T.J. Vernieri is going down south, maybe not “home” to New Jersey, but back to the United States. The New Jersey native is leaving his position as the Calgary Stampeders running backs coach, to join the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers for his first opportunity to coach professional football in the United States. Vernieri, now joins the Breakers as their Tight Ends/Offensive Quality Control Coach for the USFL’s 2023 season.
Vernieri spent two years with the Stampeders joining the team as an offensive assistant in 2021. Vernieri would get promoted to Running Backs coach in 2022, where he’d oversee a unit that would total 2,436 yards, 24 Touchdowns, 6.4 YPC, while averaging 135 yards per game. Prior to joining the CFL, Vernieri was the Wide Receivers Coach at Lycoming College (2019-2020) and a student assistant at UConn (2018). Vernieri announced he wouldn’t be returning to the Stamps, via twitter on December 20th.
Vernieri joins Breakers Tight End room, who currently only sports Justin Johnson and EJ Bibbs for the 2023 season. The Breakers who are dealing with the loss of Sal Cannella to the XFL. Johnson and Bibbs only recorded 3 receptions for 25 yards compared to Cannella’s 34 receptions, 368 yards enroute to an All-USFL performance. For Vernieri, his first opportunity to coach at the professional level in the United States is already met with challenges as his position group will be asked to fill the big shoes left by the All-Pro TE.
Vernieri joins a Breakers staff that has a new Head Coach, GM, among multiple key positions. For a young coach like Vernieri, it could be a daunting task, however the Breakers do have plenty of potential while be led by Super Bowl Champion John DeFilippo. The Breakers roster currently sits at 44, and with plenty of room to continue to build Vernieri should have no issue finding the next All-Pro Tight End for the USFL.
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