When the NY Jets hired then-San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their head coach, they knew what they were getting. A coach who stresses an “all gas” mentality that is built upon by his infectious personality.
The Jets weren’t accustomed to this when Adam Gase was running the show.
When the team eventually fired Gase at the end of the 2020-21 season, the keys were handed to general manager Joe Douglas to go out and find a natural-born leader that would lift this franchise above the deep, dark cloud that was renting out a space at One Jets Drive.
Douglas didn’t disappoint, at least, not from what we can tell. Saleh, who was hired as the team’s head coach on January 14th, 2021, immediately began to bring over a culture that was already clearly established at his previous stop in San Francisco.
The “All Gas, No Brake” mentality entered through the front gate at Florham Park, NJ, and has given a sense of hope to those in-and-around the team.
The Jets may have not won many games during the 2021-22 season under Saleh, finishing under .500 for the eighth time since the team’s last playoff appearance in 2010, but Saleh, along with Douglas, helped scrub off some of the dirt that was still left from the last regime.
Saleh still has a ways to go to fully earn the trust that is instilled within the Jets’ fan base, but we would say he’s off to a decent start.
Now, it’s “put up or shut up” time, as Saleh would say. His coordinators, offensive play-caller Mike LaFleur and defensive play-caller Jeff Ulbrich, like Saleh, each have a first full season in New York under their respective belts.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team develops under these three, specifically, and what they have in-store moving forward. The pieces will be in place, and the team will already have a general sense of what is asked of them under the current regime.
Competing for the division comes first, and fans of the Jets should expect no less from a team that has been rid of competitive spirit for some time now.
If Saleh can win a division title, or even come close to cracking a wild card spot, fans will already have his statue built outside of MetLife Stadium (kidding, or are we?).