It’s what he didn’t say more than what he did.
After the New York Jets’ sixth loss in a row to end the season head coach Robert Saleh was asked point-blank if Mike LaFleur will return as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2023.
“I’m going to go back and do my process, it is so important for me to go through process. You know I’ve said it before the amount of adversity he has had to deal with this year. You can’t just blame one person. There are a lot of things that can go around and so making the best decisions for this organization is first and foremost.”
Jets OC Mike LaFleur Appears Destined for Different Waters
On Sunday, January 8, Rich Cimini of ESPN shared that LaFleur is on the “hot seat” after operating an offense that has been “poor to mediocre.”
The Week 18 matchup versus the Miami Dolphins was the third straight game that the Jets didn’t score a touchdown.
When LaFleur was hired back in 2021 he had never called plays before. He brought with him a long history of working with some other really successful people and he had a sexy last name that carried some value.
Saleh bet on youth, familial ties, and potential. In two seasons there aren’t many tangible results to point to that make you feel like things are heading in the right direction.
By all accounts Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas are safe heading into the 2023 offseason. Although according to Connor Hughes of SNY, “it is clear” that the Jets are going to have a “playoff mandate” next year.
If that is true, does Saleh want to put his Jets career on the line for an unproven in his mid-thirties?
Earlier this week Saleh strongly defended LaFleur and indicated he wants him back. There was a lot less of that conviction in the post-game presser which doesn’t bode well for LaFleur’s chances of returning in 2023.
Social Media Reacts to Mike LaFleur Jets Firing Rumors
Not everyone is on board with firing LaFleur.
Hughes explained on SNY that he doesn’t believe pulling the trigger on LaFleur is “going to fix anything for the New York Jets.”
Former Jets player and current ESPN television analyst Damien Woody believes the Jets need to “at least” bring in a veteran offensive mind to work with LaFleur if not replace him entirely.
Ryan Patti of NJ dot com said if this Dolphins loss was LaFleur’s last game “it’s incredibly fitting” based on what transpired.
One Twitter user was blunt saying the Jets haven’t scored a touchdown in three games, “Mike LaFleur can not have a job here come tomorrow afternoon. It just isn’t winning coaching.”
Hard to argue with that logic.
Some people believe on social media that Saleh would go down with the ship. If Woody Johnson comes to Saleh and says fire LaFleur or else, he might pick the or else option.
Kenny Ducey of Action Network used a SpongeBob meme to explain the Saleh-LaFleur mission to get “fired together.”