Jets head coach Robert Saleh met the media today for the first time. There was a lot for Jets fans to get excited out. Here are some of the notable takeaways from the event.
The Jets’ reporting structure is changing.
For much of the last six years, the organizational structure has been a focus of Jets fans. The team had both its general manager and head coach report directly to the owner. This has caused a lot of frustration in the fanbase.
The truth is a structure like this isn’t uncommon in the NFL. Numerous successful franchises have adopted this model, but it has become clear over the last few years that it simply doesn’t work for the Jets. For this type of structure to work, the owner needs to know his stuff, be engaged, and understand how to get his head coach and general manager to work together productively. That hasn’t happened with the Jets.
Team CEO Christopher Johnson said today that Saleh will reported directly to general manager Joe Douglas.
#Jets CEO Christopher Johnson says the organizational structure has changed.— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) January 21, 2021
Joe Douglas will report to Johnson. Robert Saleh will report to Douglas.
It took a lot of pain to get to this point, but it seems like the setup that works best for the current Jets ownership.
Woody Johnson is returning soon.
It comes as no surprise given the change in administrations and the public announcement that he has left his post as ambassador, but Christopher Johnson confirmed his brother Woody is returning to the team after a four year absence.
Christopher Johnson says Woody Johnson is on his way back to the US from England, where he was the ambassador to the UK.— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) January 21, 2021
CJ says WJ will resume his duties as principle owner soon - but CJ will remain very involved in the day-to-day operations for the #Jets
Only time will tell how this will work. The timing is a bit odd considering Christopher just conducted the search. After several missteps, for the first time it feels like Chris is starting to get the hang of running an NFL team so perhaps him staying aboard will be a benefit.
Saleh was noncommittal on Sam Darnold.
It would have been a major shock if Saleh committed to keeping Sam Darnold or getting rid of him. As expected, he said some complimentary things but stopped short of guaranteeing he will be starting for the Jets next season.
Saleh speaks glowingly of Darnold, says there’s a reason the QB was No. 3 draft pick in 2018. He has seen the talent while gameplanning against him.— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) January 21, 2021
The new #Jets coach says it’s premature, though, to declare Darnold the starting QB for 2021. Lots of things need to be decided.
If you were looking for a definitive answer, you were likely to be disappointed. The Jets probably aren’t even 100% sure in the direction they want to go at this point.
Saleh indicated he is going to be very process oriented.
Many of these introductory pressers have one slogan that sets the philosophy of a new coach. Saleh had his.
He isn’t just talking about his defense being relentless. Saleh related that mantra to everything done to prepare for games from practice to rehabbing injuries. It was pretty refreshing to hear a coach publicly understand that wins and losses are as much as anything the product of the way the team prepares.
Saleh is delegating his defensive duties.
The new head coach made it clear that he is not going to be a glorified defensive coordinator.
Jets HC Robert Saleh says he won't be handing the play-calling duties on defense. New Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich will call plays.— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) January 21, 2021
I don’t know that it necessarily would have been a negative for Saleh to take on play calling, but I’m pleased with this decision. It is one early sign he understands the difference between the job he just had and the one he just accepted.
Saleh comes off like the anti-Adam Gase when it comes to building relationships with his players.
You can see some of the comments he made.
Jets HC Robert Saleh:— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) January 21, 2021
I believe coaches and players are in this thing together. I believe the investment you put in players has to be equivalent you have to put in your children.
When you have investments on both sides, it becomes personal.
“There is a respect level with how things get done when people try to do things together” - Robert Saleh #Jets— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) January 21, 2021
Said he does not take to notion of “coaches coach, players play.” Says everyone is in this “together”
If you followed Adam Gase career both with the Dolphins and with the Jets, you probably noticed two things kept happening over and over.
First a high profile player would go to a new team and talk about how bad his relationship was with Gase. Then Gase would express astonishment about this and say he thought his relationship with the player was good.
This painted the picture of a coach who had no idea how to relate to or motivate his players. Talented performer after talented performer departed his team under acrimonious conditions.
There’s a theory in the NFL that you hire the opposite of the guy you fire. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t. In this case it makes sense because Gase was really bad at this part of the job, and Saleh will be really good at it.