Robert Saleh knows that Jets fans have lost patience.
This is the 11th year the Jets have missed the playoffs, except for a miracle run in the final seven games. It will be their sixth consecutive losing season. The losses are all starting to mingle together and fans are tired of dreaming of draft picks before eating their Thanksgiving turkey.
Saleh knows you are skeptical, but he wants you to believe that this time is different than all previous jets rebuilds.
“I respect the fans’ urgency and wanting to turn this thing around, but in fairness, this is the first time these fans have been feeling this way,” Saleh said. “Usually it’s a quick fix, then a scramble. It’s a real project.
“I feel like Joe [Douglas] He is doing a fabulous job with a really, really brief project on how to build from the ground up and there are so many exciting pieces hidden in these losses in this team. But when you sit back and look at it from our perspective and a combination of veterans and young people, it is definitely going in the right direction and, finally, when today is disappointing, it will be wonderful when this thing turns around.
Saleh suggested that he be part of the reconstruction in Houston, Seattle, Jacksonville and San Francisco. Some have done better than others. Saleh won the Super Bowl with the Seahawks and went one with the 49ers. Saleh Gus was part of Bradley’s Jaguars staff, which was sacked after four seasons but went on to the AFC Championship game a year later.
Jets fans have lived through a decade of rebuilding. Mike Tannenbaum tore his list in 2013 when John Idzik took over as GM and failed to fix things. After Mike McGannon and Todd Bowles were hired as GM and coach in 2015 and loaded with veterans to go 10-6 in 2015, things fell apart. McGannon was saying he wanted a “competitive rebuild”, which means trying to win while re-rolling the roster. It never worked and he spent the rest of 2019 in free agency before being fired.
When the Jets begin to lose, the failures of the past are never far from the surface, and Saleh has suffered frustration from fans over the years.
“I started joking with someone that a year in New York was like dog years,” Saleh said. “It has nothing to do with euphoria or disaster. We accept the prospect. We want to win.”
For Saleh, wins have been difficult to come by so far. The Jets are 2-8 after losing to the Dolphins in Sunday’s 24-17 loss. Saleh’s message to his team on Monday was that the Jets should learn how to beat themselves. Saleh suggested four trips to the area for the Dolphins, which gave no points on Sunday, and mistakes against the killer penalties and jets the Dolphins knew were running.
“These are good teams, winning teams, don’t,” Saleh said. “Teams with a lot of experience, they’ve been on fire for a few years and they’ve been together for a few years. So, this is something you learn and it takes reps to learn.
Senior linebacker CJ Mosley said he made a crucial mistake on the Dolphins’ go-ahead touchdown on Sunday. Mosley said he was too deep in his zone to run for Miles Gaskin to catch a touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa, who gave Miami a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
“This is definitely another step we need to take to get better,” Mosley said. “Whether it’s during a crush or a tough situation where we need those plays, everyone, including myself, should do their job.”
Mosley echoed Saleh’s message that things would eventually change with the jets.
“We want to be great. We want to win. We want to do all these right things, ”Mosley said. “But when those times get tough and we still keep the same mindset, the same course, at some point things change. A lot of it is that we have to grow as a team.