What does the Saleh hiring mean for the Jets?
The Jets have tapped 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as their new head coach. Our sports crews offer analysis:
Dan Serafin, News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn:
Six of the seven teams that had head coaching openings interviewed Robert Saleh, so the first thought that came to my mind when learning he'd be the new Jets HC was surprise. Just as much as the Jets chose Saleh, it seems Saleh chose the Jets as well. For everything we hear and see about the Jets' future being so bleak, that has to at the very least be a little uplifting. Saleh is described as "upbeat" and "energetic," hopefully that translates to the players. For everything that's gone wrong over Adam Gase's tenure as HC of the NYJ, I thought the most glaring was the fact that Gase always seemed to have some sort of drama going with his team that was unrelated to football. "What's up with Gase and Le'Veon Bell?" "What happened with Gase and the general manager?" Those were questions that were never answered. And while the answer may not even have been that important, they seemed to have some effect as a distraction from winning football games. Now the Jets can clear the slate and start anew with a coach that's more than qualified for the job and could even provide some energy to the team, the players and the fan base.
Jamie Stuart, News 12 Long Island and News 12 Westchester:
Coming from two years of Gase, Saleh will be a home run with the fans and players. I expect the buzz words to be…new energy, new vibe, new culture. But he’s never been a HC before, so I’m very interested to see how he runs the entire team. More from Jamie:
Kevin Maher, News 12 Long Island and News 12 Westchester:
The Jets wanted a CEO-type coach, so why not hire a guy who used to work in finance? That sounds smart to me. On the football side, what impresses me the most is the work Saleh did with a 49ers defense that had a bunch of injuries this season. I don't know much about his personality and likability. But let's be honest, he doesn't have the biggest shoes to fill in that area following Adam Gase. Now the big question is what does Saleh see in Sam Darnold and can he fix him? What did he tell the Jets about that in his interview? That will determine where the Jets are headed in the next few years more than this hire.
Justin DeVellis, News 12 Connecticut:
I think the Jets need an animated and personable defensive-minded head coach in order to be successful right now. We haven't seen that since Rex Ryan, when Gang Green went to two straight AFC title games in 2009 and 2010. All is well and good at the time of this hire and the fanbase seems excited, but the obvious question remains: how will Saleh fare in New York -- especially with the media?. Jets defense receiving an immediate shot in the arm, but I believe the more intriguing part of this deal is the alleged addition of 49ers assistant Mike LaFleur as the new offensive coordinator. What the organization plans to do with Sam Darnold will be the biggest decision it makes.
Pat O'Keefe, News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn:
Robert Saleh is the anti-Adam Gase. That's a great place to start. He is a leader of men...someone who can walk into a room and command everyone's attention and respect. The Jets have not had that with either of their last two head coaching hires (Gase or Bowles). They have it now.
I can't wait to see what Saleh can do with this Jets defense, which is not bereft of talent. I also like the idea of bringing along Mike LaFleur as the new offensive coordinator. As the younger brother of Matt (who has done a great job as the head coach in Green Bay) and someone who has worked under Kyle Shanahan for four seasons, I am excited to see the fresh approach that the 33-year-old LaFleur brings to this Jets offense.
Robert Saleh will be the 18th full-time head coach in Jets history. Of the previous 17, only two had a winning record. If you take out Al Groh, who went 9-7 but was only here for one season, that number becomes one. It's Bill Parcells. Let's see Saleh join that list.