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Longtime middle linebacker David Harris, who was a defensive pillar for the New York Jets before signing with the rival New England Patriots last offseason, is calling it a career.

“After 11 years of having played the greatest team sport at its highest level, it’s now time for me to announce my retirement from the NFL,” Harris said in a statement on his agency’s Twitter account.

Harris, 34, unceremoniously released by the Jets last June, signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Patriots, hoping to win a Super Bowl ring.

That didn’t happen, and Harris played a smaller-than-expected role. He appeared in only 10 games (177 defensive snaps) and was inactive during the team’s run to Super Bowl LII.

Harris was due to count $2.75 million against the Patriots’ cap, but his retirement will save them $2.1 million.

He will be remembered for his decade with the Jets (2007 to 2016). Drafted out of Michigan in the second round, he played 154 games and finished as the franchise’s second-leading tackler.

Harris never made the Pro Bowl, but he was regarded by coaches and teammates as the backbone of a once-formidable defense. In 2009, the Jets ranked No. 1 in total defense and fewest points allowed.

Harris said he was “blindsided” when he was released last offseason amid the team’s massive roster purge. Despite the awkward ending, he’s considered a strong candidate for the team’s Ring of Honor.

Former Patriots teammate Kyle Van Noy tweeted his support for Harris.

Jets coach Todd Bowles said of Harris: “Players like David Harris don’t come around very often. He’s one of the best players and people I’ve ever coached. I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a person and a leader. He is an example of everything you want from a player. I am proud to have coached him and wish him and his family the best.”



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Why Robert Saleh will be a re-Pete (Carroll), not a repeat, for New York Jets – New York Jets Blog

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets‘ decision to make Robert Saleh their head coach was predictable in that it followed a popular formula: He’s completely different in style and substance than the guy they just booted out of the building.

In other words, he’s the anti-Adam Gase.

That’s how it works in the NFL. If a team fails with one kind of coach, it usually goes in the opposite direction for his replacement — a hiring pendulum, so to speak. In this case, it works. It’s the right move.

The former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator is a passionate, energetic coach who exudes positivity. He’s a lot like one of his mentors, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who, ironically, was run off by the Jets 26 years ago because his style was deemed too player-friendly.

For Pete’s sake, the feel-good vibe is back with the Jets. And they need it. Man, do they need it. After five straight losing seasons, including a 2-14 stinker under Gase, they need a coach whose glass is half full.

A coach who can galvanize the entire locker room, not just one side.

A coach who can motivate and inspire.

A coach who can connect with the fans.

None of which Gase did.

Saleh was a successful coordinator in his four-year run with the 49ers, highlighted by the NFC championship in 2019. The 49ers fell to 6-10 this season, but it might have been Saleh’s best coaching job. His unit was decimated by injuries, but the defense managed to finish fifth in total yards. He runs the Carroll scheme, meaning a 4-3 base front with a lot of Cover 3 zone.

MORE: ‘Jets got a great one’ in Robert Saleh: Richard Sherman, Quinnen Williams, others react

The Jets need a face-lift on defense, but that’s not Saleh’s primary job. No, his assignment is to bring hope back to One Jets Drive, home of the NFL’s longest playoff drought (10 years). Saleh was an assistant linebackers coach for the Houston Texans the last time the Jets made the postseason. From there, he served a three-year apprenticeship as a quality-control coach in Seattle, where he rubbed elbows with the celebrated “Legion of Boom” defense that won the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.

Now it’s on Saleh to change the culture, to bring some of that Seattle swagger to the moribund Jets, who have a leadership void. This is a tough charge for any coach, let alone one with no head-coaching experience. That he has no previous working relationship with general manager Joe Douglas also adds to the risk, but there’s risk in every hire.

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Rich Cimini breaks down the Jets reaching agreement with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their new head coach, and why he fits what the organization is looking for.

Saleh and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith were the Jets’ top two candidates; they also were coveted by just about every team looking for a coach. Smith would have been intriguing because of the Titans’ rise as an offensive power over the past two seasons, not to mention the rebirth of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In the end, the Jets opted for Saleh because of his leadership and communication skills.

His first order of business is to hire an offensive coordinator, and according to ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter’s sources, Saleh is expected to name 49ers passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur to that role. LaFleur is the brother of Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur, who was the best man in Saleh’s wedding. The families are close. Presumably, they would run the Kyle Shanahan system, which is quarterback-friendly — run-heavy, lots of motion and a moving pocket. It fits Sam Darnold‘s skill set; he actually played in a Shanahan-style scheme as a rookie.

Saleh will have significant input in the Jets’ quarterback decision. Does he want to ride with Darnold, who struggled in 2020, or will he endorse a new quarterback via the 2021 NFL draft? Before facing the Jets in Week 2, Saleh said Darnold “is getting a lot better. … He’s a very talented quarterback.” Then his 49ers’ defense, crippled by injuries that day, went out and held Darnold to 179 passing yards and a meaningless late touchdown pass in a 31-13 win.

Make no mistake, Saleh inherits a bad roster. He will rely on Douglas to fix that; his job as head coach is to change the attitude in the building, to make football fun again. The Jets have been laughed at for too long. It’s time for them to enjoy a few yuks.

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Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson wants to give input on offensive coordinator search

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SEATTLE — Russell Wilson didn’t want the Seattle Seahawks to move on from Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator.

He does want some say in their next one.

Wilson made the latter point known to coach Pete Carroll and to reporters on a video conference Thursday.

“I think it’s vital, it’s critical, super significant obviously that I’m a part of that process,” Wilson said. “Coach and I have definitely been talking about that, [general manager John Schneider] to as well. We’ve had some … great dialogue about the thought process of who we want, the leader … the innovator, all that kind of different stuff that you want. I think that’s the super critical thing, obviously at this point in my career because you spend every day with that person … As many hours as me and Schotty spent together, I’m going to miss the guy because we spent so much time together and worked so hard.

“The next person, whoever that is, it’s really critical that we’re on the same page at all times and always talking and vibing and really, really on the same page.”

The Seahawks announced Tuesday that Schottenheimer was out after three seasons, citing philosophical differences. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Carroll and Schottenheimer met Monday evening and mutually decided separating was in the best interest of both parties.

“If you’re asking me if I was in favor of it, no,” Wilson said, choosing his words carefully. “It wasn’t my decision to change [from] Schotty. But I think that Coach Carroll made that decision. I trust his decision.”

Schottenheimer’s departure came after the end of an odd season in which the Seahawks scored the most points in franchise history but regressed heavily over the second half of the season. Their struggles continued last weekend in their wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Wilson led the NFL in touchdown passes with 28 over the first nine weeks of the season while Seattle led the league in scoring at 34 points per game over that stretch. But Wilson threw just 12 touchdown passes over the final eight weeks of the regular season while Seattle’s scoring dropped to 22.6 points per game.

Wilson lauded Schottenheimer as a coach, leader and friend, saying he became close with Schottenheimer’s family.

“I think that he’s going to be an amazing coach for somebody else, for some other team here so hopefully,” Wilson said. “I think he’s going to be a head coach. I think he has that type of leadership ability. Unfortunately for us, I think that in coach’s eyes, it was kind of time to see if we could make a change. We were the best offense in football for the first middle part of the season. He was a major part of that.”

If Wilson has a specific name in mind that he’s hoping the Seahawks hire, he didn’t offer many clues. When asked what he’s looking for in his next OC, Wilson mentioned leadership, passion for football, teaching skills and an ability to find the strengths of all 11 players.

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Why Jets’ new coach Robert Saleh will be a re-Pete (Carroll), not a repeat – New York Jets Blog

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets‘ decision to make Robert Saleh their head coach was predictable in that it followed a popular formula: He’s completely different in style and substance than the guy they just booted out of the building.

In other words, he’s the anti-Adam Gase.

That’s how it works in the NFL. If a team fails with one kind of coach, it usually goes in the opposite direction for his replacement — a hiring pendulum, so to speak. In this case, it works. It’s the right move.

The former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator is a passionate, energetic coach who exudes positivity. He’s a lot like one of his mentors, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who, ironically, was run off by the Jets 26 years ago because his style was deemed too player-friendly.

For Pete’s sake, the feel-good vibe is back with the Jets. And they need it. Man, do they need it. After five straight losing seasons, including a 2-14 stinker under Gase, they need a coach whose glass is half full.

A coach who can galvanize the entire locker room, not just one side.

A coach who can motivate and inspire.

A coach who can connect with the fans.

None of which Gase did.

Saleh was a successful coordinator in his four-year run with the 49ers, highlighted by the NFC championship in 2019. The 49ers fell to 6-10 this season, but it might have been Saleh’s best coaching job. His unit was decimated by injuries, but the defense managed to finish fifth in total yards. He runs the Carroll scheme, meaning a 4-3 base front with a lot of Cover 3 zone.

The Jets need a face-lift on defense, but that’s not Saleh’s primary job. No, his assignment is to bring hope back to One Jets Drive, home of the NFL’s longest playoff drought (10 years). Saleh was an assistant linebackers coach for the Houston Texans the last time the Jets made the postseason. From there, he served a three-year apprenticeship as a quality-control coach in Seattle, where he rubbed elbows with the celebrated “Legion of Boom” defense that won the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.

Now it’s on Saleh to change the culture, to bring some of that Seattle swagger to the moribund Jets, who have a leadership void. This is a tough charge for any coach, let alone one with no head-coaching experience. That he has no previous working relationship with general manager Joe Douglas also adds to the risk, but there’s risk in every hire.

Saleh and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith were the Jets’ top two candidates; they also were coveted by just about every team looking for a coach. Smith would have been intriguing because of the Titans’ rise as an offensive power over the past two seasons, not to mention the rebirth of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In the end, the Jets opted for Saleh because of his leadership and communication skills.

His first order of business is to hire an offensive coordinator, and according to ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter’s sources, Saleh is expected to name 49ers passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur to that role. LaFleur is the brother of Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur, who was the best man in Saleh’s wedding. The families are close. Presumably, they would run the Kyle Shanahan system, which is quarterback-friendly — run-heavy, lots of motion and a moving pocket. It fits Sam Darnold‘s skill set; he actually played in a Shanahan-style scheme as a rookie.

Saleh will have significant input in the Jets’ quarterback decision. Does he want to ride with Darnold, who struggled in 2020, or will he endorse a new quarterback via the 2021 NFL draft? Before facing the Jets in Week 2, Saleh said Darnold “is getting a lot better. … He’s a very talented quarterback.” Then his 49ers’ defense, crippled by injuries that day, went out and held Darnold to 179 passing yards and a meaningless late touchdown pass in a 31-13 win.

Make no mistake, Saleh inherits a bad roster. He will rely on Douglas to fix that; his job as head coach is to change the attitude in the building, to make football fun again. The Jets have been laughed at for too long; it’s time for them to enjoy a few yuks.

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