On Thursday, the Jets added a new coach to work with their defensive backs during training camp. According to the New York Daily News, Collette Smith got the job.
Smith -- a Jets fan -- joins a small but important group of women who've been hired to coach in the NFL. In 2015, Jen Welter made history when she landed a job with the Cardinals. Like Welter, Smith's job will expire at the end of the summer. Then, last summer, the Bills hired Kathryn Smith as the first full-time female NFL coach.
This is another historic moment.
"We as women carry a lot on our shoulders," Collette Smith, 44, told the Daily News. "Right now, it happens to be football for me.
"This is a way for me to help empower women. Don't dream small, play big and go for it."
In New York, Smith will work with a young unit that includes first-round rookie Jamal Adams, free agent newcomer Morris Claiborne, former first-round pick Calvin Pryor, and second-round rookie Marcus Maye. So, theres a ton of untapped potential to coach up. A year ago, the Jets' defense ranked 21st in DVOA and snagged eight interceptions -- only one team had fewer.
It's a good thing then that Smith is experienced. According to the Daily News, Smith is a coach and marketing executive for the New York Sharks in the Independent Women's Football League. She also brings playing experience to the table, having been a defensive back for the Sharks before settling into a coaching career due to an injury.
When the Cardinals hired Welter, coach Bruce Arians (Todd Bowles' former boss) said that he hoped the 31 other teams in the league would follow their example. We're not nearly at that point yet, but Thursday's news is a step in the right direction.
"One day a woman will come to a football team, and it won't be a big story," Smith said. "It'll just be football. When that day comes, I'll be more honored and even more proud."