The most overlooked job in the NFL may be the work of the position coaches. The affect they have on the players they coach is instrumental to the success that they have on Sunday and throughout the season. They can truly make a difference to an organization and that is exactly what Karl Dunbar has done for the New York Jets defensive line over the past couple of seasons.
Dunbar was hired before the 2012 season after finishing his contract coaching the defensive line of the Minnesota Vikings where he helped make them one of the most dominant run stuffing lines in the NFL. In his first three years coaching the Vikings defensive line, the Vikings didn't allow a team to average over 3.3 yards per carry over an entire season.
That trend continued in his next few seasons with the team as opponents had trouble running with consistency, rushing for an average of 3.9 yards for a season. That success has translated to his tenure in New York where has truly leaped ahead of some of the younger players and commanded respect from veterans.
That is because Dunbar came to the Jets primarily coaching a 4-3 defensive scheme in Minnesota but has seamlessly transitioned to the Jets hybrid, 3-4 primary defensive alignment. Mike Devito stayed with the Jets during the 2012 season mainly to work with Dunbar, and Sione Pou'ha commented on Dunbar saying that "His personality, his enthusiasm surfaces over everything else."
The true effectiveness of Dunbar's coaching is felt through his ability to connect to the young talent that has transformed the Jets' defensive line into the one of the best in the league. Led by Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and Sheldon Richardson the Jets defense allowed a mere 88.2 rush yards per game, which ranked third in the NFL. Football outsiders defensive efficiency ratings placed the Jets as the second best rush defense in the league last season.
Dunbar is more than deserving of a new contract based solely on his relationship with the player and the production that they have given the Jets defense. His coaching should be overlooked no longer.