LAKE FOREST, IL – The Chicago Bears have reached an agreement with Jay Rodgers to become the team’s defensive line coach.
Rodgers spent the last six seasons (2009-14) on the Denver Broncos coaching staff including overseeing the defensive line over the last three years (2012-14). Over the last three seasons, the Broncos led the NFL in rushing defense (90.8 yards per game), allowing the fewest rushes of 10-or-more yards (99), and were fourth in the league with 134 sacks. During that time, Rodgers oversaw two Pro Bowl defensive ends: Elvis Dumervil (2012 season) and DeMarcus Ware (2014). The Broncos had a defensive lineman record a double-digit sack season all three years under Rodgers’ leadership: Dumervil (11 in 2012), Shaun Phillips (10 in 2013) and Ware (10 in 2014).
In 2014, the Broncos defense ranked second against the run (79.8 ypg), including permitting the second fewest runs of 10-or-more yards in the NFL (29). Denver’s defense also finished fourth in the league in rushing average (3.66 yards per carry) and tied for ninth in sacks (41).
A year earlier, the Broncos rushing defense was tied for seventh in the NFL (101.6 ypg), tied for 13th in sacks (41). In his lone season with Denver in 2013 under Rodgers’ tutelage, Shaun Phillips recorded the third highest sack total of his then 10-year career with 10 sacks.
In his first year as Denver’s defensive line coach, Rodgers helped the Broncos tie for the NFL lead with 52 sacks. Denver also finished third in the NFL that season in rushing defense (91.1 ypg) and second in rushing average allowed (3.61 ypc). Of Dumervil’s 11 sacks that season, six were “strip-sacks” (forced-fumbles), the most in the NFL in 2012. Rookie defensive end Derek Wolfe recorded six sacks while becoming just the second rookie defensive lineman in team history to start every game.
Rodgers joined the Broncos as a coaching assistant in 2009, a title he held for two seasons before being named defensive quality control coach in 2011.
Prior to joining the Broncos Rodgers worked the collegiate coaching ranks for nine seasons. A former college quarterback at Indiana (1996-98) and Missouri State (1999), Rodgers made his coaching debut as a graduate assistant at LSU working on the offensive (2001) and defensive (2002) side of the football. He moved on to become the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Dodge City Community College in Kansas during the 2003 season. He coached the quarterbacks at Missouri State (2004) and Stephen F. Austin University (2005-06) before overseeing the wide receivers at Iowa State (2007-08).
In 2000, he worked as a recruiting intern at Ohio State University.
A native of Austin, Texas, Rodgers attended Austin Westlake High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana in 2000. He is the older brother of new Bears special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers. Jay and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Avery and Harper, and a son, Rock.