The New York Jets scouting team may be in Indianapolis for the start of the 2023 NFL Combine, but their coaching staff is back in Florham Park preparing for the new season in a much different way.
For head coach Robert Saleh, not being at the key scouting date for front office personnel means preparing a game plan for whichever veteran quarterback the team is able to bring in during the offseason.
“Right now, we’re studying our guys, we’re going through free agency, we’re looking at the draft, so there’s a lot of overlap with regards to what we’re doing in our day-to-day process,” Saleh said during media availability Thursday morning.
New York has revamped their offensive coaching staff. Nathaniel Hackett has taken over offensive coordinator duties while Todd Downing (passing game coordinator) and Keith Carter (OLine coach) have both come from Tennessee with a penchant for getting the best out of their position groups.
Even so, the quarterback position has been their main goal to upgrade with the start of the offseason drawing closer. With Derek Carr a favorite to be the Jets quarterback in 2023 with multiple visits already under his belt, it’s clear a lasting impression has been made on the coaching staff already.
“He’s a tremendous young man. He’s a father of four, obviously. His mind is in the right spot, he keeps the main thing the main thing. A really impressive young man, for sure.” Saleh explained.
Carr is the Las Vegas Raiders’ all-time leading passer in every key statistical category. While the Jets have had plenty of interest in other veteran quarterbacks, the make-up of what has made Carr so successful is something that has stood out to Gang Green’s coaching staff.
“He’s (Carr) got tremendous accuracy and arm strength. He can put the ball anywhere you want. He’s underrated in terms of being a scrambler and being able to move out of the pocket and all that stuff. He’s been asked to do a lot in his career and you just look at him, I’ve said it before, I think he’s more in line with what Stafford’s career has been in terms of if you can just get him to a place that can surround him with all the pieces to allow him to just play quarterback 10-15 times a game, it would be pretty cool. He’s a solid young man.”
Surrounding Carr with talent shouldn’t come too difficult for the Jets. They house one of the league’s best defenses and the reigning offensive rookie of the year in Garrett Wilson. With a plethora of solid running backs and an improving offensive line, it’s hard to not see the Jets as a viable destination for quarterbacks looking to continue their success.
Of course, New York hasn’t agreed to a contract with any available quarterback yet on the open market at this time. And while the process can seem frustrating for Saleh and the coaching staff, the expectation is that the dominoes will begin to fall quickly in the near future.
“We appreciate everyone’s process, we appreciate how everyone is going about it, we appreciate the time everyone needs. It’s just being deliberate in our process and making sure that we’re taking care of our stuff, but also being mindful and respectful for other people, too.” Saleh concluded.
The first day of workouts at the Scouting Combine begins later Thursday afternoon. The moratorium phase of the offseason is set to kick off on March 14th. Whoever ends up becoming the Jets’ future starting quarterback will have a large set of expectations thrust upon them.
Even if the Jets brass won’t confirm it, Robert Saleh is entering a must-win season in his third year on the job with New York. For the defensive-minded disciple though, it’s business as usual.