Jay Rodgers is in his fourth year as the Chicago Bears defensive line coach after being hired by the franchise on January 25, 2015. Rodgers has 17 years coaching experience including nine seasons in the NFL.
Most recently in 2017, Rodgers' line played a major role in Chicago's defensive dominance, accounting for 42 sacks for 277 yards, the highest such totals in his three seasons with the club. DL Akiem Hicks led the defense with a career-best 8.5 sacks and matched a career-best 54 tackles. Collectively, the Bears limited opponents to 108.1 rushing yards per game, which ranked 11th in the league. The Bears' 10 rushing touchdowns allowed in 2017 ranked tied-ninth in the NFL and tied-third by a Bears defense over the past 10 seasons.
In 2016, the Bears defensive line showed improvement in their second season under Rodgers. Hicks also led the way in his first season, setting then career highs in sacks (7.0), pass breakups (2), tackles for a loss (11) and forced fumbles (2). Hicks also finished fourth on the team with a career-high 71 tackles. Eddie Goldman also produced 2.5 sacks despite being limited to 6 games due to injury.
Prior to joining the Bears, Rodgers spent the previous six seasons (2009-14) on the Denver Broncos coaching staff including overseeing the defensive line over the last three years (2012-14). Over those three seasons (2012-14), the Broncos led the NFL in rushing defense (90.8 yards per game), allowing the fewest rushes of 10-or-more yards (99), and were fourth in the league with 134 sacks. During that time, Rodgers oversaw two Pro Bowl defensive ends: Elvis Dumervil (2012 season) and DeMarcus Ware (2014). The Broncos had a defensive lineman record a double-digit sack season all three years under Rodgers' leadership: Dumervil (11 in 2012), Shaun Phillips (10 in 2013) and Ware (10 in 2014).
In 2014, the Broncos defense ranked second against the run (79.8 ypg), including permitting the second fewest runs of 10-or-more yards in the NFL (29). Denver's defense also finished fourth in the league in rushing average (3.66 yards per carry) and tied for ninth in sacks (41).
A year earlier, the Broncos rushing defense was tied for seventh in the NFL (101.6 ypg), tied for 13th in sacks (41). In his lone season with Denver in 2013 under Rodgers' tutelage, Shaun Phillips recorded the third highest sack total of his then 10-year career with 10 sacks.
In his first year as Denver's defensive line coach, Rodgers helped the Broncos tie for the NFL lead with 52 sacks. Denver also finished third in the NFL that season in rushing defense (91.1 ypg) and second in rushing average allowed (3.61 ypc). Of Dumervil's 11 sacks that season, six were "strip-sacks" (forced-fumbles), the most in the NFL in 2012. Rookie defensive end Derek Wolfe recorded six sacks while becoming just the second rookie defensive lineman in team history to start every game.
Rodgers joined the Broncos as a coaching assistant in 2009, a title he held for two seasons before being named defensive quality control coach in 2011.
Prior to joining the Broncos Rodgers worked the collegiate coaching ranks for nine seasons. A former college quarterback at Indiana (1996-98) and Missouri State (1999), Rodgers made his coaching debut as a graduate assistant at LSU working on the offensive (2001) and defensive (2002) side of the football. He moved on to become the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Dodge City Community College in Kansas during the 2003 season. He coached the quarterbacks at Missouri State (2004) and Stephen F. Austin University (2005-06) before overseeing the wide receivers at Iowa State (2007-08).
In 2000, he worked as a recruiting intern at Ohio State University.
A native of Austin, Texas, Rodgers attended Austin Westlake High School and received a bachelor's degree from Indiana in 2000. He is the older brother Jeff Rodgers, who is the special teams coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals.
Jay and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Avery and Harper, and a son, Rock.