Shawn Jefferson serves as Carolina's wide receivers coach in 2023 after holding the same role for the Arizona Cardinals the last two seasons.
In 2022, Jefferson added associate head coach to his title. He has spent the last 17 years as an NFL assistant, working with the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. In 13 seasons as a wide receiver with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, and Lions, he had 470 receptions for 7,023 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Last season, Cardinals receivers ranked fifth in the NFL in receptions (433) and eighth in yards after the catch (2,058). Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins led the way, tallying 717 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 64 catches in just nine games.
In 2021, the Cardinals had 4,276 net passing yards, averaging 251.5 yards per game which was the 10th best in the NFL and also scored 435 points, which was the 10th most in the league. Hopkins had a team-leading eight receiving touchdowns despite missing seven games due to injury while Christian Kirk established career highs in receptions (77) and receiving yards (982).
In 2019, the Jets were just one of seven teams in the league to have a pair of players (wide receivers Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder) each post 50+ receptions, 700+ yards and at least five touchdowns. Crowder set a career high with 78 receptions and led the team with six TD receptions that season.
Prior to joining the Jets, Jefferson spent three seasons coaching wide receivers in Miami, adding the title of assistant head coach offense in 2018. With the Dolphins, he helped wide receiver Jarvis Landry earn Pro Bowl honors in each of those three years (2016-18) while catching 287 passes over that period of time. Dolphins wide receivers had 52 touchdowns in that span, tied for sixth-most in the NFL while also accounting for 70.8 percent of the team's receptions, the second-highest percentage in the league.
Jefferson spent three seasons (2013-15) with the Titans as wide receiver Kendall Wright finished seventh in the league with 94 receptions in 2013 and posted his first 1,000-yard season (1,079) in just his second year in the league. Wide receivers Nate Washington (2013-14) and Justin Hunter (2013-14) each averaged at least 16.0 yards per catch during Jefferson's tenure in Tennessee.
Prior to Tennessee, Jefferson spent eight seasons on the Lions staff, beginning as a coaching assistant in 2005 and moving up to wide receivers coach where he served from 2008-12. During his time with the Lions, Jefferson tutored wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. Johnson set the NFL single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012. During the five seasons with Jefferson as his position coach, Johnson was selected to three Pro Bowls (2010-12), led the NFL in receiving yardage twice (2011-12), had four 1,000-yard seasons (2008; 2010-12) and caught 50 touchdowns. He had season averages of 88 receptions for 1,416 yards (16.1 average) and 10 touchdowns in five years with Jefferson as his position coach.
Jefferson got into coaching after a 13-year playing career with the Chargers (1991-95), Patriots (1996-99), Falcons (2000-02) and Lions (2003). After entering the league with the Oilers as a ninth-round selection in the 1991 NFL Draft out of the University of Central Florida, Jefferson appeared in 195 games (130 starts) and had 470 receptions for 7,023 yards and 29 TDs. He also played in 12 postseason games, including Super Bowl XXIX and Super Bowl XXXI.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Jefferson played receiver for three years (1988-90) at the University of Central Florida. He and his wife, Marla, have two daughters, Paige and Faith and a son, Van, who was selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida.
1991-95 | San Diego Chargers
1996-99 | New England Patriots
2000-02 | Atlanta Falcons
2003 | Detroit Lions
2006 | Detroit Lions | Offensive Assistant
2007 | Detroit Lions | Assistant Wide Receivers
2008-12 | Detroit Lions | Wide Receivers
2013-15 | Tennessee Titans | Wide Receivers
2016-18 | Miami Dolphins | Wide Receivers
2019-20 | New York Jets | Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers
2021 | Arizona Cardinals | Wide Receivers
2022 | Arizona Cardinals | Associate Head Coach/Wide Receivers
2023-pres | Carolina Panthers | Wide Receivers