The injury-plagued Jets are looking for a new cure.
The Jets created a new Athletic Care and Performance department that will align the training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition staffs. Dr. Brad DeWeese was named director of high performance to oversee new head strength and conditioning coach Mike Nicolini and others.
“After a thorough review of our sports performance areas,” general manager Joe Douglas said in a statement, “it became clear that in order to maximize our players’ health, safety and effectiveness on the field, we needed to establish a centralized group that would better position our team for success.”
Nicolini followed Jets coach Robert Saleh from the 49ers, where he was an assistant strength coach. One of his game-day responsibilities in his former job was restraining the excitable defensive coordinator Saleh from running on the field and drawing a sideline penalty.
The Jets fired head strength coach Justus Galac and assistant Joe Giacobbe last week. Galac joined the team in 2012 and was elevated in 2013, and Giacobbe, a former Rutgers football player, came aboard in 2017.
Injuries derailed the 2020 Jets before the season even got underway. Douglas stressed the change will benefit players.
DeWeese is an NFL newcomer who was assistant athletic director for sports performance and a tenured associate professor at East Tennessee State. He previously was the head of sports physiology for the United States Olympic Committee’s Winter Division.
The other additions are director of sports science Dr. Matt Sams, assistant director of higher performance Dr. Robert Sausaman and assistant strength coach Dr. Omar Ahmad.
“It is important to invest in resources and technology where you can remove your opinion and you can look at the information: What it’s telling us and what do you think it means, what should it add,” DeWeese said in a statement. “And we can move forward with a discussion with everyone on equal footing in a performance model. You remove defense mechanisms, empower everybody and it drives innovation.”