The winds of change

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The Jets didn’t make any coaching changes after the year of their own volition,

at least that we are aware of up until this point.

But two coaches left over the last week – assistant offensive line coach Jake Moreland left to become the Denver Broncos tight end coach and Jets game management coach Matt Burke left to become the Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach.

Moreland, a very passionate coach, deserves comes credit for the nice development of rookie guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Becoming a tight ends coach, with a bump in pay, makes sense for Moreland. He played tight end in college (Western Michigan) and in the NFL (Jets, Cleveland Browns), and then coached the position quite a bit on the college level. While he’s a good line coach, he’s probably an even better tight ends coach. He also might be a head coaching candidate down the road. He’s a good teacher and connects well with players.

You had to figure Burke wasn’t going to be with the Jets long. He was looking for work in late May of 2021, and Robert Saleh added him late in the hiring cycle to help him with the clock and game management. Did he do a good job? It’s hard to tell because unless you are on the headset, you don’t know who is making what decisions, but since the team finished 4-13, clearly they didn’t manage games that well. Not blaming that on Burke, because a lot of that was due to talent deficiencies, but the bottom line is that was their record. And that fourth-and-two QB sneak against Tampa Bay which failed and contributed to the Jets losing that game, was one of the worst game management decisions imaginable. Once again, not blaming Burke, but that was far from ideal game management from a down-and-distance standpoint.

And you know what, while the Jets didn’t make any staff changes right after their season ended, it’s good for a team, that finished 4-13, to make some, and while I’m not saying these guys needed to be replaced, it was important that some new blood come in. After the Tennessee Titans lost early in the playoffs, Mike Vrabel fired four assistant coaches. The Titans were the #1 seed in the AFC. If they made coaches changes after a bad playoff loss, don’t you think a 4-13 team should change things up?

The Baltimore Ravens fired defensive coordinator Wink Martingdale (now with the Football Giants) after their disappointing season. Robert Saleh’s old boss Kyle Shanahan forced out assistant head coach Jon Embree, and replaced him with Anthony Lynn.

I don’t need to go over the whole list of off-season coaching changes on other staffs, but the concept of staying with the status quo coming off a 4-13 season, makes little sense, especially with a team that suffered so many blowout losses.

So while we aren’t saying that Moreland or Burke needed to be go, not saying that at all, some staff changes were necessary coming off the kind of season the Jets had.

Their issues weren’t all based on rebuilding and having young players. To blame every loss or blown assignment on that is a Potemkin Village. It went deeper than that.

February 15, 2022

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