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The Jets statements:
The Jets made their hiring of Robert Saleh official on Tuesday.
Yes, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced late last week that Saleh had agreed to terms to become the Jets next coach, but it took a few days to finalize all the paperwork; get all the legal documents done.
So when they made it official on Tuesday, they sent out statements from Christopher Johnson, Joe Douglas and Saleh.
Let’s look at some of what each man said, and break it down a little.
“It was also clear that he will partner with Joe (Douglas) to help foster and develop the winning culture we are striving to establish,” said Johnson.
Yes, we have heard a lot about this word “culture” throughout the Jets’ coaching search. And creating a great football culture is a huge must-do for the Jets if they want to turn the corner as a program.
But some will point out that Douglas talked a great deal about building a strong culture in June of 2019, when he took over as GM.
“The plan is to create the best culture in sports,” Douglas said at his introductory presser. “Every great team has that culture.”
So what the heck was going on the last year and a half? Simple. A GM can’t put in a strong football culture by himself, he needs the right head coach partner. I don’t mean for this to sound flippant, but Adam Gase isn’t a culture builder. He wasn’t in Miami and he wasn’t with the Jets. Heck, neither were the previous two Jets coaches. Building cultures isn’t easy, and a lot of guys can’t do it, they just want to focus on game plans, X’s and O’s and play-calling.
Let me make it clear that this isn’t Douglas speaking about Gase not being a culture-builder. He always took the high road when talking about Gase, but his former partner wasn’t a culture-builder, and Saleh seems to be.
So now Douglas will likely have the right partner to build the strong football culture the Jets desperately need.
Up to this point, all Douglas could do with the culture in mind is pick the right kind of players you would want in a strong football culture like Becton, Mims and Hall. He could only farm his own land.
Now it looks like he has the “partner” to make a strong football culture a reality.
“Coach Saleh is an exceptional teacher, motivator and communicator,” said Douglas.
Obviously the fact that he’s an exceptional “motivator” is important, but I want to focus here on “teacher” and “communicator.”
While Saleh is going to focus on coaching the entire team, he is also going to run the defense, and a huge problem for the Jets’ defense the last couple of years were blown assignments. So the teaching and communication on defense (and with the entire team), needs to improve.
One thing I noticed watching a lot of 49ers games this year was how well prepared their defensive players were for what opponents were attempting to do (aside from the Bills’ game). This has to do with teaching and communication.
A perfect example of poor teaching and communication was in the Jets’ loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on the deep TD pass to Henry Ruggs at the end of the game. Yes, the defensive call was ill-advised, but just as big a problem was the fact that CB Lamar Jackson bit on a double-move in the middle of the route. Why would you bite on a shorter route when they only way they could win is by connecting on a deep TD? This was poor teaching and communication.
Having Saleh in the building, along with a staff of that seems to have some very good teachers, should help.
“There are no shortcuts to success, and I am committed to working with Joe to build this team the right way: with talented players that play fast and smart,” Saleh said.
We got just got into the importance in playing “smart” which Saleh should help the Jets do.
But I want to comment here on Saleh saying, “There are no shortcuts to success, and I am committed to working with Joe to build this team the right way.”
Yes, there are not shortcuts to success, so that means you don’t trade a truckload of draft picks to Houston to for a disgruntled QB who has two surgically repaired knees.
You keep all those picks and load up on a lot of good young talent and fill the myriad needs of the New York Jets.
January 20, 2021
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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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