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Jets head coach throws current Rams OC under the bus for 2022: ‘Mediocre offense’

Robert Saleh says that Jets offense has a “stink”. presumably that includes two seasons with Mike LaFleur

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

On the second episode of Hard Knocks, head coach Robert Saleh gave an honest assessment of the New York Jets offense that I don’t think anyone would disagree with. That doesn’t make it any less surprising to hear Saleh openly criticize not only the Jets current offensive line but also the entire offense as a whole and holding that side of the ball responsible for New York’s 7-10 record in 2022.

And who could be more responsible for the Jets having a 29th-ranked offense than now-backup quarterback Zach Wilson and now-Rams offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur?

Saleh said that the Jets organization has a “stink” on the offensive side of the ball that’s “been there for a very long time”. The head coach got progressively madder as he talked about New York’s offensive line and their lack of effort, culminating in saying, “We proved last year that we’re a 7-10 football team with a really fucking good defense and a mediocre offense”.

The Jets fired LaFleur after two seasons with the team and he was soon picked up by Rams head coach Sean McVay to replace Liam Coen, who went back to the University of Kentucky after one disappointing season back in L.A..

LaFleur came up through the Kyle Shanahan ranks, working as an intern for him on the Browns in 2014, then following him for two years with the Atlanta Falcons, then spending four years as the 49ers passing game coordinator before Saleh hired him to be New York’s offensive coordinator in 2021. The Jets ranked 28th in scoring in 2021 at 18.2 points per game, then 29th in 2022 at 17.4 points per game.

Jets owner Woody Johnson made it clear that firing LaFleur was Saleh’s decision, which Saleh spun as teams inquiring about LaFleur’s availability, which presumably includes the Rams, and letting him go take one of those opportunities. Only about a week before Saleh fired LaFleur, he defended him and said he didn’t want to make LaFleur a “scapegoat” because of New York’s struggles.

But the speech aired on Hard Knocks on Tuesday emphasizes just how disappointed Saleh has been with the Jets offense.

Nobody disagrees with Saleh on that point or the concerns that everyone around the Jets appears to have with the offensive line. However, unless he’s blaming a mouse that lives in his pocket, I don’t know how exactly Saleh’s speech isn’t at least partly directed on the offensive coordinator he fired who now has some responsibility in protecting Matthew Stafford and turning around the Rams.