ORCHARD PARK, NY – Dennis Thurman has agreed to terms to become the team's defensive coordinator.
Thurman will enter his 16th year in the NFL coaching ranks in 2015 and third as a defensive coordinator. He served in the same capacity with the New York Jets from 2013-14 after coaching the defensive backs from 2009-12. While coordinator, he oversaw a defense that finished in the top five against the run in both years.
Thurman's 2014 defense limited their opponents to the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (93.1) and finished sixth in the NFL in total defense (327.2 total yards per game).
Over the last two seasons, the Jets' defense has held opposing rusher's to the second fewest rushing yards per game, allowing only 90.7 yards per game. They led the NFL by only allowing 3.56 yards per rush over the past two seasons. The Jets' defense led the NFL by only allowing 64 rushes for more than 10 yards and allowed the second fewest rushes for a first down (142).
Prior to being elevated to the position of defensive coordinator, Thurman coached the Jets defensive backs from 2009-12. During his time with the secondary, the Jets held opposing passers to an NFL-low 71.0 quarterback rating, completion percentage (52.6%) and passing yards (186.3 per game). New York forced the highest percentage of three-and-out drives (29.4%). The Jets' defense yielded the second-fewest yards per game (294.8) and posted a 34.6 third-down efficiency mark while holding their opponents to an average of 20.0 points per game (seventh-fewest in the league). New York had nine 100-yard receiving games against from 2009-2012, the fewest in the league.
Before joining the Jets, Thurman was part of the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff for six years from 2002-07. He spent his first two seasons as a defensive assistant and his last four seasons coaching the secondary. From 2004-07, the Ravens held opposing passers to the lowest completion percentage (56.5), the fifth fewest passing touchdowns (75), the fourth most interceptions (77) and the second lowest QB rating (74.0).
Before coaching with the Ravens, Thurman coach the defensive backs at his alma mater, USC, for eight years (1993-2000).
Thurman coached the defensive backs for the Phoenix Cardinals from 1988-89, just two years removed from playing for the franchise in 1986.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Thurman played nine years in the NFL as a cornerback and safety. He played for the Cowboys from 1978-85 and the Cardinals in 1986. After being drafted in the 11th round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Cowboys, he went on to record 36 interceptions and played in Super Bowl XIII with the Cowboys in 1979.
Thurman was a two-time All-American safety at USC from 1974-77 and he was a member of the 1974 National Champions. He recorded 13 interceptions in his collegiate career.