Pressure falls on Jets coaching staff to complete talented roster in 2023

Jets head coach Robert Saleh addresses media at league meetings
Jets head coach Robert Saleh.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

There are no more excuses in the halls of 1 Jets Drive. The talent level on the roster is as good as it has ever been, the players are prepared, and there will be no surprising pundits in 2023 with a Hall-of-Fame quarterback running the ship.

That leaves all pressure on the feet for the New York Jets coaching staff and how they can prepare, and gameplan their team to victory. It’s how it always works in professional sports. The front office has provided the coaching staff with an excellent team and the staff must now put those players in a position to succeed. 

That’s been part of the problem for the Jets over the last few decades. Whether it be because of injuries, or lack of adjustments, the coaching staff has failed the fanbase and team time and time again. This year, with Robert Saleh entering his third year as head coach of the organization, it’s now or never for his staff – even if the pressure isn’t exactly felt by them.

“We still got to prove it to ourselves every day. I think this is a group that knows that we’ve got to put in work. I think this is a group that knows that every day is just as important as the next and so I think this group is focused,” Saleh said Monday morning in the week leading up to the season opener against Buffalo.

Jets to start Rodgers in preseason
New York Jets New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh smiles as he talks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Saleh has always been a strong leader in the locker room dating back to his defensive coordinator days with the San Francisco 49ers. If it wasn’t for the coach’s leadership, Hall-of-Fame players like Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t have even considered the Jets as a possible destination.

Now, that dream has become a reality.

“We’ve been able to stack up a lot of really good decisions and the result is a really freaking good locker room of people who embody everything you want out of a football player,” Saleh added. “Now it’s just a matter of continuing to stay focused on the moment, keep the main thing the main thing, and just find ways to get better every day and see what happens.”

A key part of that addition though is knowing when to go in different directions with certain assistant coaches. New York parted ways with Mike LaFleur in the offseason to bring in Nathaniel Hackett. Now, the Jets have an experienced play-caller who has had experience with the quarterback the team now possesses. 

Of course, a personal relationship with Rodgers won’t simply solve the Jets’ decade-long playoff drought either. 

Pressure isn’t new in the NFL. Saleh and the rest of the coaching staff know that. They also know that this Jets team is immensely talented. So talented that if the 2023 season becomes a disaster, then the blame for the debacle will fall solely on the people positioning the players on Sunday. 

There are, of course, several ways a season can be derailed as the team learned last year. Unlike last year, the patience of building a winner has gone by the wayside with Rodgers and the team now primed and ready for a deep run. The only way the Jets could conceivably be stopped short of that championship mindset though is through those same coaches. 

And now all eyes fall on Robert Saleh and his staff. 

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