This Jets Head Coaching Hire Needs to be Saleh-ed

Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

Robert Saleh is the positive doppelganger of Adam Gase.

Saleh’s energized, motivated, and enthusiastic. He’s a great TV sell with his dashes and antics on the sidelines. 

He has an effervescent, electric personality that would make him an overnight media star in the Big Apple.

Saleh has gained the undying support of his players and is well respected throughout the league.

He may convince these Jets to walk into the Hudson River for him.

Several published reports have the 41-year-old San Francisco defensive coordinator becoming the new Jets’s head coach this week.

He is the most colorful and recognizable head coaching candidate for the six NFL coaching vacancies among the majority of the cast only true football fans would know.

On the surface, Saleh leaves little to be desired.

But is he your next Jets’ coach? Are you totally sold? Could he change the recent culture carved out by Gase?

The Jets would love to find the next Joe Judge, but where is he? 

Philadelphia will interview New England assistant Jerod Mayo, described as a Bill Belichick clone, to solve their problem.

By the way, Saleh reportedly was on his way to Philadelphia for an interview after he left the Jets.

There are two factors that still leave some  traces of doubt among Jets’ fans.

First, there is the candidates pool itself.

Eric Bieniemy appeared to be the slam dunk hire even when the Jets hired Gase. Bieniemy is still to get a job, but his stock will take a severe dip if he isn’t hired this offseason.

Doug Pederson would seem natural for the Jets, especially having worked with GM Joe Douglas. But Pederson’s deteriorated situation in Philadelphia this season along with the “Tank Gate” game against Washington has left the Jets and others hesitant to immediately bring him on board.

Former Jet Aaron Glenn had an interview, but he doesn’t generate a sense of comfort. Brian Dabool, Arthur Smith, and Brandon Staley are all wunderkind offensive coordinators who everyone hopes is the next Sean McVay or Kliff Kingsbury.

Marvin Lewis is deemed past his prime, and Jim Caldwell lost his luster.

Ex-Jet offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer could emerge as a candidate after he was relieved of his same duties in Seattle. 

Then there is the same old Jets factor.

The hiring of Douglas brought a sense of stability and respect back to the franchise.

This should be Douglas’ hire with owner Christopher Johnson’s approval.

It just may not happen that way. Johnson’s track record with coaches is far from a Triple Crown. 

There has to be the restoration of a normal chain of command within the Jets instead of the triangle of head coach-GM-owner that Gase and Todd Bowles’ regimes.

The Jets can’t afford to make the wrong move with plenty of draft choices and some cap money in their pocket. They have enough young players who can shape a solid foundation.

They have reached the point where they need to make the correct, snap decision, as the hiring clock has begun to tick and what candidate will be the first one to fall.

This hire should be the one that can ignite the franchise again and develop the program over time.

It’s time for a change. And it has to be the right coach for this situation.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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