New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh talks with reporters...

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh talks with reporters during an AFC coaches availability at the NFL owners meetings on Monday in Orlando, Florida. Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Jets’ chances of making the playoffs improved with some of the moves they’ve made this offseason, but last year was a painful reminder of how quickly high expectations can turn to misery.

“The reality is winning offseasons doesn’t matter,” coach Robert Saleh said Monday morning at the NFL owners’ meetings. “You got to win football games.”

To sit at the Jets’ table at the annual coaches’ breakfast next year, Saleh will have to do just that.

The Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers last April and instantly were hailed as a Super Bowl contender. Rodgers tore an Achilles tendon four snaps into the season and the Jets missed the playoffs for the 13th consecutive year.

Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas can’t afford to have the Jets extend that streak.

“Pressure is already max elevated from Year 1 to whatever year,” Saleh said. “There’s always pressure to win.”

This was the first time that Saleh spoke to reporters since the day after the season ended. It also was the first time since Jets chairman Woody Johnson essentially put Saleh and Douglas on alert last month during Super Bowl week.

Johnson won’t put a number on wins or make a playoffs edict. It’s clear, though, that if the Jets don’t make significant improvement in the standings, there will be changes.

“I like to win games, like a lot of other owners,” Johnson said Monday. “Losing games is not why we’re in it. We’re in it to win games, both the players and the fans. We want to win games. We’re trying to put a team together.

“We made some really good progress in putting a team together to make that happen.”

Saleh’s career record is 18-33 in three seasons. He begrudgingly agreed with the premise that a coach in his fourth season has to make the playoffs.

“I guess,” Saleh said. “You can say that. You get so many opportunities, but the pressure to win is always there in the NFL.”

The Jets didn’t get anyone of Rodgers’ caliber, but they addressed many deficiencies from last year in the last few weeks.

They added three starters on the offensive line: left tackle Tyron Smith, right tackle Morgan Moses and left guard John Simpson, whom Saleh referred to as “a War Daddy.”

They also signed receiver Mike Williams and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Johnson is a fan of these moves.

“I’m pretty impressed,” he said. “We’ve been very attentive to what we need. I think we’ve got some great players. The team is definitely better. There’s no question.”

If the Jets don’t make the playoffs, Johnson probably won’t retain Saleh, but the coach wouldn’t call the 2024 season a failure if the Jets fail to reach the postseason.

“I’ll never say that,” he said. “We all want to win games, we all want to go to the playoffs, we all want to win championships. That’s been the goal since the day we walked in here. Felt like we were going to have that opportunity last year. It didn’t happen. This year’s about picking ourselves up, putting our heads down and just working.”

Saleh has helped turn the Jets’ defense into one of the best in the league. Offense is where the team has struggled. This season, Saleh is expected to be more involved on that side of the ball.

In his first year with the team, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett did not adjust well to losing Rodgers, but Saleh still believes in him.

“I know he will be [better],” Saleh said. “When you lose, you’re a loser. I suck. Joe D sucks. We all suck. It goes with the territory. The best thing we can do is put our heads down and we’ve got to go to work. All the feel-good stuff of the offseason doesn’t matter. Gotta win football games, and when you win football games, all the narratives will change.”

He also defended himself after a story in The Athletic painted the Jets as dysfunctional and Saleh as a paranoid coach.

“When you don’t achieve what you’re supposed to achieve, people are going to take their shots, and that’s fine,” he said. “I feel really confident. I feel like guys like Sauce Gardner have spoken about the organization. I feel really good about where our organization is.”

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