NY Jets, Robert Saleh, HC, Head Coach
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

If the New York Jets miss the playoffs, Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh could find themselves on the hot seat

When the New York Jets traded for former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, expectations for the Green & White rose significantly. The team will play more prime-time games this season than it did in the last three years combined. For the first time in a long time, they’re expected to make the playoffs.

With increased expectations comes increased pressure. Prior to the NFL draft, I wrote that the pressure is on for Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh going into the 2023 season, and if they aren’t able to live up to expectations, it’s likely the duo will no longer be employed by the Jets going into 2024. As it turns out, I’m not the only one with that opinion.

Speaking to the New York Post, former Jets head coach Eric Mangini said it was “bulls—” when The Post relayed that Charlie Weiss (who was a former OC of the Jets from 1997-99) didn’t believe Douglas and Saleh would be on the hot seat with an underwhelming season.

“This has changed everything,’’ Mangini said. “When you’re paying someone $100 million who’s a season removed from being the back-to-back offensive MVP, yeah, this is win or someone else is going to be calling the shots. I don’t even think it’s debatable.’’

Mangini would know better than most. After being told that his job was safe after the trade for Brett Favre in 2008, Mangini was fired when the team failed to make the playoffs following a Favre injury that derailed an otherwise hot start.

“I got fired after starting 8-3 and losing four of the last five and that was after having gone to the playoffs,’’ Mangini said.

Though it seems like Mangini is predicting doom and gloom, he actually thinks the Jets could be great this season.

“This makes everyone there better,’’ Mangini said. “They know they’ve got a chance to win every game now. Unless this is a Russell Wilson disaster, this should change the dynamic of the [AFC East] division. When is the last time the Jets have been significantly more relevant than the Patriots? It’s incredible.’’

Mangini also believes that a newly inspired Aaron Rodgers on a loaded Jets offense could mean disaster for the rest of the NFL.

“You’ve got a motivated Aaron Rodgers,’’ said Mangini. “A pissed-off Aaron Rodgers is what you want. When he was pissed off about Jordan Love being drafted, he was MVP. When he was pissed off about his contract, he was MVP. A motivated, energized Aaron Rodgers, that’s awesome.”

Mangini continued, “I would think for a person with his personality, this is like, ‘Can I overcome this new challenge? Can I do what Tom [Brady] did [winning a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay]?’. Who’s [Rodgers] going to be? Where’s he going to fit in that? I would imagine for a smart, driven competitive, successful guy like Aaron, that’s like a jolt of competitive caffeine.’’

The Jets struck out spectacularly with Zach Wilson. Missing that badly on a second overall selection (especially at QB) can be enough for some GMs and coaches to lose their jobs. Thankfully for Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh, they built a great team around a poor quarterback situation. Now with Rodgers at the helm in 2023, this could be the team that ends a 54-year Super Bowl drought.

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Thomas Christopher is an avid sports fan, mixed martial artist, big fantasy football player and Rex Ryan stan. He's also one of Jets X-Factor's breaking news writers. Email: tpascar[at]yahoo.com
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24 days ago

“The Jets struck out spectacularly with Zach Wilson.” Can we take it down a notch with the proclamations of doom on a 23-year old entering his third year???? Jets management has clearly indicated that they believe THEY mismanaged the young man. Of course, that could be a way to deflect and defend from the idea that they made a bad choice. But, again, the vast majority of experts thought Wilson had tons of talent, but needed careful development. To their credit, the Jets have corrected at least one mistake by firing LaFleur and have created a theoretically ideal situation for Wilson to hit a reset. Not only is Rodgers a great example to follow, he himself sat behind a HOF quarterback for the first few years of his career and can advise Wilson on how to use the time profitably. I say the jury is still out.  

24 days ago

At this point I don’t see how you can contemplate firing a GM that’s turned one of the league’s worst rosters to one of its best in three years.
Wilson was a big miss but he also had both ROYs last year. If I had to fire or extend JD now I’d definitely extend.

Robert Papalia
Robert Papalia
25 days ago

Yeah Douglas and Saleh should be on the hot seat if the Jets do not make the playoffs. However when is Woody Johnson held accountable for the Jets failures? As far as I am concerned he should sell the team.The Jets are one of the worst run franchises in all of North America. And it all starts with the owner.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
25 days ago
Reply to  Robert Papalia

I feel like that changed when Woody went to England and Chris took over. He hired Joe Douglas, gave him a lengthy and expensive contract, and let JD do pretty much what we wanted in building the team.

Now that Woody is back he’s a bit more pushy. JD was in on Aaron Rodgers all the way back at the Combine, but Woody may have pushed for getting the deal done quickly over being patient and getting a better deal.

As long as they let Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh build the team they want I think the Johnson’s are decent owners. The Jets have some of the nicest team facilities at Florham Park of any team in the league. Obviously they aren’t shy about spending money since we all knew Rodgers would cost a bundle. They have routinely let GMs shell out big bucks for players, no matter how foolish those decisions may have been (see Trumaine Johnson and Le’Veon Bell).

While I agree that missing the playoffs this season would put them on the hot seat, I don’t see a scenario where that happens short of Rodgers getting hurt. Which brings up the status of 2nd string QB. I don’t know much about Tim Boyle, but I know we don’t want Zach Wilson trotting out on the field if AR goes down. Matt Ryan, Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles are all available. Even if they never have to play they would be another veteran to work with Zach in practice.

Last edited 25 days ago by Jonathan Richter