Rodgers to helm special teams


Jeff Rodgers, shown here in a drill with Quinton Teal and C.J. Wilson, has six seasons of NFL experience as a special-teams assistant. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / PANTHERS.COM)

CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers announced Saturday that Jeff Rodgers has been named special teams coordinator. Rodgers worked with the Panthers as a special teams and strength and conditioning assistant last season in his first year with the team.

Rodgers came to Carolina from Kansas State, where he served as special teams coach for one season after working four years with the San Francisco 49ers as a special teams assistant.

"Jeff is an outstanding young coach and I am confident he will do an excellent job," said Panthers head coach John Fox.

In his only season with Kansas State, Rodgers elevated the Wildcats special teams to among the nation's best. Kansas State led the country in blocked kicks with a school record nine and the Wildcats scored six special teams touchdowns, including five on punt returns.

Rodgers previously worked in San Francisco from 2003-2007, serving as the special teams quality control coach for two seasons before being promoted to special teams assistant coach in 2005. He helped Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee finish first in the NFC and second in the NFL in net punting with an average of 41.0 yards and set a league record with 42 punts inside the 20. The 49ers also ranked first in the NFL in kickoff coverage with an opponents' average drive start of the 24.9-yard line.

Rodgers began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Arizona in the 2001 and 2002 seasons after a playing career as a linebacker at North Texas.

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