2. The honeymoon is over for the NY Jets coaching staff
The Jets coaching regime under Robert Saleh got a pass last season because the team was coming off the Adam Gase era and a two-win season. But the honeymoon period is over. No one expects the Jets to win a Super Bowl this season or make the playoffs in an ultra-competitive AFC.
However, real progress has to be shown.
Marketable catchphrases and heartwarming speeches are nice, and they are great in football movies starring Denzel Washington. However, playing good football and winning games is the only thing that matters.
A year ago, the Jets lost a lot of games, but it wasn't so much how many they lost, it was the manner in which they did. New York was non-competitive in several games, and a significant reason for that was coaching.
Perhaps experiencing the Bill Parcells era has shaped my opinion on what makes a good head coach or coaching staff. I tend to favor coaches who are gameplan specific and have their teams prepared to play against their opponent's tendencies.
I have seen it through Parcells and Bill Belichick's teams. Their ability to counter opposing teams' strengths and to put their players in the best position to succeed.
Based on what I saw last season, the Jets, specifically on defense, were very poor in that department. That falls on Robert Saleh and his handpicked defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. There were games last season where opposing offenses toyed with the Jets' defense and had their way with them.
Sure, talent was undoubtedly an issue in 2021. But in an offseason where the Jets spent a considerable amount of resources to stock up defensively, finishing last in the league again in several defensive categories will not suffice.
No one is questioning Robert Saleh's character or his ability to be a great figurehead for the Jets franchise, but there's significant doubt about his ability to get the most out of his coaches and players. Game management and game planning take precedence over everything else.
Like the roster itself, Saleh and his staff are largely unproven, and the jury is still out on his coaching capabilities to get the most out of his team. The problem with blind faith is that you can't see what's right in front of you.