Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

News

Jets coach Robert Saleh backs Mike LaFleur despite recent struggles – Boston Herald



Anytime a team is going through a long losing streak, fans want to play the blame game.

It’s no different for Jets fans as the team has lost five consecutive games and six of their last eight games following their bye week.

The man receiving the brunt of the blame is Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and deservingly so. In the 23-6 loss against the Seahawks, which eliminated them from playoff contention, the Jets’ offense fell flat for the second straight week as they failed to score a single touchdown.

Gang Green has gone eight quarters without finding the end zone, as it hasn’t scored a touchdown since its Week 15 loss to Detroit. During that time, the Jets have scored a combined measly nine points in losses to the Jaguars and Seahawks.

But it doesn’t sound like Jets coach Robert Saleh is ready to pull the plug on LaFleur as Jets offensive coordinator.

I’ve been in LaFleur’s shoes,” Saleh said. “I told you guys the story. In 2018, second year as a coordinator on defense, and it would’ve been very easy for Kyle [Shanahan] to fire me — very easy just to say, ‘You know what, we went 4-12. You’re the scapegoat. Get the heck out of the building,’ but to his credit, he sat down.

“He went over the weeks following the season and committed to me, and the rest is history. You got to have the discipline to be able to go back and make sure you’re telling the truth about what’s happening in the building and not coming away with knee-jerk reactions that could derail what could be a pretty damn good football coach or a good player for that matter.

“That’s where Zach [Wilson] comes into play, to sit down and make sure that we’re doing everything we can and studying everything we can to make sure that we keep these young people who we’ve invested two years in, make sure we’re keeping them on track of development and making sure that we’re staying committed to the process that we set out to commit to back two years ago.”

It might not be fair to totally blame LaFleur for everything that has happened during the second half of the season, but the Jets offense has clearly taken a step back. At Week 10, the Jets were 6-3 and appeared to be headed towards clinching their first playoff appearance since 2010.

However, in the seven games since their bye, the Jets are averaging just 13 points per game. Gang Green thought its offense would get a lift from the quarterback position after Mike White took over for Wilson, who was benched in November following a loss to the Patriots, but that hasn’t been the case.

In White’s four starts (1-4) under center, the Jets are averaging 17.8 points per game. That is similar to the lack of production when Wilson started, as Gang Green averaged 18.5 points per game in his nine starts (5-4).

Against Seattle on Sunday, White had his worse game of the season, finishing 23-of-46 for 240 yards and two interceptions. White, who returned from fracturing his ribs against the Bills on Dec. 11, missed several open receivers and threw the ball in double coverage multiple times. White’s performance looked a lot like Wilson’s the week before against the Jaguars.

Not only have the passing numbers suffered recently, but so has the Jets’ rushing attack. They rushed for 75 yards against the Seahawks, but LaFleur went away from the ground game during the second half despite the Jets averaging 4.4 yards per attempt.

“I think in moments like these, this is Year 2 of commitment to go young everywhere,” Saleh said. “Coaches, players, staff, everybody, and it’s so important to take a deep breath, keep the main thing the main thing, and make sure we do a great job with regards to self-scouting, evaluation, and make sure that we’re telling ourselves the truth rather than allowing narrative and panic to set in, so these are all things that we’re going to study the heck out of once the season is over, obviously this week is about Miami and Miami only.

“There’s 11 guys on the field, and each of those guys have a football coach. There’s a lot of moving parts in one play, there’s a lot of moving parts, and to try to pinpoint one person just to make people feel good about giving a reason why something’s failing it’s not fair to players it’s not fair to the GM and the scouts, it’s not fair to anybody, but finding the truth is what is fair, and that’s something that takes time.”

INJURY REPORT

Jets safety Lamarcus Joyner will miss the season finale against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Joyner aggravated his hip injury during Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks. He missed the previous two games against the Lions and the Jaguars because of the same injury.

The 32-year-old played in 14 games this year for the Jets as he registered 57 tackles, three interceptions, six pass defenses and a fumble recovery. With Joyner out, Tony Adams will likely get the start against the Dolphins.

The Jets are hoping to get Nate Herbig back this week after an ankle injury kept him out against the Seahawks. Herbig was a late addition to the Jets injury report on Friday as Laurent Duvernay-Tardif started in his place at right guard.

()



Source link