Is Mike LaFleur on the Hot Seat?
Yesterday I was asked why I care about the game this Sunday considering the Jets are out of the playoffs. My answer is simple, it still matters.
Is the excitement the same for the game? No, not even close. It seems like the final whimper in a season that started with a roar. But it still matters.
But, it only matters if we make it matter. By that I mean the distribution of playing time. Jermaine Johnson and Bryce Huff should get the majority of the snaps at defensive end, remember the Jets need to make a decision on Huff this off-season.
Ruckert should get time at tight end and Tony Adams should start at free safety. There are a lot of players I’d love to see get an opportunity and that’s why it matters to me.
Unfortunately, Coach Saleh seemed to indicate in his presser that he won’t change his personnel usage on Sunday, which to me is just a huge wasted opportunity and personally, I think it’s a little short-sighted.
Today we’re going to jump straight into the main topic. Is Mike LaFleur on the hot seat? How much of the blame should he shoulder? Did the Jets shoot themselves in the foot from the start? Should we see this through? Those are the questions I’m aiming to shed some light on.
On Monday Robert Saleh was asked directly about his offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and how much blame he deserves for the offensive struggles this season. Here is his response without any edits for full context:
“I think in moments like these, this is year two of commitment to go young everywhere. 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, but football is so much more complex, it’s not basketball where you can point at one person or golf where you can look inward.
There are 11 guys on the field, and each of those guys has a football coach. There’s a lot of moving parts in one play, there are 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.”
This is an interesting answer because as I was thinking about writing this piece after Sunday’s game, one question kept creeping up. How do you assign blame to an individual for a collective failure?
When the game against Miami comes to an end, the Jets will need to face some difficult questions, and they’ll have to assign responsibility for the failures of the offense somewhere.
Coach Saleh backs his guys and I like that in a coach. But whether you want to assign responsibility or not, when it comes to that self-scouting that he talks about, something will have to give.
The Jets are likely going to finish the season with one of the worst offenses in football. Right now here’s where they stand:
Points per game: 21.1 (27th)
Yards per game: 326.4 (22nd)
Rushing yards per game: 103 (25th)
Passing yards per game: 223.4 (15th)
Last year here’s where the Jets finished:
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