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NY Jets’ Woody Johnson hints at change in Robert Saleh’s role

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By: Brandyn Pokrass

The New York Jets’ owner says Robert Saleh’s role will be a bit different in 2024

Not to be outdone by previous comments, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson had more to say about his team heading into 2024.

Speaking to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, the longtime Jets owner said that head coach Robert Saleh will concentrate on offense in 2024.

“[Saleh] is going to be a lot better head coach. One thing about head coaches is you get better as you get more experience. He’s going to concentrate on offense. He’s got Jeff [Ulbrich] to kind of do the defense, and we’ve got good special teams. It’s offense, offense, offense.”

Throughout most of the interview, Johnson emphasized the importance of the team fixing the offense, even saying at one point that the defense will be better “if the offense can do something.”

However, the Saleh portion of the interview is the most intriguing.

Saleh has always been known as a defensive-minded coach, helping to build up the 49ers’ defense as their defensive coordinator and the Jets’ defense as head coach.

The difference between Saleh’s New York and San Francisco stops, though, is that Saleh is responsible for the whole team in New York. The head coach needs to be involved with the offense and help to fix that unit when things go wrong.

If Johnson were solely alluding to that fact, the comments would make sense. Saleh has not done a great job handling the offense and, as a result, needs to focus on it more in 2024.

However, the comments allude to Jeff Ulbrich completely running the defense, leaving Saleh to focus on the offense next season solely.

This would put Saleh in a situation where he is helping to run a side of the ball in which he has little to no experience. It would also detract from his duties of completely overseeing the team, but in the opposite direction.

Furthermore, this structure would throw the rest of the offensive staff into flux. Saleh’s potential insertion could throw off defined roles, leaving an even less coherent allocation of roles than last season.

Johnson’s comments indicate that offense is the team’s major priority this offseason. That is a good thing to hear in a vacuum, as upgrading that side of the ball should help the overall team improve.

Add in the Saleh aspect, though, and things get interesting. The offseason is long, and the Jets still have time to remake their offensive staff structure in a way that makes sense.

Still, the possibility of meddling and confusion remains, leaving this situation as one that should be monitored throughout the offseason.

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Originally posted on Jets XFactor