Miami football should promote Jason Taylor to replace Rod Wright

Aug 5, 2017; Canton, OH, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 5, 2017; Canton, OH, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive ends coach Rod Wright is the latest assistant to depart the Miami football program. The obvious and most sensible choice to replace Wright is for Miami to promote Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor from a defensive analyst to DE coach. Taylor and Wright both joined the Miami staff after Mario Cristobal was hired.

The departure of Wright to return to his hometown of Houston. Wright led a Miami defensive line that finished 40th nationally in 2022 with 82 tackles for loss and 19th with 37 sacks. Wright was an excellent recruiter for the Miami football program helping the Hurricanes sign three 2023 blue-chip defensive linemen.

Four-star 2024 DL Collins Acheampong, Rueben Bain and Jayden Wayne are all credited to Wright being their lead recruiter. Prior to being hired by Miami, Wright spent three years at Texas-San Antonio. Wright was the DL coach in 2019, the run game coordinator and DL coach in 2022 and CO-DC and DL coach in 2021.

Wright also held jobs as an assistant at Texas from 2010-2013, DL coach at Sam Houston State from 2014 through 2017 and East Carolina in 2018 before leaving for UTSA. Interior DL coach Joe Salavea’a and defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae are the only returning defensive coaches for Miami in 2023.

Taylor retired from the NFL following the 2011 season. Prior to Cristobal hiring him as an analyst last year, Taylor was at St. Thomas Aquinas from 2017–2019 as the DL coach and the Raiders DC in 2020 and 2021. Taylor has two sons currently playing college football. Isaiah is a safety at Arizona and Mason is a tight end at LSU.

Taylor was named to the Pro Bowl six times during his NFL career and All-Pro three times. The Miami Herald reported on Sunday morning that “If Taylor…wants it, which (is)…believed to be a strong possibility, he would certainly get the job.” There might be some skepticism about Taylor as a recruiter.

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The credentials that Taylor would bring as a Pro Football Hall of Famer and an elite pass rusher should overcome any inexperience he has as an assistant coach and recruiter at the college level. Hiring Taylor would add prestige to  Miami. If his experience can translate to the players, Miami’s development should improve.