Canada News

Robert Saleh defends Mike LaFleur as Jets offense struggles

This once-promising Jets season has cratered and the team is now preparing for its 12th straight season without a playoff berth.

None of the players or coaches have had to live through that entire 12-year drought, but owner Woody Johnson has. You now have to wonder if Johnson will be looking for someone to fire after this collapse. The Jets were 7-4 at the end of November and the playoffs looked like a realistic destination. But the Jets have lost five games in a row and were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks.

It is unlikely that Johnson will fire general manager Joe Douglas or head coach Robert Saleh. The coach who could be in the crosshairs, though, is offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. The Jets have scored four touchdowns in this five-game losing streak and LaFleur has had no answers whether Zach Wilson or Mike White is at quarterback.

Saleh predictably threw his support behind LaFleur on Monday.

Robert Saleh

“I think in moments like these, this is Year 2 of commitment to go young everywhere,” Saleh said. “Coaches, players, staff, everybody, and it’s so important to take a deep breath, keep the main thing the main thing, and make sure we do a great job with regards to self-scouting, evaluation, and make sure that we’re telling ourselves the truth rather than allowing narrative and panic to set in, so these are all things that we’re going to study the heck out of once the season is over.”

When the Jets do their “self-scouting,” Saleh and LaFleur need to figure out how the Jets just went two straight games without scoring a touchdown, how they seem to stumble every time they get to the red zone and why they have not been able to build a consistent running game.

While fans want LaFleur gone, Saleh cautioned that this is not just on one person. The offense has been hit hard by injuries. The offensive line is beat up and has been through a number of players. The loss of running back Breece Hall in October was a killer blow. Then, of course, there is the quarterback play, which has been terrible in the past two weeks.

“It’s not basketball where you can point at one person, or golf where you can look inward,” Saleh said. “There’s 11 guys on the field, and each of those guys have a football coach. There’s a lot of moving parts in one play, there’s a lot of moving parts, and to try to pinpoint one person just to make people feel good about giving a reason why something’s failing, it’s not fair to players, it’s not fair to the GM and the scouts, it’s not fair to anybody, but finding the truth is what is fair, and that’s something that takes time.”

Mike LaFleur
Bill Kostroun

The problem with firing LaFleur is it would not be easy to find a strong replacement. Saleh is almost certainly entering a make-or-break season in 2023 that will result in him being fired if the Jets fail to make the playoffs. The Jets also don’t have a quarterback. Sure, they could be in the market for one in free agency, but when coaches interview in January, the Jets won’t be able to give any assurances about who the quarterback will be in September.

Any coaching candidate with options will not want to coach the Jets.

Jets fans should also remember that a year ago they wanted defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich gone when the Jets had the worst-ranked defense in the NFL. A year later, the Jets have the No. 3 defense and it is the strength of the team.

Saleh and the Jets have invested two years in LaFleur. It may be smarter to stick with him for a third season than to bring in an entirely new system.

Saleh said he has confidence in LaFleur and can relate to what he is going through. The 49ers were 28th in scoring defense in 2018 when Saleh was the coordinator and they went 4-12.

“I’ve been in LaFleur’s shoes,” Saleh said. “I told you guys the story. In 2018, second year as a coordinator on defense, and it would’ve been very easy for Kyle [Shanahan] to fire me — very easy just to say, ‘You know what, we went 4-12. You’re the scapegoat. Get the heck out of the building,’ but to his credit, he sat down. He went over the weeks following the season and committed to me, and the rest is history.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! Today is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button