Will Robert Saleh take control of the NY Jets defense?
Todd Bowles never took full ownership of the Jets defense, despite claims to the contrary. Will Robert Saleh?
Players have to be held accountable for their performance, but so too do the assistant coaches. Part of being an effective head coach is learning how to coach the coaches.
It's easier said than done if you are a proven veteran head coach than a first-time head coach like Robert Saleh. But at some point, Saleh needs to put his stamp on every aspect of the team — the coaching staff included.
In New England, Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo are listed as de facto co-defensive coordinators. But make no mistake, New England's defense has been, is, and will forever be Bill Belichick's. His fingerprints are on every single aspect of that team.
Saleh might be fine with giving Mike LaFleur and his offensive staff the freedom to sink or swim, but he can't afford to do that with 'his defense.'
An influx of talent in 2022 will help, but the Jets' defensive brass are too stubborn to adjust to their opponent's tendencies. If they're going to stick to their formula and what they know best, Saleh and Ulbrich need to put their players in the best possible position to succeed.
No one expects the Jets' defense to resemble the 2009 and 2010 versions of the green and white. But the level of play from the team's defense has to be better than it has been.
The struggles on defense are expected, based on the team's youth and inexperience on defense, coupled with all their injuries to key players. But being historically bad on that side of the ball falls on Saleh and the coaches he trusts to get players mentally prepared to execute the system.
Rome won't be built in a day, but the foundation shouldn't be collapsing on everyone's head every step of the way.