Robert Saleh, an avid golfer, wasn’t sure he would be 2-down before hitting his opening shot on the first tee.
Saleh faced a lack of momentum as he walked through the door as the latest Jets head coach in January, with the burden of his predecessor’s shortcomings and growing frustration from Jets fans just waiting for a playoff birth. Season.
Until the eventual winners are produced, it will remain the plight of every new Jets head coach.
Adam Gase was a burden when Todd Bowles succeeded and eventually failed to work for two years. After six seasons, Ryan’s work was a burden for Bowles to replace Rex Ryan after running its course.
Saleh has been around the league as an assistant coach for a while – being part of a rebuild in Houston, Seattle, Jacksonville and San Francisco – so it’s not like he has any idea what he’s getting into the Jets.
But he quickly discovers that you must be in the jets to really appreciate not only the temperature but also the level of angst.
Regardless of the fact that he’s coaching the youngest roster in the league, including rookie quarterback and already has major injuries to the Thread-Bear Depth chart, Saleh is sometimes considered to be here for all his failures. In the last 10 years, there have been no coaches for just 10 games.
“I started joking with someone that a year in New York was like dog years,” Saleh said Monday. “It’s an euphoria or a disaster. There is no in between, ” he said.
Of course, there are missteps on Saleh’s side. More recently, dealing with Mike White and Joe Flacco, the quarterback situation last week, was ugly.
Saleh was criticized for quarterback Kerfuffle and shaped the nose of some people in the organization, believing he should be given the benefit of the doubt. And maybe he should, but human nature is a powerful force, and the Jets’ poor track record over the past decade hasn’t earned them enough to get out of jail-free cards.
Saleh is, by nature, a bundle of positive energy, and these first few months have tested that positivity.
“With everyone in the new role – especially in this market – there is a learning curve,” former Jets GM and current ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum told The Post on Tuesday. “One of the things about New York is that things are enhanced – positively and negatively – and as you face some challenging times, whether fair or unfair, you realize that the lens is magnified on you.
Fans can bitch and groan as their understandable frustration from the losing mounts, but Saleh isn’t going anywhere. They’ve been brought here to be part of the solution and if we’re fair, they’ll need more than 10 games to do it.
Since the summer, Saleh has been planting seeds that have been a difficult year for the team’s youth, warning fans not to expect a lot of wins.
Interestingly, however, a look back at several recent head coaches in their first year with the club shows a spike in improvement. Bill Parcells took over the 1-15 team and went 9-7. Eric Mangini took over the 4-12 team and went 10-6. Ryan matched Mangini’s 9-7 record a year ago, but got the Jets to the AFC title game. Bowles took over the 4-12 team and went 10-6. Gase also went 7-9 after taking over the 4-12 team.
Saleh is following Gays’ 2-14 season a year ago, so he has improved seven more games. Like their team, they are still a work in progress.
“If I was a player, I’d follow this guy anywhere,” said special teams coach Brant Boyer. “He’s a guy the players want to follow. I think he’s done an outstanding job trying to keep the ship afloat [moving] In the right direction. ”
The reality is that many Jets fans have been clouded by a 61-109 record since last season, making it difficult for them to see the direction at 2-8 and move on for the 11th consecutive season without a playoff berth.
“Coach Saleh, one of his superpowers, I think he’s patient,” said sophomore cornerback Bryce Hall. “We didn’t win most of our matches this year, did it take a toll on him? I’m sure it has. But… they totally believe this thing turns out and I believe it. It doesn’t matter ‘if’, it’s ‘when’. ”
From the mouth of the hall to the green ears of God.