Doing this is a cookbook answer to your problems

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Whenever a coordinator is fired in-season, my gut tells me it’s owner-driven.

Historically, owners feel this is an answer to the team’s struggles on one side of the ball.

Ironically, the man replacing former Bills offensive coordinator, Ken Dorsey, fired this week, is Joe Brady, who had the same thing happen to him two years ago in Carolina.

In-season, the Carolina Panthers, then coached by Matt Rhule, fired their OC Brady.

This probably came from David Tepper, who is fast becoming the new Dan Snyder.

“Joe was that same guy two years ago where [Dorsey] was, so he understands both sides of it,” said Bills QB Josh Allen, early this week.

Firing coordinators in-season is kind of a cookbook answer to fixing the problems of a struggling team, just like having players-only meetings . . .

I keep being asked on sports talk shows if the Jets’ decision to stay with Zach Wilson is being driven by Woody Johnson.

My answer is always, “I have not heard that.”

But one thing I do know is Woody Johnson is not George Steinbrenner.

While he’s more hands-on than his brother, he’s not one of these owners who is a martinet, a dictator, who makes his football people do things against their will.

Hey, he did push for the Aaron Rodgers trade, but surely he didn’t have to twist many arms on that one.

But I’ve covered Woody since he bought the team, I just don’t get the sense that he’s a Jerry Jones-type, who is running around the football offices, telling personnel people and coaches what to do all the time.

My point is simple, if Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh said to him, “Mr. Johnson, at 4-5, we think it’s best to go with Trevor Siemian this week, to try to stay in the playoff race,” I don’t think Woody would shoot that down.

So while I can’t confirm one way or the other whether Woody is making the decision to stay with Wilson, who has one TD pass in the last five games, I can tell you, based on the owner’s personality, I find it hard to believe that he would force Douglas/Saleh to keep starting Wilson against their will.

If Douglas and Saleh wanted to make a change, and had strong convictions about it, Woody just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would stop it.

Conspiracy theorists theorized that when Saleh said he “pleaded the fifth” while talking to a Jets media partner, on whether he was being forced to stay with Wilson, the tin-foil hat crowd thought the coach was being forced by a power above him.

But we explained here after the “plead the fifth” story went viral, that the answer from the coach, which might have been a poor choice of words, was based on being asked the same question over and over. He just got tired of answering the same question over and over again by hosts who would never do that to a Yankees or Rangers coach, and in exasperation said, “I plead the fifth.”

If you think Woody is pushing the decision, that answer is weak evidence. Saleh just said that because he was tired of the hosts bombarding him with the same question.

November 16, 2023

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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