Jets' Robert Saleh discusses bye week offensive changes that could lead to first half success

·3 min read
Zach Wilson steps in the pocket vs. Falcons
Zach Wilson steps in the pocket vs. Falcons

It was clear that one of the Jets' biggest to-dos during the bye week was to figure out whatever was going wrong with the offense to start games. Zach Wilson & Co. just can't get off on the right foot in the first quarter, with three and outs becoming all too common to the point where the opponent already has points on the board and they're trying to dig themselves out of a hole.

So, with the week gone and the division-rival Patriots on the schedule again, Saleh is confident that the changes he and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have made with Wilson and the rest of the offense will pay dividends -- even if they aren't big ones.

"I thought offensively Mike and his staff did a really good job digging deep in terms of what the offense is having success at, what we’re not having success at, what the quarterback is having success at versus what he’s not having success at," Saleh explained to reporters before practice Monday. "The splits of first quarter to second, third, fourth quarter just to see what is it [Wilson] looks most comfortable doing. Having conversations with him to see if he can get into more of a rhythm in the first quarter.

“Then, obviously, on my end in regards to scheduling and see if we can change some things up that are subtle but who knows? Feel really good about the soundness of the things that we’ll be doing over the course of the week. I thought that the one thing that was very important was we didn’t just make things up and do things just to do things.”

Of course, Saleh isn't going to spill the beans on all of what's changed and how the Jets will go moving forward. But they need to do something to hit the ground running.

In the first half this season, the Jets are dead last in points per game at 2.6 -- yes, you're reading that correctly. The 0-6 Detroit Lions come in at 5.5 points per game just ahead of them.

And Wilson's last game -- the Jets' loss to the Atlanta Falcons in London -- saw him going 5-for-13 for 42 yards and an interception in the first half. Those are the types of numbers Jets fans have been seeing for weeks now, and it doesn't help Wilson's development picking up yards in garbage times to round out the overall stat line.

Fans have seen flashes, though, like the comeback win against the Tennessee Titans where was locked in with his receivers, making good choices with the ball, and delivering on time where it needed to be. But setting the tone early and having consistency throughout the game is true development for No. 2, so that's what Saleh is hoping for.

And though the changes might not be seen by the naked eye during practice, that "soundness" of them makes Saleh feel good about the slightly new direction the offense will be headed.

"It's not just a grab bag to throw junk at the wall and hope that it sticks," he said.

Maye and Becton Injury Updates

Saleh gave a couple injury updates during his media availability, including Marcus Maye and Jarrad Davis looking "promising" to return to the team this week.

With both players being starters, this is a clear upgrade to the defense.

Also, speaking more long-term, Mekhi Becton continues to work hard so he can get back for the offensive line.

“He’s doing a really good job. Obviously he’s a few weeks away yet. But he’s been working hard. He’s in pretty good shape and he’s champing at the bit to get back," Saleh said.

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