The Jets hiring Robert Saleh as their new head coach shouldn’t faze the Patriots.
The New England Patriots have grown accustomed to winning the AFC East in fairly convincing fashion over the last two decades. For context, they hoisted the division crown an impossible 17 times during that span, which included 11 straight from 2009 to 2019.
This past season, however, was an entirely different story. If it was any indication, it might be some time before the Pats are considered the pound-for-pound favorites to win it, as both the Dolphins and Bills are fresh off double-digit win seasons and will only get better with more experience.
When it comes to the Jets, however, the Patriots have absolutely nothing to worry about, even with their appointment of Robert Saleh as the new head coach. As big of a cultural change as it might signify, it should be of no concern to them.
We’re not going to sit here and act like this isn’t a good hire for the Jets, because that would be delusional. Saleh was one of the most sought-after options available on the coaching carousel and his fiery personality and ability to rally his players will no doubt translate to the gridiron.
Couple that with his defensive philosophy, and Saleh was really a catalyst in helping the 49ers’ defense morph into a world-beater. When he took over as defensive coordinator in 2017, they were widely regarded as the worst defense in the league, so the strides they made are really a testament to his coaching ability.
With all of that being said, however, we’re still talking about the Jets, a team that has just three foundational pieces — Quinnen Williams, Mekhi Becton and (maybe) Denzel Mims — to build around. More importantly is the fact that they have burning questions at quarterback and there isn’t a can’t-miss prospect they can take with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, assuming the Jaguars fulfill the prophecy and take Trevor Lawrence with the first selection.
Again, if the Jets were on the cusp of competing for the playoffs and were a competent head coach away from getting over the hump, Patriots fans would have every reason to fear that they’d about be to bottom-feeders in the AFC East.
But since the Jets are two or three years away from being able to do so and have more roster holes than perhaps any team in the league, this news shouldn’t faze them in the slightest.