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Recap of NY Jets GM Joe Douglas’ end-of-year press conference

NY Jets GM, Joe Douglas, Press Conference
Joe Douglas, New York Jets, Getty Images

The NY Jets’ general manager spoke about the decisions and moves that went into the 2023 season

Joe Douglas has finally broken his silence.

During the end-of-year media availability, the New York Jets’ general manager spoke about the various moves made and the issues that plagued the team’s 2023 season.

When asked about the backup quarterback situation, Douglas said, “Hindsight’s always 20-20.”

“We went into the offseason with the plan of having Zach (Wilson) here with Aaron; it was going to be a great benefit. Zach had a great training camp, and we felt that we had a good plan in place,” said Douglas.

“Obviously, things didn’t work, so hindsight’s always 20/20, so it’s easy to go back and say ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda,’ but what in our process was wrong because you try to take all the information you have at hand and make the best decision you can make with that information, so what specifically didn’t work with that process, and making sure we don’t make the same mistake twice.”

The general manager also said that “the intent” for this season was to have Wilson learn behind Rodgers and reiterated that “Zach is going to be a really good player in this League for a long time.” Furthermore, Douglas added that it is a “high probability” that the Jets add a veteran quarterback.

When asked about the offensive line, Douglas gave a long answer about the team’s process with the unit.

“Yeah, obviously another big reflection point, the offensive line and going back and thinking about what’s worked, what hasn’t worked. Obviously, we’ve invested a lot of resources in that position. For the last two years, we’ve been banged up. So, going back and looking at the performance and availability of this group, I feel like I spent so much time trying to prevent the storm from actually coming when it comes to injuries,” said Douglas.

“I think certain injuries are unpreventable. I feel like we’ve done a lot better job in terms of soft tissue injuries, but I think, candidly, one of the things I could have done better with the offensive line is keeping an extra offensive lineman…Again, it’s going to be going back to every single decision-making process because we have gotten some decisions right there. I feel like we do have a few cornerstone players on that offensive line moving forward, building around those guys and keeping adding to the group.

Additionally, the general manager said, “I don’t think there needs to be any foundational changes” to the team’s process and that only slight tweaks are needed.

In terms of future additions, Douglas did say the Jets “want to have as many playmakers as we can on the team” when asked about adding playmakers. He also addressed the Bryce Huff contract situation, stating that “Bryce isn’t the only free agent we want back” and that the Jets are “not there yet” regarding the use of a franchise tag on the edge rusher.

Douglas also reflected on the Duane Brown and Dalvin Cook situations during the presser. Douglas stated, “We thought that was a great insurance plan to have in place” when asked about Cook.

“We felt like we were getting a Pro Bowl running back at an under-market price at the time for a Pro Bowl (running) back. So, in terms of the actual decision at the time, we felt like that was a real safe decision.”

For Brown, Douglas said “all the indicators” showed Brown was fully healthy and that his injury in 2023 was a new one. The general manager expressed that he would “probably regret” the move but stressed that the team felt good about him coming back.

Most importantly, Douglas addressed Robert Saleh’s ability as head coach and his own job security.

Douglas said there is a “sense of urgency” in light of the Jets’ most recent season and Garrett Wilson’s end-of-year comments where he detailed his frustration.

“There is a sense of urgency to win, not just fix problems, but win. I haven’t heard or read what Garrett said, but I had a really good conversation with Garrett, and look, we are all frustrated,” said Douglas.

“No one is happy about the way the last two years have finished, so we all know we need to win and do a better job. When I hear things like that, it just makes me say I got to do more to help this offense, that wide-out room, that o-line, I need to do more.”

Douglas also expressed that his record “is not good enough” and that all of the focus is on winning moving forward.

On Saleh, Douglas expressed complete confidence in the head coach and his staff.

“I love Robert and his staff; they do a phenomenal job, and I love their energy. I have talked to you guys about how I love how they teach and their ability to connect, but ultimately, I need to do better for them,” said Douglas.

“Robert is the right coach because he is the right man for the job. I love his energy; he is the right man for this job; I have zero doubts about that.”

It was a lengthy Douglas press conference, filled with multiple answers about different avenues the Jets took this season. But just because the media availability was extended does not mean it was positive.

While expressing his desire to reevaluate his process, Douglas’s moves and his reasoning behind them leave some cause for concern.

There was no reason to have Zach Wilson as the number two quarterback on the depth chart. Regardless of one’s feelings on Dalvin Cook, it was not a bargain to sign him, and he was coming off a season where he showed massive regression according to underlying metrics. Duane Brown was approaching 40 and had an increased injury risk at a position where most players get hurt.

Like Saleh’s press conferences, Douglas’s words will mean nothing without meaningful action behind them. A promise to change the process means nothing if the offensive line, skill positions, and backup quarterback are not addressed.

It’s genuinely a make-or-break year for Douglas, among many others, in 2024. How Douglas acts on his desire to change next season will affect the team’s success and the general manager’s long-term job security.

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Jim G
5 months ago

The press conferences were an exercise in corporate speak. “We have to look at the process” without a commitment to make changes and “we need to do more” are empty phrases.

I have greater respect for Garrett Wilson. His comments were a breath of fresh air. He is a winner who hates losing. Saying that we watch as the other teams offenses have success and “it shouldn’t be so hard” for the Jets to have success shows something is very wrong with in game management and pre-game planning.