The NY Jets’ job was reportedly the most appealing for new head coach Robert Saleh.
It feels like a dream to Jets fans who have seen their favorite franchise settle for second or third options for years now. But not this time. The Jets identified their target and managed to land him.
Believe it or not, the Jets weren’t the only ones who identified their target. Saleh did the same.
And his target was the Jets.
That’s right, it seems as though Saleh — someone who had his pick of virtually any job he wanted this offseason — wanted to join the Jets.
Peter Schrager joined Good Morning Football on Friday morning to discuss the Saleh hire and he revealed that Saleh’s preference was the Jets’ job from the moment he met Joe Douglas.
“It’s a refreshing detail and feels very new for Jets fans. Saleh wanted this gig over all of the others. Saleh wanted this job badly”.
One week ago today, Douglas and Saleh had never spoken before. Saleh wasn’t expected to be the Jets’ top target — they had other candidates in mind. But as soon as their virtual meeting with Saleh concluded, the Jets knew they had found their guy.
NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh instantly connected
As explained by The Athletic’s Connor Hughes, “Saleh blew the Jets away during the virtual meeting.” Contrary to what many believed, there were only two finalists for the position, Saleh and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
The Jets never planned to bring in any more candidates for a second interview. Once they interviewed Smith on Thursday, they realized that they didn’t need to talk to anyone else.
So before Saleh could depart for his meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Jets called him to make it official.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that the Jets “wanted very badly” to bring in Saleh after his virtual meeting, hence why he was the first candidate flown in for an in-person interview.
And as Schrager said on Friday morning, Saleh’s instant connection with not only Douglas, but owner Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai was the selling point for both sides.
They all mutually agreed that this was the leadership group that could lead the Jets organization for the foreseeable future. Saleh and Douglas bought in on each other — and now they’re tied at the hip.
One week ago, Robert Saleh had never met Joe Douglas. He was hardly even considered a true contender for the Jets’ job.
Then they got to know each other. And the rest is history.