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Robert Saleh’s introductory Jets press conference impresses from many angles

Robert Saleh
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Robert Saleh laid out a clear vision for the future of the New York Jets in his first press conference with the team.

All gas, no brake

Directed at his new players in New York, Saleh established a mantra that will be the motto for his New York Jets: all gas, no brake.

Saleh elaborated that the quote has nothing to do with what happens on the field, but rather, “The process at which we do things.”

Change in the reporting structure

Previously, the Jets have had their general manager and head coach on equal footing, both reporting to the owner. That’s changed. Now, GM Joe Douglas is the leader of the football operation, with Saleh under him.

Non-commitment to Sam Darnold

Saleh did not say too much that you wouldn’t expect regarding the status of Sam Darnold. He sung the praises of the former USC star, praising the respect Darnold has in the locker room and numerous aspects of his game on the field, but emphasized that it is far too early for him to say anything concrete about Darnold’s future with the team.

“To give you that answer right now would not be fair,” Saleh stated.

Connection to the New York/New Jersey area

Saleh has a connection to the area through the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. His brother was in the South Tower at the time of the attack, but fortunately, he was able to escape safely. The tragedy had a deep effect on Saleh, prompting him to turn back to coaching.

Play-calling, coordinator hires

Saleh will not be calling the defensive plays on gameday. That responsibility will belong to Jeff Ulbrich, the team’s new defensive coordinator.

Ulbrich was with the Falcons from 2015-20. From 2015-19, he was Atlanta’s linebackers coach, helping to develop second-round pick Deion Jones into one of the game’s best linebackers.

In 2020, Ulbrich served as assistant head coach and linebackers coach. When Dan Quinn was fired after an 0-5 start, Ulbrich was promoted to defensive coordinator under interim head coach Raheem Morris over the team’s final 11 games.

The Falcons finished 14th in defensive DVOA. After allowing 32.0 points per game over five games under Quinn, they allowed just 23.0 points per game over 11 games under Ulbrich.

As expected, Mike LaFleur will be the team’s offensive coordinator.

With Ulbrich calling defensive plays, the Jets will have a head coach that does not call the plays for the first time since Herman Edwards.

It’s a major changing of the guard after running through four one-sided head coaches in Adam Gase, Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini. The Jets have what they needed: a “CEO” style of coach who will focus on running the entire ship, not just one part of it.

Feeling at home in the Jets organization

Saleh continuously reiterated how comfortable he felt around Jets brass.

“It just felt like home, it felt like I was back home talking to my high school friends,” he stated regarding his interactions with Christopher Johnson, Joe Douglas and team president Hymie Elhai.

Valuing personal relationships

Saleh clearly has an extremely strong feel for building quality one-on-one relationships. Building connections is undoubtedly a massive priority of his, and he has a natural feel for how to create and maintain them.

The days of questionable leadership in Florham Park are over. There is a gifted, natural-born leader spearheading this football team.

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Sean Bird
Sean Bird
3 years ago

I did some analysis on the guy when he was the Falcons DC.
11 games – 253 points given up
253 points – garbage time points and short field turnover points= 225 points which is 20.5 points given per game.
Opponents – Tampa Bay (twice), New Orleans (twice), Kansas City, Minnesota, LA Chargers, LV Raiders, Lions, and Broncos

Dark Demonik
3 years ago

Chris Johnson might be a human robot but he has to get props here for letting Joe do his job… He could of done the KHAN thing and took control of the roster and personal but he did the RIGHT THING and let the football guys do what they are paid to do. This is how you get a good working place.

Saleh seems like a family, culture, x and o’s and mentor type of guy. He might not been my first choice for coach but he showed Leadership and showed me he is a football guy which something that’s been missing from the HC spot since Parcells left… Rex Ryan was a pretend general with 2 AFC Championships trips with Manginis roster.

I would like to see if the Jets can get Watson on a discount