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Robert Saleh’s first Jets coaching staff is littered with experience, but it also features a handful of young, up-and-comers in the profession.
Among them are 32-year-old Taylor Embree, who left his position as tight ends coach at the University of Colorado to coach up New York’s running backs. Embree’s appointment to Gang Green’s staff not only means a jump back into the NFL, but also a reunion with Saleh, who he spent plenty of time with when the two worked for the 49ers.
Let’s get to know a little bit more about Embree and what he brings to the Jets.
Wide receiver roots
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Embree joined Saleh's staff as the Jets' running backs coach, but his playing days were spent lining up out wide. Embree played 50 games (32 starts) at wide receiver for UCLA from 2008-11. He burst onto the scene as a true freshman, catching 40 passes for 531 yards before registering career-highs in receptions (45), receiving yards (608) and receiving touchdowns (two) as a sophomore. However, Embree's production tailed off his final two seasons with the Bruins, catching only 32 passes for 409 yards and a score as a junior. He 20 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.
Cup of coffee in the NFL
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Embree caught on with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent and spent the summer of 2013 in San Diego's training camp. His time as a player in the NFL was short-lived, though, as Embree failed to make the Chargers' 53-man roster out of training camp. After his release, he began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant at UCLA in 2014 and 2015.
Coaching runs in the family
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Embree's decision to get into coaching following his playing career was a natural one given his family's background in the profession. Embree's father, Jon, was an assistant coach at the University of Colorado for 10 years before taking over as the program's head coach in 2011-12. After going 4-21 in two seasons, Embree was relieved of his head-coaching duties and joined the Browns as their tight ends coach in 2013. He then coached tight ends for the Buccaneers from 2014-16 before catching on with the 49ers in 2017 as Kyle Shanahan's assistant head coach and tight ends coach -- two positions he still holds today. Embree's younger brother, Connor, is also coaching in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Chiefs.
Sticking in San Francisco
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Embree's first taste of coaching in the NFL came as a defensive assistant with the Chiefs in 2016. San Francisco is the place where he earned his keep and stuck around, though. The 32-year old worked as an offensive quality control coach under Shanahan from 2017-19 before joining the University of Colorado's coaching staff as tight ends coach. Embree's time in San Francisco proved valuable in the end, as it afforded him the opportunity to meet Saleh and join his first coaching staff as a head coach.