Two weeks ago, a report surfaced that the coaching staff of the Arizona Cardinals would look a bit different in 2021. Tom Clements, the squad’s passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach, would be retiring after a long and distinguished career as an NFL and CFL assistant. David Raih, Arizona’s wide receivers coach, was being handed his walking papers after two campaigns in the desert.
Raih’s dismissal came as a bit of a surprise, but it looks as if the Cards are on the verge of acquiring a highly-qualified individual to take his place. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports is reporting that the franchise is expected to hire Shawn Jefferson to coach the team’s wideouts. It would be an impressive acquisition for the Cardinals, who have several young pass-catchers who could certainly use some quality guidance.
Following a playing career that lasted 13 seasons, Jefferson joined the Detroit Lions coaching staff as an offensive assistant in 2006. The following year, the Florida native was promoted to wide receivers coach, and would remain in that position until 2012. Jefferson would go on to hold the same job title with the Tennesse Titans (2013-15), Miami Dolphins (2016-18) and New York Jets (2019-20).
During his two campaigns with New York, Jefferson was the assistant head coach to Adam Gase. The 51-year old became an option for Arizona after Gase and his staff were fired by the Jets on January 3rd.
The speedy Jefferson, who played his college ball at the University of Central Florida, was a ninth-round draft pick of the Houston Oilers back in 1991. The 5’11,185 pounder spent time with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Lions. In 195 professional appearances (130 starts), Jefferson totaled 470 receptions, 7,023 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns.
Jefferson will have his work cut out for him with the Cardinals. The main objective will be to elevate the play of underachieving youngsters like Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson. Jefferson’s resume is an indication that he may be the perfect man for the job.