Good person

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On Monday . . .

the Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel fired offensive coordinator Todd Downing, and issued a statement thanking him for his “service and commitment” while in Tennessee.

On Tuesday, the Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

“I met with Coach Turner today and informed him that we will be moving in another direction going forward,” Rivera said in a team statement. “Unfortunately, we did not live up to the expectations and standard that I expected to see from our offensive unit. I felt it was best for a fresh start at the coordinator position heading into next year.”

On Wednesday, the Jets moved on from offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, but they didn’t fire him or force him out, according to Robert Saleh.

“Over the course of the few days, we just got a lot of inquiries about his availability from some teams,” Saleh said on Thursday. “Just talking with Mike, just felt like it would be in everyone’s best interests to pursue those opportunities. So, he’s going to be fine.”

According to former NFL GM Mike Lombardi, who has great sources around the league, LaFleur was let go on Tuesday.

“Aaron Wilson down in Houston reported [Mike LaFleur] was getting fired (on Wednesday morning), and everyone said, ‘No, no, he’s not getting fired yet.’ He was fired on Tuesday. How they were going to present it to all of us is what they were working on,” Lombardi said on VSIN.

So all those people in the media gaslighting Wilson Wednesday afternoon, owe him an apology. He had the story, but they were telling us the Jets were “deliberating.”

This points to an NFL media caste system that exists.

If Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday morning, it’s highly unlikely that other writers would have told us the Jets were “deliberating.”

But because Wilson works for a TV station in Houston, they gaslit him.

But forget about the media stuff for now and let’s focus on Saleh, who is truly a wonderful man.

He really is.

He treats players, staff, reporters, and fans with class and dignity. He is also a great husband and an awesome father of seven kids.

The world needs more Robert Saleh’s, especially during these dark times.

However, in the cutthroat world of the NFL, sometimes you wonder if this can be a slight problem.

As Bill Parcells once said, “NFL football is not for the well-adjusted.”

Saleh is such a good guy, and such a loyal friend, it wasn’t in his DNA to fire LaFleur, and had to be pushed in that direction.

“The rub here is when the owner wants to fire an assistant coach and the head coach doesn’t want to do it. That’s happening at the Jets.” – Lombardi said on Monday.

And then, according to Lombardi, he it took from sometime Tuesday to early Wednesday evening, to figure out how to present to the media and public.

Why? Because Saleh, a very loyal man, didn’t want to make his friend look bad.

But perhaps this amazing human quality can be a problem at times in the world of NFL football.

He’s also such a great person, he has a hard time pulling players after bad plays, like egregious penalties, like hitting Jalen Hurts out of bounds in a preseason game. Look, I’m only talking about pulling players for a few plays to talk to them. Nothing more than that. A teachable moment during the time.

He also sometimes sticks with players too long, and that can impact the results of games, like Zach Wilson in the two New England games.

He seems to be of the belief that all humans needs are time and patience to turn things around. That works sometimes, but not all the time.

Saleh doesn’t like to hurt people. Which is a wonderful human quality.

But sometimes in the NFL . . .

January 13, 2023

Premium will return by 9:30 on Monday. In the off-season, Premium Whispers are Monday-Friday, since there are no games.



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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