3. Robert Saleh's loyalty and longevity will be tested this offseason
When the games mattered the most for the Jets, Robert Saleh and his entire staff came up small. The 2022 season was a testing ground for his qualities as a leader and tactician. Unfortunately, Saleh didn't come out the other side in a positive light.
Similar to how Joe Douglas needs to reassess his support staff in the front office, Robert Saleh is facing some problematic introspection on himself and his coaches. The problem is that Saleh has deeper loyalties and ties to his staff than Douglas does.
Jets head coaches in the past have been in this position before. Rex Ryan had to pull the plug on Brian Schottenheimer, even though the tandem did see measures of success together, reaching two AFC Championship games.
Ryan's lifelines ended up being Tony Sparano and Marty Mornhinweg. Suffice it to say; it didn't go well for Rex. Will Saleh have the gumption to make a significant change and take the same survival route?
Schottenheimer took the fall for the Jets' failings on offense at quarterback. Will current Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur meet the same fate? It's challenging to envision a scenario where Saleh pulls the plug on his lifelong buddy.
However, based on the Jets' failure to develop their self-appointed franchise quarterback and the inconsistencies attached to the team's overall offense, LaFleur's playcalling and offensive design deserve scrutiny.
Barring a power play by Woody Johnson to pull the plug at offensive coordinator, LaFleur likely retains his spot in 2023, but he is clearly on shaky ground, and there is no doubt that the Jets need to bring in an accomplished veteran offensive coach to their staff.
The unfortunate loss of Greg Knapp in 2021 set the Jets' entire offense on the wrong course. It not only hurt Zach Wilson, who Knapp was a massive supporter of, but it also hindered the neophyte, Mike LaFleur.
Quarterback coach Rob Calabrese should not be retained next season. He could be the ultimate fall guy for the Jets' failings on offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, it's difficult to fully blast Jeff Ulbrich based on the improvements and strides made in 2022, but one could argue that the progression was a result of the Jets' elite talent defensively, and not because of Ulbrich's scheme or ability to game plan effectively for opponents.
The Jets' defense quietly faltered late in the season, nowhere to the degree of their offense. However, opposing offenses cracked the code on how to stay away from New York's dual shutdown cornerbacks, and Ulbrich had no answers.