New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh was ripped by the media this week after stating that the entire organization is “taking receipts on all the people who continually mock and say that we’re not going to do anything.”
But where did this sudden intensity spark from and what does it mean in Week 2? According to The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt, Saleh’s rah-rah quote was most likely calculated.
“His message was interpreted as a shot at the media,” Rosenblatt wrote, “but in the locker room, players took it as a show of support for them, a public statement of belief in their ability to turn things around, where past Jets teams failed.”
In other words, the Jets HC was willing to fall on the sword this week if it meant inspiring his soldiers as they head into battle. The question is — will it work and what does it signal if it doesn’t?
Bart Scott Breaks Down Robert Saleh’s ‘Receipts’ Comment
Fans want a win in Week 2 but the honest truth is, some might even take a competitive loss against the Cleveland Browns. Just show some life in all three aspects of the game and give supporters a reason to believe again.
That was the sentiment from former linebacker and team leader Bart Scott, during a segment of “Jets Game Plan” on SNY.
“What do you do whenever a teammate steps out there and says something bold?” Scott began as he reacted to Saleh’s receipt comments. “You support him. No different [with] a coach.”
Scott explained further: “So now if you really truly care for your coach and he has the ears of everybody in the locker room, if he has the hearts of everybody in the locker room [and] on that team, you go out there and you prove him right and you prove the naysayers wrong. For me, it’s something that should galvanize the troops, bring them closer together and make them rally around the fact that [they] know [they’ve] made improvements.”
Reading between the lines here, this is a pivotal moment for Saleh’s coaching tenure and this winning culture that he’s attempting to create. He hit his roster with a somewhat extreme call-to-action this week and Scott’s right, if the players don’t answer the bell, it shows that they don’t believe in Saleh or the future that he envisions.
It’s not just put up or shut up time for this front office — it’s a potential turning point that can either plummet this franchise further south or inspire an unlikely rise. For the latter to happen, the locker room doesn’t just have to want it on Sunday, they have to take it.
Recent NYC History Not on Robert Saleh’s Side
Forget Jets history for a moment — this city’s football track record is typically poor in situations like this.
Saleh’s battle cry is almost reminiscent of former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge, who became bolder and bolder with his press conferences as his seat grew hotter. The failed Big Blue leader preached trusting the process and changing the mentality inside the building — similar to the overarching message from Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas now — it just never happened.
The Giants players didn’t truly believe in Judge when push came to shove, and in turn, their gameday response wasn’t enough to save his job.
Many believe Saleh will get until the end of the 2023 campaign before his employment comes into question but don’t be shocked if another hapless season at the helm accelerates that decision. It’s on the locker room to bail him out now.