Former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan had a lot to say about the organization’s first-year head coach Robert Saleh after another blowout loss over the weekend. The now ESPN analyst blasted the team’s recent performance and decried any comparisons between the two as coaches.
But, Saleh doesn’t want to hear any of it.
The 42-year-old Jets head coach and former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator fired back at Ryan for remarks that the ESPN analyst made about him on Monday.
“I’ve never met Rex. I’ve never had a conversation with Rex. I don’t even know him, except for people who know him throughout the league. Obviously, if it’s that personal for him, he knows where to find me,” Saleh said on the Michael Kay Show this afternoon.
When asked if the comments from Ryan were surprising, the Jets head coach responded plainly.
“I’m not surprised by him. He’s always got something to say,” Saleh said.
Robert Saleh on Rex Ryan: He knows where to find me, he’s always got something to say. https://t.co/FTu6bIGFKt
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 15, 2021
Saleh’s firm response only came after some harsh comments from Ryan. The 58-year-old ESPN analyst criticized the Jets’ defensive effort in recent weeks and expressed his frustration that he and Saleh were ever mentioned as like-minded coaches.
“This guy was supposed to be a defensive guru,” Ryan said of Saleh in an appearance on ESPN’s DiPietro & Rothenberg. “I heard everything and I take it personal on this one. Everything I’ve heard about was, well this guy’s a lot like myself, but without the bad part. Yeah, well some of the bad part you need because this team doesn’t play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that’s disappointing to me. Don’t ever compare this guy to me, this Robert Saleh to me.”
We asked Rex Ryan about the job that #Jets HC Robert Saleh is doing.
— DiPietro & Rothenberg (@DRonESPN) November 15, 2021
Saleh’s response seems more than warranted given the tone of Ryan’s comments, but there is some truth to what the former Jets head coach had to say. New York’s defensive effort has been lacking in recent weeks, giving up a total of 175 points (an average of nearly 44 points per contest) over the team’s last four games.
The quickest way for Saleh to prove Ryan wrong will be to show improvement defensively on the field. The Jets will have an opportunity to do that this upcoming weekend against a division rival in the Miami Dolphins.
The AFC East teams will meet at MetLife Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
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