The New York Jets formally introduced Robert Saleh as the team’s new head coach at the Jets press conference on Thursday afternoon. As is the case with most new head coaches, a full new team of assistants is set to join Saleh in New York. Saleh announced his hiring of Mike LaFleur and Jeff Ulbrich as the offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.
Mike LaFleur Named New Jets Offensive Coordinator
It’s been a struggle offensively in New York the past few seasons, as Jets fans are very aware of. Robert Saleh and the organization are placing their trust in Mike LaFleur to help turn things around going forward. The brother of current Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, Mike was announced as the Jets’ new offensive coordinator on Thursday.
LaFleur previously served as an assistant coach with a trio of NFL teams. Among them are the San Francisco 49ers, where Saleh has been the defensive coordinator for the past four seasons. LaFleur was the passing game coordinator on Kyle Shanahan’s offensive staff in San Fran for all four years while with the organization. He also served as the wide receiver coach for two seasons, from 2017-19.
Joining Saleh’s staff in New York means LaFleur has a major undertaking ahead of him. The 34-year-old will be tasked with turning around a Jets offense that ranked dead last in the NFL in points (15.2) and yards (279.9) on a per-game last season.
Jeff Ulbrich Named New Jets Defensive Coordinator
Robert Saleh won’t be the only sound defensive mind on the New York sideline. The Jets announced Jeff Ulbrich as the team’s new defensive coordinator during Thursday’s press conference. Unlike LaFleur, Ulbrich was not with Saleh on the 49ers coaching staff last season. His 49er ties come in the form of being drafted by San Francisco as a player back in 2000.
Ulbrich’s coaching career to date has spanned three different NFL organizations and one collegiate program. Most recently, he was a part of the Atlanta Falcons staff. After being hired to be the linebackers coach in 2015, Ulbrich was promoted to assistant head coach ahead of the 2020 season. When the Falcons fired Dan Quinn after a winless start, Ulbrich served as the interim defensive coordinator under Raheem Morris for the remainder of the season.
Jets fans have plenty of reasons to be pumped about this hire. A simple skim of box scores shows a marked improvement in the Falcons scoring defense last season. The 43-year-old Ulbrich clearly has the ability to coach up his guys. It was also announced at Thursday’s presser that Ulbrich, not Saleh, will be the defensive play-caller for the Jets next season.
Saleh Yet to Hire Special Teams Coordinator
Thursday’s press conference provided clarity for both the offensive and defensive staffs. But the third phase of the Jets roster will have to wait a bit longer. Robert Saleh announced he is yet to choose a special teams assistant to join him in New York.