh might not seem like a massive deal, but it's probably more important than most realize. He could have a significant impact on the development of Zach Wilson.