NY Jets: Why the organizational structure change is so important

NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Robert Saleh (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have long abided by the belief that a general manager and head coach should work in lock-step with each other, side by side as partners. However, as of this past Thursday, that notion has officially been changed.

No longer will Jets ownership ask their GM and head coach to report equally to Woody and Christopher Johnson. Instead, they will return to a more traditional structure — one that sees the three phases of Jets’ management report in a hierarchy.

During Robert Saleh’s introductory press conference, Christopher Johnson was asked by reporters if the organization’s power structure would finally be changed with Saleh on board. Johnson, to the surprise of many, indicated that it would.

Saleh will report to Joe Douglas who will report to ownership. It’s a hierarchy that the majority of teams around the league employ — and it’s one that’s long overdue for Gang Green.

The NY Jets’ power structure has been broken for nearly two decades now

Since Woody Johnson purchased the Jets’ franchise back in 2000, he’s wanted to be seen in the same light as the Robert Kraft’s and Jerry Jones’ of the football world. Unfortunately, it was oftentimes his own meddling that set the Jets back.

Woody’s heart has always been in the right place. And the same could be said for Christopher in his few years running the Jets. But their desires and wishes to see the organization succeed have often produced monumental failures.

Look no further than the Adam Gase hire for proof of that.

The past organizational structure was designed to limit the GM’s power and increase that of ownership. The general manager and head coach were essentially viewed as equals — but both would report to the owners.

While it is true that the Johnsons will always have the final say, they’ve clearly learned their lesson. This is Joe Douglas’ team now. The Jets have given him the proverbial keys to the franchise and are allowing him to make the important decisions.

Finally, at long last, the Jets have an actual football mind in charge. A respected one at that.

Not a failed financial mogul like John Idzik. Not a former scout in over his head as a front office executive like Mike Maccagnan.

The Jets have finally given power to their general manager and allowed him the opportunity to have near-complete control over the franchise. And on the flip side, Douglas has finally given the Johnsons a GM they could trust to hold such a responsibility.

Saleh was Douglas’ guy from the start. The Johnsons allowed Douglas to make the selection and then paid a hefty sum for arguably the hottest name on the market.

They’ve made mistakes in the past. But they’re showing growth as owners. They’re learning.

The changing of the Jets’ organizational structure may not seem like a big deal to some. After all, the Johnsons are still the ultimate decision-makers and neither Douglas nor Saleh’s role has changed, at least on paper.

But this is significant. More significant than most probably realize.

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The Jets are finally righting their prior wrongs. Now let’s see if Joe Douglas can reward them for their competence.