The honeymoon period is over for the NY Jets coaching staff, and that's especially true as it pertains to defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. Ulbrich has found himself at the center of some recent criticism for the performance of the team's defense.
The former NFL linebacker didn't help fan the flames when he spoke to the media this week and made some questionable comments about star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams that were perceived by some as throwing his player under the bus.
Some have even called for Ulbrich to be fired if the Jets' defense continues to underperform. Fortunately for Ulbrich, however, his job appears to be safe.
SNY's Connor Hughes was asked on Saturday if the Jets would consider firing Ulbrich midseason and Hughes responded with a simple "they're not firing coordinators." He doubled down when asked again insisting "Ulbrich isn't getting fired."
It sure seems as though Ulbrich's job status is secure for the time being.
Jeff Ulbrich's defense has disappointed for the NY Jets in 2022
Hopes were high for the Jets' defense entering the 2022 season. The team added the likes of Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, Jordan Whitehead, Jermaine Johnson, Kwon Alexander, and others to pair with returning players such as Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, and C.J. Mosley.
After a difficult first season under this coaching staff, the Jets finally appeared to have the personnel necessary for the defense to reach its potential. Instead, the unit has fallen well short of expectations.
Through three weeks, the Jets rank dead last in DVOA per Football Outsiders and 29th in EPA allowed per play. The supposed daunting Jets pass rush has just five sacks so far which is tied for the sixth-fewest in the NFL.
The only saving grace of the defense has been the play of the Jets' cornerbacks, mainly Reed and Gardner. Outside of that, the only other player performing at a high level has been Quinnen Williams.
Yes, the defense hasn't received much help from the offense through three weeks, but it's hard not to be discouraged by the play of the unit so far. Ulbrich's controversial comments about Williams only furthered the disdain some fans have for him.
Nonetheless, the Jets aren't expected to make a move here any time soon and it would take a truly disastrous performance from the defense for the team to consider moving on from Ulbrich midseason.
All Jets fans can do now is hope Jeff Ulbrich's defense improves.