The NY Jets surprised many by landing arguably the hottest name on the coaching carousel this offseason in former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
The Jets’ job, while appealing in many ways, wasn’t exactly considered to be the most attractive vacancy. Teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and even Atlanta Falcons all had arguably more appealing jobs.
However, when all was said and done, the Jets sold Saleh on their job. Saleh wanted the Jets as much as they wanted him. And it seems as though a lot of that had to do with general manager Joe Douglas.
Douglas was reportedly instrumental in the hiring of Saleh despite having spoken to the guy for the first time just a week ago during their initial virtual meeting on the 8th.
As Bleacher Report’s Connor Rogers put it, Douglas was “a big factor” in Saleh’s decision to choose the Jets. Rogers said that there was “a mutual belief in each other.”
NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh formed a mutual respect for each other
Saleh wasn’t considered to be a serious contender for the Jets’ job going into the offseason. He was on their initial list of interviews, but it wasn’t until they spoke with him over Zoom that they realized they had found their guy.
Douglas and Saleh immediately hit it off with the two quickly forming a bond. At least, that’s per the words of The Athletic’s Connor Hughes who also said the Jets were “blown away” by Saleh in his interview.
More details emerged when Peter Schrager went on Good Morning Football Friday morning to discuss the Saleh hire. He said that Saleh “wanted the Jets job badly” after meeting Douglas.
He later hit it off with owner Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai solidifying the notion that there was no other place he wanted to be.
The Chargers had the selling point of the young, promising quarterback. The Jaguars had the allure of the No. 1 overall pick and a ton of future flexibility.
The Jets? They had Joe Douglas. And that was clearly the best selling point of them all.
Douglas and Saleh seem to have a mutual respect for each other. And as Rogers put it, they each believe that together, they could truly change the culture of an organization that has inhabited the NFL’s basement for the better part of the past decade.
The Jets finally landed their top coaching target. And they did so with the help of their general manager.