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Seats are getting hotter for Jets coach Saleh, GM Douglas after embarrassing loss

Robert Saleh Robert Saleh - The Canadian Press

The cries from frustrated New York Jets fans are getting louder.

They're all over social media and sports talk radio, letting everyone who'll listen know — including owner Woody Johnson — they're tired of all the losing. Many insist changes need to be made, and now.

A season that began with Super Bowl hopes and Aaron Rodgers leading the way has deteriorated to the point the seats under coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas are getting uncomfortably warm.

“Two types of coaches,” Saleh said Monday. "Those who have been fired and those who are about to get fired, my man. We coach in the moment. We coach to win a football game.”

The problem is the victories have been too few and far between.

The Jets (5-9) will miss the postseason for the 13th straight season, the longest drought among the four major North America professional sports leagues. They also have eight consecutive losing seasons.

Saleh is 16-32 as the team's coach since being hired in 2021. Douglas is 25-55 since taking over for the fired Mike Maccagnan in 2019.

The latest loss, a 30-0 drubbing at Miami on Sunday, stoked the flames even more — with some wondering if Saleh is in danger of losing the locker room.

“I think this team is still bought in,” the coach insisted. "I think this team still plays for one another. I think this team still loves one another. And I’ll speak for everyone in that we are frustrated that we haven’t been able to string together some wins. But I do appreciate the way we go out and fight. We’ve just got to find a way to be successful.”

Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas said Saleh has the players' support. But he agreed the players are frustrated, especially given the expectations the team had just a few months ago.

“It obviously hurts,” Thomas said. “That’s your goal and dream every season and the fact that you can’t make that happen, you’re never to be satisfied with that. You're never going to be OK with that. And if that does not bother you, then you shouldn’t be in the building.”

Oh, and as for Rodgers, he's still rehabilitating from the torn left Achilles tendon that sent the Jets season spiraling just four snaps into his debut with the team. He's getting closer to returning and there was a lot of buzz it could even happen Sunday against Washington — as long as New York remained in the playoff hunt.

The loss to Miami eliminated that contention, likely also putting an end to the speculation as to whether Rodgers will play during the last three games. The Jets have until Wednesday to activate him from injured reserve, but that's hardly a given.

“I don’t have anything for you guys on that one right now,” Saleh said. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s still in rehab.”

And once again, the Jets are playing out the string.

Three more games to try to provide some optimism heading into the offseason. And perhaps the jobs of Saleh and Douglas hanging in the balance.

“Just coaching to try to beat Washington," Saleh said.


The run defense. After getting gouged by Miami for 167 yards rushing in the teams' first meeting and entering as the NFL's 30th-ranked run defense, New York held the Dolphins to just 77 on 28 carries — an average of 2.8 yards per run.


Too many things to list here. One place to begin would be the offensive line, which has used 11 starting combinations in 14 games and has had a different starting lineup in 10 consecutive games. Douglas' top priority when he joined the Jets was to solidify the front five and it just hasn't panned out.


Thomas. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft by San Francisco has a career-high five sacks, including one in each of the past two games. He has become a valuable member of the Jets' D-line rotation and is the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for the second straight year.


Saleh and Douglas. The hirings of both were largely praised by the fanbase. The lack of winning during their tenures has made them the primary targets of criticism.


QB Zach Wilson is in the concussion protocol after leaving late in the second quarter Sunday. Saleh said Wilson would start against Washington if he clears the protocol. If not, it'll be Trevor Siemian. ... The Jets are hopeful OLs Max Mitchell (neck) and Carter Warren (hip) will return after sitting out at Miami. ... Saleh said “it doesn't look good” for DL Quinton Jefferson to play after injuring his hip against the Dolphins.


103 — The total number of yards on offense for the Jets at Miami, tied for the fourth-lowest output in franchise history.


The game against Washington at MetLife Stadium on Christmas Eve is the home finale before the Jets end the season on the road at Cleveland and New England.

“I've got a lot of things that I want to accomplish and I think a lot of our team feels that way,” tight end Tyler Conklin said. “We’ve all got a lot of pride and everybody has their ‘why.’ So I think as individuals, we’ll be able to get up for these last three games.”