Robert Saleh had a straightforward message for Jeff Ulbrich right after the Jets hired the defensive coordinator.
Saleh knows a thing or two when it comes to that side of the ball, having been the 49ers defensive coordinator from 2017-20 prior to his current tenure in Florham Park.
Thus, he knew what he wanted out of Ulbrich, and was very clear about it from the beginning.
On DC Jeff Ulbrich's first day on the job, Robert Saleh put a sign up in his office that read: "Eliminate explosive plays"
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 16, 2021
“The first day I took this job, [Saleh] put a poster up in my office that says “eliminate explosive plays.” That’s definitely where we all land…our commitment is to absolutely eliminate explosive plays,” Ulbrich told the media Thursday.
The Jets defense improved over the course of the team’s Week 1 loss to the Panthers, having allowed just three second-half points in the 19-14 defeat.
However, an explosive play is what helped propel the Panthers to their first win of the year, and it involved a pair of familiar faces.
Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold and receiver Robby Anderson — two former Jets — connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
It was a type of play Jets fans have witnessed before — supporters of Gang Green likely remember the two connecting on a 92-yard score in a 2019 victory over Dallas.
The Jets defense, which will attempt to prevent a play like the aforementioned 57-yard score from occurring this Sunday, face Mac Jones and the Patriots in Week 2.
Will the rookie quarterback get the best of Ulbrich’s unit?