On the day the Jets introduced Robert Saleh as their new coach, they also said general manager Joe Douglas has more power.
Saleh will now report directly to Douglas, and Douglas will report to owners Woody and Christopher Johnson. The Jets’ past three GM/coach combinations reported directly to the Johnsons, making them equals in the organization. Now, Douglas has been given a bump up, a sign of the Johnsons’ belief in their GM.
“That structure has changed,” Christopher Johnson said. “Joe will report to me [and Woody]. Robert will report to Joe. It seems a clean and simple way to do things, but honestly not much really changes. We have very good communication already. I don’t think that that’s going to alter things here all that much truly.”
The organizational structure had been a point of consternation for the Jets fans, but many teams around the league (about half) had the same structure. The Jets’ problem has been the people in those jobs, not who they reported to.
Woody Johnson is scheduled to take back control of the team shortly as his term as ambassador to the United Kingdom ended Wednesday. Christopher Johnson, who ran the team in Woody’s absence, will keep a large role in the organization, but Woody again will be the ultimate decision-maker.
The Jets officially announced the hiring of Mike LaFleur as offensive coordinator and Jeff Ulbrich as defensive coordinator. LaFleur comes to the Jets from the 49ers, for which he was passing-game coordinator. Ulbrich was the Falcons’ linebackers coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator after the team fired Dan Quinn and promoted Raheem Morris to interim head coach.
Saleh has yet to hire a special teams coordinator, but said he will retain Brant Boyer, who has been with the Jets since 2016, when former coach Todd Bowles hired him. He said he is also considering retaining defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, who has been with the Jets since 2017.
The other staff hires Saleh announced were: Rob Calabrese (quarterbacks), John Benton (offensive line), Taylor Embree (running backs), Ron Middleton (tight ends), Miles Austin (wide receivers), Greg Knapp (passing-game specialist), Billy VandeMerkt (offensive assistant), Aaron Whitecotton (defensive line), Nate Ollie (assistant defensive line), Ricky Manning Jr. (defensive assistant), Hayes Pullard (defensive assistant).
Saleh also retained three coaches from Adam Gase’s staff: Todd Washington (offensive assistant), Mack Brown (offensive assistant) and Chip Vaughn (defensive assistant).
Saleh spoke highly of DT Quinnen Williams. The 49ers had the No. 2 overall pick in 2019 when the Jets drafted Williams third overall, so Saleh scouted Williams.
“I absolutely love Quinnen,” Saleh said. “Really excited to get the seat belt off of his harness and let him go. In this scheme to get him going vertical, to get all that mass moving in the direction that he needs to go, I’m really excited about the potential that he’s going to have. Loved him coming out. Obviously, we took [Nick] Bosa. He was right there as part of the discussion. I can assure you of that. With regards to that young man, his mindset, his athleticism, his power, his love for football, really, really excited to see him in our system, especially up front with the way we design with that attack style up front.”
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