New York Jets fans haven’t been satisfied by the results of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Despite that, on Monday, January 2 head coach Robert Saleh emphatically defended his coach:
“Yeah I’ve been in LaFleur’s shoes,” Saleh said when asked if he still has full confidence in LaFleur. “I told you guys the story in 2018 I was a second-year coordinator and it would’ve been very easy for Kyle Shanahan to fire me. Very easy to say you know what we went 4-12, you’re the scapegoat, get the heck out of the building, but to his credit, he committed to me and the rest is history.”
In response to this tweet, one fan said, “you f***** up the quarterback decision.”
Mike LaFleur Doesn’t Have Any Answers to Jets Stats
A common defense of LaFleur by people throughout the season is the musical chairs at the quarterback position.
The Jets were forced to start three different quarterbacks this year and ended up using four different ones in the first 16 games of the season.
However, regardless of the QB that was in the game, LaFleur still struggled to deliver.
“The idea that Zach Wilson was the detriment to progress in LaFleur’s offense hasn’t really borne out this season,” Zack Rosenblatt explained via The Athletic. “The Jets averaged 17.5 points in seven games started by Mike White and Joe Flacco, which would rank 29th. Their record with White and Flacco (2-5) also wasn’t good.”
In other words, you can’t just blame Wilson for all of LaFleur’s problems this year as the play-caller.
Gang Green has lost five games in a row and during that streak, they have only scored four touchdowns, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.
The Jets’ playoff hopes are over at 7-9 and the main culprit has been the offensive side of the ball.
“Since Week 11, the Jets averaged 13.43 points per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL — while the defense has allowed only 18.43 points per game, which is seventh-best. In that seven-week stretch, the Jets also rank 32nd in points per drive, 32nd in red-zone efficiency, 27th in yards per rush, 28th in yards per play, and 29th in expected points added per play, per TruMedia. No team has been worse in third-and-short situations this season — and the Jets’ average distance on third down (7.88) ranks second-worst,” per Rosenblatt of The Athletic.
Jets Fans Let Mike LaFleur Have It on Social Media
Saleh continued to defend his embattled offensive coordinator during his presser on Monday, January 2 by preaching patience:
“You gotta have the discipline to be able to go back and make sure you’re telling the truth about what’s happening in the building. Not coming away with knee-jerk reactions that could derail what could be a pretty damn good football coach or player for that matter, that is where Zach comes into play. Make sure that we are doing everything we can and studying everything we can to make sure we keep these young people that we’ve invested two years in and making sure we’re keeping them on the track of development.”
There is a fine line between defending your guy and preaching patience versus knowing when to rip the band-aid off of something that clearly isn’t working.
A Jets fan made a promise to coach Saleh that if he ties his boat to LaFleur “you will be looking for a new job in 2024.”
A Twitter user has heard enough and told Saleh to “shut the f*** up.”
If Saleh moves on from LaFleur it wouldn’t be your typical NFL move. Saleh has clear ties to the LaFleur family which makes this decision even harder.
As one Twitter user put it Saleh’s loyalty could ultimately “hurt him.”
After listening to the full bite from Saleh it sure sounds like he is leaning toward keeping LaFleur heading into 2023. The thing we don’t know is whether general manager Joe Douglas and/or owner Woody Johnson will allow that decision to be his to make.
Another Twitter user said that is why you shouldn’t “hire childhood friends.” This relationship adds a different level of difficulty to making this choice which he should’ve known about heading in.
Have read many posts and know this much, leadership comes from the top and you are What Your Record says you are! That being said it’s time for Major Change’s, starting at the top! Want to see this caterpillar turn into a butterfly next season!