The NY Jets made the decision to part ways with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur — among numerous other offensive assistants — on Wednesday. And as it turns out, head coach Robert Saleh wasn't the one who made the call.
The Score's Jordan Schultz reported on Thursday that team owner Woody Johnson was the one who pushed for Saleh to move on from LaFleur and others. Schultz is reporting that Johnson was "adamant that the offensive staff’s upheaval [was] necessary."
Along with LaFleur, the Jets fired offensive line coach John Benton on Thursday. There were some reports suggesting the Jets had also moved on from quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese, but that doesn't appear to be the case right now.
Johnson did tell reporters on Thursday that he was not involved in the decision to fire LaFleur, although he did indicate he had conversations with both Saleh and Joe Douglas. Take that with a grain of salt, of course.
NY Jets owner Woody Johnson appears to be meddling...again
Even if you were in favor of the decision to fire LaFleur, it's hard to argue that a team owner overruling the head coach and possibly the general manager is a positive development for an organization.
Johnson (or at least his brother, Christopher), hired Saleh and Douglas to run the Jets' organization. It's not on the team owner to make football decisions. Does Johnson have every right to meddle in the team he owns? Sure, but that doesn't mean it's a good thing for the franchise.
If this report is accurate and Johnson did meddle and force the hand of the Jets' decision-makers — which by all accounts it is — the entire power structure of the organization has been compromised.
To this point, Saleh and Douglas have been given full autonomy to make decisions. Say what you want about Christopher Johnson (yes, he hired Adam Gase, I know), but at least he afforded the Jets' brass full autonomy.
Woody Johnson has never done that — he just can't help himself.
Oftentimes when a team owner gets involved in the decision-making and overrules his own front office and coaching staff, it signals the beginning of the end for that regime. At least, that's what history tells us.
That doesn't mean Saleh and Douglas are necessarily on their last leg with the organization, but it sure isn't a good sign that their decisions won't always be respected by the owner.
A meddling Woody Johnson is not a good thing for the Jets. It never has been and it never will be.