Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Jets hire Robert Saleh as head coach, return to defensive posture

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Jets announced Thursday evening that they had reached an agreement in principle with 49ers’ defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to become their new head coach. The move marks a return to the mindset that the franchise has maintained for most of a quarter of a century.

Saleh, 41, succeeds Adam Gase, who was sacked after the Jets’ Week 17 loss to the Patriots. The Jets finished 2-14 in 2020 after losing their first 13 games. Gase was 9-23 in two seasons with the team.

MORE: Jets fan takes Saleh watch to the extreme

New York gets one of the best coaching prospects in the NFL, a coordinator who led a Super Bowl-caliber unit two years ago and a squad that was fifth in total defense this year despite multiple player injuries. keys.

It also returns to his recent philosophy of choosing a defensive spirit as the head coach. Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini, Herm Edwards, Al Groh, Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells all hailed on this side of the ball, with Gase breaking the rope. Individual coaching files show a set of mixed results:

Gases 9-23
Bowles 24-40
Ryan 46-50
Mangini 23-25
Edwards 39-41
Groh 9-7
Belichick 0-0
Parcells 29-19

The Jets were 24th in total defense, 28th against the pass and 26th in scoring defense this season under coordinators Gregg Williams and Frank Bush.

They are also following the field when it comes to their division’s coaches: Belichick, Sean McDermott of the Bills and Brian Flores of the Dolphins all have defensive backgrounds.

But New York is also going against a trend by not hiring a young attacking hotshot: think Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, Kevin Stefanski, Kliff Kingsbury, Matt Rhule and Zac Taylor. On the other hand, ESPN Adam Schefter reported Thursday evening 49ers passing coordinator Mike LaFleur – brother of Matt and 34 – is expected to become Saleh’s offensive coordinator with the Jets.

The choice of the CO is crucial because Saleh inherits the worst offense in the NFL (32nd in yards and scoring in 2020). It is likely that Saleh will want to pick a new quarterback in 2021 in place of the current Sam Darnold. New York will pick second place in NFL Draft in April; he could look to Justin Fields of Ohio State or Zach Wilson of BYU if he wants to start again in this position.


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