The New York Jets could be set for some massive changes to their coaching staff in 2023.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is firmly on the “hot seat” heading into the Week 18 regular-season finale versus the Miami Dolphins.
Jets Owner Woody Johnson “could be so frustrated that he might look for a scapegoat” Cimini explained but head coach Robert Saleh “will try to save his close friend.”
If the team decides to keep LaFleur, Cimini says the Jets could add a “senior assistant role” like the one Greg Knapp was supposed to fill before he tragically passed away in 2021.
“If so, someone like Gary Kubiak — one of the founders of their offensive scheme — would be a name to watch,” Cimini wrote in his column for ESPN. “Kubiak, 61, retired from coaching two years ago. Maybe Saleh, who worked under Kubiak more than a decade ago with the Houston Texans, could talk him into coming back.”
Jets Offense Needs Some Veteran Guidance
Head coach Robert Saleh said earlier this week at the podium that the team made a choice to go young everywhere when he was brought in. That included the players and the coaching staff.
Prior to being hired LaFleur had never called plays before. Rob Calabrese was tasked with being the quarterback coach for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft (Zach Wilson) at 30 years of age.
The Jets tried this plan for two years and it delivered putrid offensive results. It is time to bring an adult into the offensive room to salvage this operation.
Kubiak is currently retired and his last gig in the NFL was with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
The 61-year-old (who will be 62 by the start of the 2023 season) has ties to Saleh and is a proven name. Kubiak has four Super Bowl titles on his resume, one as a head coach (Denver Broncos) and three as an assistant (two with the Broncos and one with the San Francisco 49ers).
The Jets Can’t Possibly Bring Back the Same Operation in 2023
The latest rumors suggest that Saleh will be safe regardless of what happens in Week 18.
However, the pressure cooker will be really turned up heading into the 2023 season. Even if Saleh stays, there is no way they can trot out the same coaching lineup they have the last two years.
The Jets need to bring in a veteran offensive mind whether it’s Kubiak or Frank Reich or someone else. If it’s as an assistant in LaFleur’s room to help him or it’s replacing him, people need to be held accountable.
Gang Green tried the young thing and it sounded great in theory but in practice, it just hasn’t delivered. The Jets have a ton of young explosive offensive pieces and they need to find someone capable of maximizing it.
Quite frankly it’s criminal how a lot of pieces were wasted this season.
If they can’t solve that problem, the Jets may start with a brand new slate in 2024 with everyone being fired.