Jets get it Right with Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh Decision
While there have been some low level rumblings among fans and media regarding the respective futures of Jets GM Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh, it’s now being reported that the pair are safe for next season. This, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
#Jets set for do-over in 2024.
Sources say there is no indication owner Woody Johnson will make a change, a sign that coach Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas will be back.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2023
While the decision will be unpopular among Jets fans who are fed up with the team’s 13-year playoff drought, it was the right thing to do.
When Douglas and Saleh came on board, the realistic expectation was that the pair would need 2-3 years to build a competitive roster. And in fact, 2-3 years was a bit ambitious in considering the fact that Joe Douglas was brought on board after the NFL draft and free agency, meaning he didn’t actually get to do his job until 2020.
Since that 2020 offseason, Douglas took a team that was easily bottom 3 in the NFL, to a team whose Super Bowl odds were in the top ten before the 2023 season kicked off. In fact, the Jets had the seventh best Super Bowl odds to start this season. Over the previous few seasons, they were consistently in the 100-1 range at the bottom of the league.
Then, as we all know, superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending injury which realistically ended any and all hopes of the Jets doing any damage this year.
For owner Woody Johnson, this is what he had to consider in deciding whether or not his GM would return. Were the Jets going to be picking in the top 10 this year because Douglas had failed to identify and acquire talented football players, or did he did just that, only to be derailed by a myriad of injuries that started with Rodgers?
The answer of course was the latter, and Johnson undoubtedly had that in mind when he decided to stick with Douglas.
Had Rogers stayed healthy along with star lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker and starting center Connor McGovern, this season likely goes in a far different direction. But instead, the Jets have used 14 different offensive linemen, six different starters at right guard alone, and are about to start their fourth quarterback this season.
Those circumstances are easily overcome in your favorite NFL video game, but that’s just not the case in real life.
Douglas now gets another offseason to build around Rodgers and improve the team’s offensive line through free agency and the draft. Robert Saleh will then get another chance to show what he and his coaching staff can do with that hopefully improved line and QB play.
If Jets fans aren’t looking forward to a playoff appearance just over a year from today, it’ll be time for Woody Johnson to make another decision regarding both Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh once again.