At this point, the New York Jets are the laughing stock of the league.
When they beat the Rams and lost the number one overall pick, fans around the league were happy for Trevor Lawrence because he did not have to go that “laughing stock” of a franchise.
They are actually much more set up for success than most think.
They have 70 million in cap space this offseason and a plethora of picks.
They have nine draft picks this year including two first rounders and six picks in the top 100.
All they need is a commanding presence on the sidelines and that is exactly what Robert Saleh is.
— Matt O'Leary (@MattOLearyNY) January 12, 2021
1. Saleh Can Change a Culture
The Jets are in desperate need of a culture change and Saleh is the perfect man for that job.
He is known as one of the most energetic coaches in the league, especially during San Francisco’s spectacular 2019 campaign.
He turned the worst defense in the league into one of the best defenses of the decade in a three year span.
He has a rare combination of football IQ but also has a natural ability to lead men which may be even more important for this Jets job.
2. He is a Defensive Mastermind
Saleh was hired by the 49ers going into the 2017 season, only a year removed from having the worst total defense in the league.
In his first year as defensive coordinator he cut their yards allowed per game from 406 to 351, going from dead last in the league to 25th in the league.
Over his four years he and his unit continued to improve year over year.
In 2019 is when things really kicked into gear.
Saleh masterfully covered up the huge lack of speed in his secondary which led to them having the second best total defense in the league.
2019 was impressive but 2020 is where Saleh really showed off his prowess.
The injury bug hit the niners harder than any other team in the league, but that did not stop Saleh from putting together another top 5 unit.
3. Player Development
Undoubtedly John Lynch and the rest of the front office did a great job scouting and drafting quality talent, but Saleh did a great job extracting the most potential out of his young guys and veterans alike.
Fred Warner was a third round draft choice and under Saleh’s guidance, he has become a top 3 linebacker in the league by his third year.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 15, 2021
Deforest Buckner was a first round pick in 2016 and looked very talented but was a wild player.
Saleh moved him from an edge defender to a more interior role and he is now one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
He not only developed young players like Warner and Buckner, but also vets looking to revitalize their careers like Richard Sherman and Kwon Alexander.
Both of which found great success in Saleh’s cover 3 scheme.
The Jets will have at least four first rounders in the next two years as well as veterans like CJ Mosley and Marcus Maye; two very talented veterans.
If history tells us anything, Saleh will be able to develop his young draft picks and improve the play of the defensive veterans already there.