Robert Saleh has only been a head coach for a few days, but he's already presenting free agents with a tempting pitch as to why they should choose the Jets.
During Saleh's introductory presser last week, the former 49ers defensive coordinator was asked about his ability to connect with players, building quality relationships with those on his team.
He began explaining that in his experience, players feel best when their coaches care about their wellbeing. Sure, the NFL is a business, but those that suit up on game day are putting their bodies on the line. Authentic connections built up over time, creating a familiar environment for players, are an investment that pay off in the long run.
It was a second comment, however, that surely made ears perk up across the league.
"Can you help them make plays on Sundays so they can get paid as much as possible," Saleh said. "That is the goal of every single coach and everybody who has some type of impact on the players or has a connection to the players and that is going to be the goal of this entire organization. It's to make sure we do everything we can to connect to their wellbeing and to help them make plays on Sunday so they get paid as much as possible."
New York may be coming off a two-win season with uncertainty at the quarterback position and weaknesses across their roster, but this philosophy and central initiative to ensure their players make money will certainly resonate with those preparing to choose a new team this offseason.
Besides, Saleh's reputation purely as a coach is a strong one. When it was first reported that Saleh had agreed to become the Jets' new head coach, Richard Sherman tweeted that "the Jets got a great one." The compliments from Jets general manager Joe Douglas and CEO Christopher Johnson speak for themselves as well.
Bottom line, Saleh is the kind of coach you want to play for in this league.
"When you look at the connection part with these players, there’s an investment that has to be made," Saleh added in his introductory presser. "You've got to sell everything you can, you got to give them everything you can and when you do, like I said, the reciprocation happens and when it does, it becomes personal, and that’s all you can ask for, to get this to a personal level where everybody’s has everybody’s back and everybody feels accountable to one another."
It's that sense of family that Saleh felt when he was interviewing for the position, a pleasant surprise that convinced him New York was going to be his new home.
There are other teams that are closer to contention and franchises that will win more games in 2021, but with Saleh's presence (and a fresh coaching staff on both sides of the ball), the Jets are poised to reel in some talented players over the next few months. A surplus of cap space and excitement over a slew of top picks in the draft certainly helps as well.