Robert Saleh is being hired by the New York Jets with the hope he can totally turn the franchise around.
The New York Jets were a total disaster under the leadership of Adam Gase. Even using the term “leadership” is a bit of a stretch. Gase couldn’t even tank properly and was fired after a 2-14 season that has the Jets picking No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Gase was supposed to be a quarterback guru and instead he seemed to make Sam Darnold even worse. Change was needed, and the hiring of Robert Saleh seems to point toward a new strategy being in place.
Jets taking defensive approach with Saleh
The hiring of Gase was all about getting an offensive genius in place to work with Darnold. So much for that.
Gase lacked basic leadership skills, and that was clear from the start. He alienated Le’Veon Bell upon arrival and hindsight has shown he blew a great opportunity with Ryan Tannehill in Miami.
But Gase is gone and Saleh is now in charge for the Jets. Saleh comes from the defensive side of the ball and was the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator from 2017-20. Overall, he has been a defensive coach in the NFL since 2005.
This signals a change in philosophy for the Jets and goes back to what the team sought in a coach before Gase. Todd Bowles was in charge before Gase, and Rex Ryan — another defensive-minded coach — was leading the sidelines the last time the Jets were actually in the postseason.
There is no guarantee Saleh will come in and turn this team around. However, a 2-14 finish means he will at least be given some time to get the team back on the right track.
The fact Gase went 7-9 in 2019 is a miracle. He showed up and did nothing to help Darnold develop, fought with Gregg Williams and never did anything to inspire his team.
Saleh showed up in San Francisco and immediately turned the 49ers’ defense into an elite unit to pair with the already dominant scheme run by Kyle Shanahan on offense. He arguably should have been hired as a head coach last year and is finally getting a chance in 2021.
Jets fans may still be wary of this hire after two years of Gase and all the promises he showed up with. Saleh at least comes in with a better track record with a team he worked with in the Super Bowl.
Are the Jets saved? That remains to be seen. But hiring a well-respected defensive coordinator like Saleh is a much better idea compared to taking Gase out of Miami after he was fired.