The Jets hired their head coach Thursday night with Robert Saleh hired.
Saleh has a big job ahead of him, with General Manager Joe Douglas. The Jets have great sentiments after Saleh Hacks, but this is still a team that has just gone 2-14, has a huge question mark at quarterback and a roster with more requirements than a newborn.
This will not be news for Saleh, who did his homework exactly as he did on him. He knows what he is doing and he clearly thinks the Jets job is a good one because he will likely be waiting for other offers.
The to-do list for Saleh and Douglas is long. Here are the areas to be worked on earlier:
Hire an employee
Coaching staff work. The media and fans focus on these Harriers and usually the head coach as a coordinator, but it goes much deeper than that. A bad coaching staff can sink a good head coach. One of the biggest issues for Todd Bowles was his coaching staff when he was with the Jets. Rex Ryan was a great coaching staff during his tenure, then began missing key pieces and substitutions did not work.
We know that Saleh wants to bring Mike LaFleur from San Francisco to be his offensive coordinator. There is a lot of thought around the LaFleur NFL and Kyle Shanhan will bring the offense with him, so that the move gets high marks. However, apart from Lafellur, there is no one whispered as to who is coming with him.
After offensive coordinator, hire for the offensive hire coach is important to me. The Jets desperately need a good one. Douglas said he wants to build the offensive line and those young players need good coaching. Bill Callahan worked wonders under the Jets line with Eric Mangini and Ryan. Lately, coaching in that room has not been good.
It is not yet known whether Saleh will be a defensive player. Even if he is not, he will certainly have a big hand in the defensive game plan each week. The Jets wanted him to coach the entire team and not focus on one side of the ball, but his defensive expertise helped him get that job done.
One of the things the Jets liked about Saleh is that he has been around the NFL for 16 years. Some of the other candidates have little NFL experience. Saleh knows people. He should be able to put together a good staff.
What to do with Sam?
With the out-of-the-head-coaching decision, the Sam Darnold decision now has a major impact on the organization. Do the Jets stick with Darnold for the second year or take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the draft?
Certainly, Saleh has given the team some opinions on the subject during the interview process, but the Jets have not made a decision yet. Douglas and Saleh will weigh the options and figure out which direction to go. The Jets need to evaluate college quarterbacks to find out what they can get in a trade for Darnold and weigh all the factors before deciding on a franchise-change.
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Saleh must dig deep into the roster before the team’s leadership starts thinking about free agency and the draft. The roster’s decision will eventually be Douglas, but the GM said he wants the head coach to be his partner, so the two will work together on him.
The Jets’ roster problems have been well documented and will not be corrected overnight. Overcap is estimated to give the team $ 70 million in salary cap space. He has 19 players who are unrestricted free agents.
His top free agent safety is Marcus Maye. Douglas said that bringing Maye back after the season is a priority. it must be. He was the team MVP and is one of the few good players from the previous regime. After Maye, the Jets will have to decide whether players like Jordan Jenkins, Brian Poole, Neville Hewitt, Tareel Basham and Breshad Perriman are worth re-signing.
Saleh finds work. Now, he must go to work.