Skip to main content

Jets' Robert Saleh on job security: 'Two types of coaches. Those who have been fired and those who are about to get fired.'

This is not how the Jets' season was supposed to go.

With New York eliminated from playoff contention in the wake of its worst loss of the season, a 30-0 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, questions about Robert Saleh's future are bound to arise.

"No," Saleh told reporters Monday when asked if his job security enters his mind. "Two types of coaches. Those who have been fired and those who are about to get fired. We coach in the moment. We coach to win a football game."

At this moment, the Jets stand at 5-9, with a 30th-ranked scoring offense that is dragging down one of the league's superior defenses, which has now dropped to 11th in points allowed through 15 weeks of the season.

Asked if he was coaching for his job the next three weeks, Saleh said he's just "coaching to try and beat Washington" on Christmas Eve.

The questions are fair to pose to Saleh. He's amassed a 16-32 record through three seasons in charge, and if things finish how they stand now, the similarly struggling Patriots are the only thing keeping the Jets from finishing last in the AFC East at the end of each of his campaigns.

The obvious caveat is the torn Achilles suffered by Aaron Rodgers four plays into the season that was supposed to return Gang Green to the elusive mountaintop.

Sunday's drubbing had an extra sting to it with Rodgers working hard for a miraculous return and his window for activation closing on Wednesday.

Just three days before he might rejoin the active roster, New York was shut out on the scoreboard and, shortly after, shut out of the playoffs.

Saleh would not get into hypotheticals when asked if the team would activate Rodgers anyway if the 40-year-old is medically cleared, but he was emphatic that Rodgers does want to see the field again.

"Aaron wants to play," Saleh said. "Let's not confuse that one. That's why he's been working so hard to get back. And his willingness to play even if he's not 100 percent is at the forefront of his mind. He wants to go. But like I said, until he's actually cleared, not gonna talk about it with anybody."

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport gave a clearer picture of where things stand Monday on The Insiders, saying the four-time most valuable player won't play again in 2023 even if cleared.

That likely leaves Saleh playing out the season and being evaluated with the options he's had for most of the season.

Zach Wilson, who suffered a concussion Sunday, will remain the starter against the Commanders in Week 16 if he clears protocol, per Saleh. Otherwise, Trevor Siemian will become New York's fourth starting QB so far this season. (Tim Boyle also had two chances before being released.)

Whoever lines up under center, the QB position has continued to be an unmitigated disaster for the Jets, who rank 30th in the NFL in yards and last in passing touchdowns with just 15 on the season.

But the rest of the offense hasn't been up to snuff, either. New York's rushing attack has the same exact rank as its passing game in both yards and touchdowns, respectively. The offensive line has proven unable to keep QBs upright -- Wilson was under pressure on 80% of his dropbacks before exiting Sunday -- while also struggling to open up running lanes. And Garrett Wilson (79 catches for 882 yards and three TDs) is the only receiver with more than 23 receptions.

Nonetheless, many believed the 2022 Jets were a quarterback away from championship contention. They never got to see that come to fruition this year after Rodgers went down, but Saleh still holds that he has a roster capable of winning a Super Bowl today.

For the next three weeks, he'll be focused on churning out wins with it rather than worrying if he'll get another shot at proving the team's championship worth in 2024.

"Honestly, in my heart, I feel like we built a championship roster," Saleh said. "But at the end of the day, we still have to find ways to win with the guys that are on the football field. We've got to better as coaches. We've got to be better as players. … It goes all the way across the board. But I do got a lot of confidence in the guys in the guys in the locker room. Love the players that are in that locker room. And we've just all got to be a little bit better."

Related Content