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Saleh Betting on Himself and Staff Right out of the Gate


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As the Jets wrapped up their minicamp last week with all players in attendance, head coach Robert Saleh did his end-of-camp Q&A with the media and covered a variety of topics in regards to Gang Green.  Perhaps most interesting was what Saleh had to say about his team’s lack of experience at the cornerback position where there is essentially none.

With no proven veterans to lean on, Saleh sounded like most head coaches when he said he’d like to get a look at his younger players, but as he began to elaborate, it sounded less and less like a canned answer and increasingly like something Saleh truly believes.  Having worked under Pete Carroll with he Seahawks, Saleh quoted the Super Bowl winning head coach regarding young players in saying “Pete Carroll used to say you can’t be afraid to play young guys. They’re hell on wheels and they’re fun to watch. There will be ups and downs. Trials and tribulations. You can’t be afraid because there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

That’s a step or two further than most coaches would offer in place of the usual “we’re excited about the guys on our roster” that comes straight off the color-coded head coach wrist band.  It also shows the tremendous confidence Saleh has in himself and his staff.

Jets cornerbacks career starts w/ round chosen for those with starts:

Austin: 16 (6th rd)
Hall: 7 (5th rd)
Jackson: 6 (UDFA)
Guidry: 2 (UDFA)
Ballentine: 2 (6th rd)
Hardee: 0
Lewis: 0
Carter: Rookie
Echols: Rookie
Pinnock: Rookie
Dunn: Rookie

Total: 11 CB's
Starts: 33

— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) June 21, 2021

Despite veterans Richard Sherman and Steve Nelson sitting on the open market, it looks more and more likely that Saleh and the Jets will go to battle with a group of corners who have started a total of 33 NFL games among them.  This is about as young and inexperienced a group of players you’ll ever see, and Saleh’s confidence in his coaching staff has to be off-the-charts.

“I’ve said it before, I think, the difference between player A and player Z in the entire league, I’m not talking about superstars, I’m not talking about the Aaron Donald’s of the world, they’re unique, but the difference between player A and player Z is minimal and the only thing that keeps player Z from becoming player A is an opportunity and reps. Let’s see what happens. Does it always happen? It doesn’t, but unless you’re willing to be bold enough to coach your tail off and to invest as much as you can into these young men and give them the opportunity to be seen, give them the opportunity to get reps, and give them the opportunity to get better, you’ll never know what you might find. So, that’s just the belief and the philosophy of not only our coaching staff but the entire organization and that’s something we’re committed to.”

If the Jets don’t make any moves, which may actually be the case, it’s a bold decision for more than just one reason.  The obvious being the lack of experience at the position for the defense to work with.  What makes it even more surprising is the fact that while plenty of fans and pundits are talking about a five or six-win season, that hasn’t been the approach we’ve seen from Joe Douglas this off-season.

Rather than take a “slow and steady” approach to building the roster, Douglas went all in with Zach Wilson at pick 2 and then traded up to solidify the offensive line with guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.  From there, he added wide receiver Elijah Moore who has drawn multiple comparisons to Antonio Brown before drafting running back Michael Carter.  Douglas has put in place a support system around Wilson that should allow for success early on.

Prior to the draft it was a pair of wide receivers in free agency, bringing in Corey Davis and Keelan Cole who has impressed early.  Dan Feeney was brought in to compete along the offensive line and the team is inching closer to a deal with right tackle Morgan Moses.  None of this suggests the Jets are going to be happy with showing up and keeping games close.  Joe Douglas is trying to win football games right now and if his head coach can do that without adding any veteran corners, the Jets future will be brighter than any Jets fan had anticipated.

On the flip side, if a porous secondary prevents Gang Green from competing and winning football games, Saleh may regret running with the kids.

The post Saleh Betting on Himself and Staff Right out of the Gate appeared first on JetNation.com (NY Jets Blog & Forum).

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That’s how “you become an explosive team in a hurry,” Saleh said.

Exactly right. Love hearing this after the past few coaches we've had who are more likely to give reps to veterans over the young guys. Just gotta let them play and see what happens.

 

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25 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Saleh is pro-young player and home-grown player development/opportunities.

Good.  I like it.

I would go further. I LOVE it. I think the love for veterans over young players by Head coaches often hurt a team. But Saleh has repeatedly said the opposite and I think it will lead to a much stronger team overall in time. I just love the confidence to teach and develop. I am not sure we have ever had that. I mean ever. Even Parcells (who I think is way overrrated) has his famous Axiom of "you lose one game for each rookie you start". Nonsense. And we may start 10 rookies.

Also, I am so so so happy that Saleh is not running a nonsensical QB competition. In fact it seems he has no plans to even bring in a veteran. He is going to start and he will get every rep needed to be as prepared as possible.

I think there are 3 valid ways to develop a rookie QB:

1. Sit him for a year

2. Go all in and give him every rep

3. Give him most of the reps and have him start mid-season 

Funny thing is that I think #3 is the worst of the 3 options but many here support a 4th option which is the worst of all

4. Have a "competition" with a veteran, split the reps and have him work with the 2s and 3s and then throw him out on Day 1 anyway.

Lots of teams do this and it is idiotic. We did #4 with Sanchez, Geno and Sam and it hurt them in each case.

Finally we are doing it right. For the record I actually think sitting for a year is the best option, but we are not set up for that so the "all gas no brake" #2 option is the right choice.

 

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45 minutes ago, thshadow said:

I just wanted to point out that in some sense this is the opposite of most head coaches, who play vets, don't give the younger players a chance, and then say "I'm just playing who I think gives us the best chance to win".  And TBH, vets probably *do* give you the best chance to win in the very short term.  Like, if Wilson goes down, are we more likely to win if we trot out Nick Mullens or Captain Morgan?  Almost certainly the former.  But for the long term health of the franchise?  Saleh is saying "let's play Morgan and give him a chance / see what we've got."

All I can say to that is ....   THANK YOU!!!!

Captain Morgan will surprise everyone when he comes in and we will trade him next year for multiple first rounders. 

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25 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Captain Morgan will surprise everyone when he comes in and we will trade him next year for multiple first rounders. 

We will trade him for a case of actual Captain Morgan's Spiced rum.

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Its refreshing for sure and I expect some mistakes and mis-steps along the way but looking forward to Sept when season starts to see this team play and progress (I hope). 

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3 hours ago, JetNation said:

 

Jets cornerbacks career starts w/ round chosen for those with starts:

Austin: 16 (6th rd)
Hall: 7 (5th rd)
Jackson: 6 (UDFA)
Guidry: 2 (UDFA)
Ballentine: 2 (6th rd)
Hardee: 0
Lewis: 0
Carter: Rookie
Echols: Rookie
Pinnock: Rookie
Dunn: Rookie

Total: 11 CB's
Starts: 33

— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) June 21, 2021

 

 

I get trying to develop young players and I like Saleh and how he articulates his philosophy, but there is a reason why none of these guys were drafted before the 5th round.  This seems kind of extreme.  Would it be too much to ask to find a DB or 2 who had the talent to be drafted earlier or who has had some success in the league?

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I have no problem with the secondary taking some lumps and feeling the growing pains due to youth and inexperience.  It's a fair price to pay given where we want to go and, more importantly, how we want to get there (ex. not using expensive older veterans that sap away opportunities from young guys)

We're not always a patient group of fans but I think we'll need to bite our tongues a bit next year when some coverages get blown, etc.  I think we'll need to give some passes as they stumble along.  With that said, my expectations for the veterans is much higher and I'll have less tolerance for guys like Mosely, Lawson, Maye, QW, etc. even though the scheme will be new.  They're the guys who will need to make some magic happen, particularly upfront, in order to support that inexperience secondary and give them a chance.

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Great philosophical way to look at building a team and something this organization hasnt done in a long time.  But I think you have to look further then just Saleh as to why this is the way the organization is looking at younger players.

For once the HC and GM are in lockstep, with the expectations placed on them, their contracts and the team they are running.  There is no HC trying to impress a GM who didnt hire him and save his job by trying to get to 5 wins instead of 2.   There is no HC trying to find guys to fit his system because the GM had no consistent draft strategy.  

When the whole organization is taking a long term view, you can take risks on younger players rather then filling holes with veterans who have no upside and likely may be just hanging on to get one last check as opposed to guys who need to play well to get paid. 

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don't we want a coach to have confidence in himself?  with the exception of maybe al groh, just about every jets coach felt he could make the team win.  of course it takes a smattering of talent too.

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6 hours ago, Joe W. Namath said:

We do not need a corner right now.  Games do not start until September.  Just like with the backp qb position, this staff is going to use August to get young players every rep they can.

If at the end of August guys have stepped up and ready to play, we will roll with them.

If the young guys arent ready yet, we will bring in a vet who gets cut from another team.

Saleh isnt betting on anyone.  He is doing what should be done when you are in year 1 2 or 3  of a rebuild depending on how you look at Joe's first year. .

Just because Saleh showed up late to the party doesn't mean it didn't start before he got there. 

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Prediction: Sam Darnold has his best week of the season week 1. Might actually be a super sneaky daily fantasy league play.

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2 hours ago, rangerous said:

don't we want a coach to have confidence in himself?  with the exception of maybe al groh, just about every jets coach felt he could make the team win.  of course it takes a smattering of talent too.

Yet Groh has the second highest winning % in Jets history and one of only two HCs (along with the Tuna) with a win rate higher than .500. Damn we suck.

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Prediction: Sam Darnold has his best year of the season week 1. Might actually be a super sneaky daily fantasy league play.

Far more likely, to me, that this is a super ugly 13-10 kind of game with 1 total passing TD by the 2 teams combined.

Darnold is that bad and Carolina's defense will be pretty good.

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Just now, Jetsfan80 said:

Far more likely, to me, that this is a super ugly 13-7 kind of game with 1 total passing TD by the 2 teams combined.

Darnold is that bad and Carolina's defense is pretty good.

Probably more likely but Jets defense has the markings of a unsettled and likely emmitently burnable unit.

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Prediction: Sam Darnold has his best year of the season week 1. Might actually be a super sneaky daily fantasy league play.

 

2 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Far more likely, to me, that this is a super ugly 13-10 kind of game with 1 total passing TD by the 2 teams combined.

Darnold is that bad and Carolina's defense will be pretty good.

 

Btw:  Guess who is starting at SS for the Panthers?

2016 Jets 4th round pick Juston Burris!

The Panthers love them some Big Macc!

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2 minutes ago, jgb said:

Probably more likely but Jets defense has the markings of a unsettled and likely emmitently burnable unit.

Hence why I said "Darnold is that bad".  Even in a revenge game, at home, against a questionable, make-shift defense, he'll still suck.  

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1 minute ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Hence why I said "Darnold is that bad".  Even in a revenge game, at home, against a questionable, make-shift defense, he'll still suck.  

Suck is relative. I didn’t say he’d be good just predicted he would have his best game and potentially be a good daily play for the 17 cents he will cost to roster.

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16 minutes ago, jgb said:

Suck is relative. I didn’t say he’d be good just predicted he would have his best game and potentially be a good daily play for the 17 cents he will cost to roster.

And I'll go with 18/34, 210 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.  

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17 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

And I'll go with 18/34, 210 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.  

I may have found someone who thinks Darnold is even worse than I do 😂 

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On 6/21/2021 at 2:26 PM, docdhc said:

I get trying to develop young players and I like Saleh and how he articulates his philosophy, but there is a reason why none of these guys were drafted before the 5th round.  This seems kind of extreme.  Would it be too much to ask to find a DB or 2 who had the talent to be drafted earlier or who has had some success in the league?

Both our CBs that started last yr Hall and Austin were expected to be 2 rounders prior to injuries they had during their senior year 

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On 6/21/2021 at 2:26 PM, docdhc said:

I get trying to develop young players and I like Saleh and how he articulates his philosophy, but there is a reason why none of these guys were drafted before the 5th round.  This seems kind of extreme.  Would it be too much to ask to find a DB or 2 who had the talent to be drafted earlier or who has had some success in the league?

Maybe. We could have drafted one of these guys too early and gave them a shot at starting. Wouldn’t make them any more ready.  Let them sink or swim

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1 hour ago, DetroitRed said:

Maybe. We could have drafted one of these guys too early and gave them a shot at starting. Wouldn’t make them any more ready.  Let them sink or swim

At least JD is finding guys that are in consideration of starting outside round 1. Macc couldn’t even do that and the bar was low with the worst team in the NFL.

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