Last season the New York Jets’ heartrate was zero. It absolutely flatlined after an embarrassing 2-14 campaign that ended up being one of the worst in franchise history.
One of the biggest reasons for that massive debacle was their head coach Adam Gase. He came off as an arrogant, condescending, know-it-all that simply couldn’t relate to the fans because Gase thought he was better than them.
It was a hire back in 2019 that was universally mocked and expected to go bad and it did. 2020 also became the 10th consecutive season that the Jets missed the playoffs.
Fast forward a few weeks later and Gang Green was able to successfully ouster Gase and replace him with former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
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Saleh Is Capable of Reigniting the Jets
“Robert Saleh isn’t your garden variety new head coach or retread, this is one we’ve been waiting on for a while,” Kyle Brandt on Good Morning Football. “He landed in the media capital of the United States with a team that badly wants a winner. Saleh has a new quarterback and I think he’s going to be incredible.”
On Good Morning Football on the NFL Network, the panel of analysts each shared their take on which head coach would “reignite” their team in 2021.
Kyle Brandt picked Saleh with the Jets and suggested it was a perfect storm between team and coach. This led me to Google the definition of reignite:
- To begin or to cause something to burn again.
- To give new life or energy to something.
That flame for the Jets hasn’t burned in a hot minute. After the Gase experience, the fan base is starving for new life and energy. The Saleh hire checked off every box of the definition.
Since the 42-year old was hired back in January there seems to be a new energy in the air on 1 Jets Drive. The combination of him and general manager Joe Douglas somewhat resembles a competent green and white front office for the first time this century.
When you add in all of the players that were added to the mix in free agency and the 2021 NFL draft, the fan base is bursting at the seams with excitement.
Robert Saleh Has a Chance for a Rex Ryan Like Impact
This is an eerily similar feeling to what Jets fans experienced over a decade ago when there was a changing of the guard at head coach.
Gang Green was coming off of a disappointing 9-7 season in which they finished 1-5 down the stretch and blew a chance at the playoffs. Eric Mangini was fired following that 2008 season.
While he was a solid head coach, Mangini was unspectacular and borderline boring. When the Jets moved on from ‘Mangenius’ they were desperately searching for an injection of life. They got that and some when they hired former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
Ryan brought complex blitzing schemes and an explosive personality. The Jets went from a meek and reserved head coach to one blustering with bravado.
He possessed an affinity for creating headlines like “he didn’t plan on kissing Bill Belichick’s rings” and he’s ready to “kick the Patriots a**.” While at times it was over the top, it was exactly what the Jets needed at that time in history.
It was a necessary infusion of life and energy into a franchise that hadn’t seen it in quite some time. Now fast forward over a decade and Saleh has a chance to have a Rex Ryan-like impact on the Jets.
Sure back-to-back conference title games would be cool, but we aren’t just talking about the success on the field. It’s about the atmosphere, the buy-in from the players, and the perception of the team from a wide lens.
For over the last decade, since the end of the Ryan glory years, the Jets have been arguably the biggest laughing stock in the NFL. It’s time to return this team to prominence and Saleh seems to be the perfect coach for what the Jets need heading into 2021.
Energy. Discipline. Winning attitude on and off the field.