Analyzing Robert Saleh’s Opening Press Conference

Today, Jets fans got to meet their new head coach for the New York Jets, Robert Saleh. The team hired Saleh last Thursday night after firing Adam Gase on January 3.

Today, I am pinpointing things that were said by general manager Joe Douglas, team CEO Christopher Johnson, and new head coach Robert Saleh.

The Reporting Structure Is Changing/No More Arranged Marriages

When asked about the team reporting structure, Christopher Johnson gave fans a sigh of relief. The organizational reporting structure is finally changing. Head coach Robert Saleh will report to general manager Joe Douglas. Douglas will now report to owner Christopher Johnson. The previous structure of both the general manager and head coach reporting to the owner failed miserably numerous times.

This structure led to the firing of former general manager Mike Maccagnan.  Former head coach Adam Gase and Maccagnan had a rift brewing and ultimately cost Maccagnan his job. Then, Gase helped Johnson choose the next general manager in Joe Douglas.

Way before that, the Jets fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum in 2012 after the team went 6-10. Head coach Rex Ryan was not fired. Therefore, the team arranged a structural marriage between him and the new general manager, John Idzik. The team fired both men after the 2014 season.

Sam Darnold

This is the biggest topic of the offseason. The team this offseason will decide the fate of Sam Darnold. The team’s new head coach had high praise for Sam Darnold. Robert Saleh said:

“He’s got an unbelievable arm talent. There’s a reason why he was the 3rd pick in the draft. He’s fearless in the pocket.

He’s mobile, extremely intelligent, and tough as nails.”

Then, Saleh was asked about whether Darnold would be the starting quarterback to open training camp:

“There’s a lot of things we have to look at….not just the QB position but the entire roster…. to give you that answer now would be premature.”

He also mentioned that he will collaborate with his staff and Joe Douglas’ staff about Sam Darnold’s future.

Robert Saleh Will NOT Call Defensive Plays/Full Coaching Staff

Saleh mentioned in his press conference that his new defensive coordinator will be former Falcons defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. Ulbrich was elevated to defensive coordinator after head coach Dan Quinn was fired and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was promoted to interim head coach. Here is the entire coaching staff:

  • Head Coach: Robert Saleh
  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike LaFleur
  • Defensive Coordinator: Jeff Ulbrich
  • Quarterbacks Coach: Mike Calabrese
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Miles Austin
  • Running Backs Coach: Jon Embree
  • Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator: John Benton
  • Tight Ends Coach: Ron Middleton
  • Passing Game Specialist: Greg Knapp
  • Offensive Assistants: Todd Washington, Mack Brown, Billy Vandemerkt
  • Defensive Line Coach: Aaron Whitecotton
  • Assistant Defensive Line Coach: Nate Ollie
  • Defensive Assistants: Ricky Manning, Hayes Pullard, Chip Vaughn

Ultimately, it’s unclear if special teams coordinator Brant Boyer will stay. The details probably will be revealed soon.

A New Mantra: “All Gas, No Brake”

Finally, the Jets realized that practice doesn’t always translate to the game. Talking about good practices is no longer relevant. It’s about what happens in the game.

Robert Saleh remarked about his new mantra:

“We’re gonna do this together. Get used to the mantra: all gas, no brake. We’re talking about our process, how we prepare, how we wake up every morning, how we rehab, how we speak to one another.”

Thankfully, the Jets hired a coach that doesn’t or shouldn’t brag about good practices.

Owner Woody Johnson Is On His Way Back To The States

CEO Christopher Johnson mentioned that he is on a plane back to the United States. Johnson was previously the ambassador to the United Kingdom in the previous presidential administration.

Woody Johnson will be the head chairman of the Jets. Christopher Johnson will be the vice-chairman. Both Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh have had little to no interaction with Woody Johnson. Both said they are ready to interact with the returning chairman.

Final Thoughts On Presser:

Robert Saleh’s and Adam Gase’s opening press conferences are night and day. Gase was nervous and didn’t try to give fans much to have hope about. Robert Saleh took a much different approach.

Saleh looked incredibly happy and didn’t stutter while speaking. He spoke with honesty and proudness. Saleh looked assertive and spoke like a leader of men.

Jets fans should have optimism.


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