Robert Saleh will look across the field on Sunday and see hope.
The Bengals were where the planes were two years ago. They were a 2-14 team that looked hopeless, but now they are 5-2 and they look like one of the best teams in the AFC. It gives the Jets, and Coach Saleh, hope that perhaps they can turn things around as quickly as possible.
“It’s a great blueprint to look at, in terms of how to build an organization, how to build a list and get it back on track where you consistently win,” Saleh said.
The Bengals stuck with coach Zack Taylor, who took a 6-25-1 lead in his first two years, and the continuity paid off. They drafted Joe Burrow with the #1 overall pick in 2020, and Burrow is spending another monster season after the rookie season ended when he tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee in Game 10 of the Bengals.
The addition of Ja’Marr Chase on a wide receiver and some other shrewd personnel decisions have the Bengals in a place where Jets can only hope to be in a couple of years.
Saleh faced the 2019 Bengals as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers when San Francisco bombed Cincinnati 41-17.
“They’ve been resilient about continuity, building it the right way, bringing in people who need to align not just what they’re doing schematically, but youth, and let young people grow, grow up together. They’ve got two pieces that unlock everything with Ja’Marr, [Tee] Higgins, [Tyler] Boyd. They’ve got some playmakers out there and I feel like we’re there.
“We have a very young football team and we have a lot of really great pieces to work with and we have a mix of veterans that we can grow with that are not like they are over the hill. Like Corey Davis, what he is, 26, so he has a chance to grow with us too and there Lots of guys like that.”
Jets QB Zach Wilson (knee) didn’t put on IR on Saturday, which means they think he might be able to return in their November 14 game against the Bills. If Wilson had been placed in the IR position, he would have had to miss at least three matches.
The Jets have activated IR’s LB Jarrad Davis and he will play his first game with the Jets on Sunday. They also signed LB Noah Dawkins to the active roster of the coaching squad. They released S Jarrod Wilson to clear the place on the list. The planes also raised QB Josh Johnson and DE Jabari Zuniga from the training squad. Johnson will be Mike White’s backup on Sunday with Joe Flacco expected to be inactive for the game.