NFL Pundit Calls Jets HC Robert Saleh a ‘Whiff’ During ‘Insane Take’

Robert Saleh

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh exits the field after a loss in Week 10.

We’ve heard some absurd New York Jets takes over the past few weeks but leave it to Colin Cowherd to top them all with a ridiculous rant of his own.

You might remember Cowherd as the same NFL pundit that compared Zach Wilson to Johnny Manziel all throughout training camp despite the obvious differences in their game. The talk show host has made his career off hot takes that have a tendency to turn out wrong more often than they are right, and this time he focused his energy on head coach Robert Saleh.

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Cowherd Would Send Saleh Packing

NFL insider Steve Weissman didn’t consider Saleh as an option to be fired after one season during a recent interview with Heavy on Sports reporter Stephanie Otey. Of course, Cowherd disagreed with this analysis during a segment of his show named “Retain or On the Plane?”

The idea behind this was simple, different coaches were posed to Cowherd and he had to decide whether to keep them for another season or send them packing “on the plane.” Saleh and the Jets were first on the agenda and a video clip of his response went viral on Twitter.

Cowherd answered: “I think [Saleh is] a whiff, I’d put him on a plane, I think they whiffed. I think in a division with four defensive head coaches, his defense is the only one that keeps getting worse. In an offensive league, he has no connection to Zach Wilson who clearly doesn’t listen to him because he’s had to publicly criticize him twice about his interceptions. The Jets allow — their defense is not as bad as this, in fact, there have been moments over the last several years where we liked their defensive line. I think Robert Saleh was a miss, I had questions going in, I think Zach Wilson is harder than average to coach — there is some Aaron Rodgers there — I think they whiffed, I think they missed.”

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Deciphering the Madness

I know we should probably just ignore these rants from talking heads like Cowherd but with all the discrepancies included within the one-minute clip, this has to be addressed. New York Daily News reporter DJ Bien-Aime (a Dolphins fan) even described this as an “insane take.”

Now, before we dive into the questionable remarks about Wilson, there is some truth at the beginning. This defense has gotten worse as the season has gone on but most covering the team would admit that a lot of that has had to do with crucial injuries.

Former Jets HC Rex Ryan even admitted that he loved Saleh’s long-term plan after speaking with him in private. Ryan initially called him out for his lack of passion and on-field adjustments.

Still, injuries are no excuse for a defensive mastermind so we’ll admit that Cowherd’s initial portion of the response is somewhat accurate. The part about his relationship with Wilson is not factual whatsoever and is a borderline lie.

“That Zach take also seems wildly irresponsible/reckless,” commented Connor Rogers of the “Badlands” podcast.

“100% made up,” Bien-Aime replied, “doesn’t even make sense. Rookie does rookie things [equals] doesn’t listen to his coach. What?”

If you’ve ever heard Wilson speak at a press conference or address his faults, you’d realize how wild of an accusation it is to label him “harder than average to coach” personality-wise or say he “clearly” isn’t listening to Saleh. If anything, the 22-year old seems like a model teammate and pupil.

Criticizing his performance on that field is one thing, but these bold statements from Cowherd are legitimately false.

It’s also a stretch to say that Saleh has “publicly criticized” his interceptions. The Jets HC has given his thoughts when questioned on the turnovers but he never went out of his way to throw his rookie QB under the bus as the analyst makes it seem.

Don’t fall for this garbage Jets fans, Saleh and Wilson are here to stay despite many pundits who seem determined to tear them down.


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