As was first reported by New York Daily News, the Jets have hired former Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins quarterback David Lee as their new quarterback coach. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen confirmed the hire last night.
Rumors about the team’s interest in Lee have been circulating for about a week. To the best of my knowledge, no one other candidates were rumored to be in the running for the position vacated by Matt Cavanaugh. Also per the Daily News, Rex Ryan attempted to bring Lee on as quarterback’s coach last year before Cavanaugh’s contract expired, but Lee was hired by the Bills. (At the very least, explains why Cavanaugh was retained).
Lee is best known for bringing the Wildcat offense to the NFL in 2008 under then Dolphins VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells. His work with the Wildcat offense in Miami that year earned him the Sporting News “Innovator of the Year” Award.
Lee’s connection to the Wildcat has re-ignited conversation about the team’s future with Tim Tebow and also fueled speculation that other “running quarterbacks” like Michael Vick and Tavaris Jackson could find their way onto the roster. (Update: Rumors about a Vick – Mornhinweg reunion have been quited, thanks to an ESPN report).
The popular belief is that Tim Tebow will NOT be back with the Jets next year, and this hire does not appear to be related to Tebow, but one cannot help but make a connection between Lee’s history with the Wildcat and Tebow’s supposed “purpose” on the team.
Lee also worked with the Dallas Cowboys as an offensive assistant and offensive quality control coach and eventually, the quarterbacks coach. He has also coached extensively at the college level in various capacities, including wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.