The news originally broke Thursday night that the Jets had struck a deal with the now-former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator to be the team’s next head coach, the 20th in franchise history.
The deal, a five-year one, became official on Tuesday when Saleh flew out to Florham Park to meet with the Jets’ brass and sign his contract.
The Jets moved on from former head coach Adam Gase earlier this month after two disastrous seasons. After finishing a woeful 2-14 in 2020, the Jets knew that a change needed to be made.
In total, they interviewed nine candidates for the role, bringing back two for in-person interviews. But after being impressed by Saleh during their Zoom meeting, the Jets knew that he was their top target.
The NY Jets targeted Robert Saleh from the very start
That’s why he was the first candidate brought back for a second interview and even after bringing in Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith for an in-person visit, they had already identified Saleh as their preferred option.
Fortunately, Saleh felt the same way about the Jets after quickly forming a bond with general manager Joe Douglas despite having never met before.
And now, Robert Saleh is officially the head coach of the NY Jets.
Team owner Christopher Johnson released a statement welcoming Saleh to the organization.
“After a thorough process and meeting with a number of talented coaches, it was clear to us that Robert was the right person to help us move forward. He is a collaborative leader with proven success in the NFL. In addition to his work as a coach on this level, his passion and knowledge of the game along with his vision for establishing an identity for this team sold me. It was also clear that he will partner with Joe (Douglas) to help foster and develop the winning culture we are striving to establish. For us as a group, we were impressed with the way he commanded the space and his ability to communicate his vision throughout the process.”
To his credit, Johnson did his best to right the wrong he made two years ago. He allowed Douglas to handle the entire process and paid a hefty sum to land one of the top candidates on the market.
He may have made a mistake with Gase back in 2019, but he did everything you can ask of an owner this time around.
In his first official statement since being hired, Saleh promised a commitment to success and acknowledged the support of Jets fans.
“There are no shortcuts to success, and I am committed to working with Joe to build this team the right way: with talented players that play fast and smart, and a staff that supports and helps develop them through it all. To Jets Fans, your passion and commitment are priceless. I understand your expectations and embrace them. We have a lot of work to do and can’t do it without your support.”
The Robert Saleh era is officially upon us. And Jets fans couldn’t be more ecstatic.