Jets’ Robert Saleh Takes Shot at Media Over D.J. Reed’s ’85 Bears’ Quote

Robert Saleh

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh during the 2023 preseason.

In the modern-day society, the media’s reputation is often called into question — whether the masses are talking about the NFL or another field altogether.

One reason for that is the prevalence of short-form media like Twitter (now rebranded as X). The social media app’s character limit led to shortened quotes and lack of context over the years, and that’s exactly what New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh believes happened with D.J. Reed Jr.’s “85 Bears” comparison that was trending all over various platforms of entertainment earlier this week (September 4 origin).

“No, I do think we have a paraphrase problem with the way that our guys talk,” Saleh first responded on September 7 after being asked if he’s worried comments like Reed’s will paint a bullseye on the Jets in 2023.

He explained: “I think when you look at D.J.’s quote, he answered the question just like every team in football and every player in football will talk about what they think they can be. But I think what was omitted — and what’s been omitted from all of our guys’ conversations — is how important the moment is and bringing it back [to that].”

“Yes, potential. Every team has potential to be special this year, all 32 of them,” Saleh went on. “But I think what’s important is listening to the whole quote, listening to our players, knowing our players, and knowing that they’re so focused on the moment and trying to get better every single day. And they talk about that. Now, unfortunately, that’s the part that gets omitted in our paraphrase generation. But with that said, I love the mindset of this group [and] I love where we’re at.”

The not-so-subtle shot appeared to be received by media members in attendance, as ESPN’s Rich Cimini noted that “Saleh said he had no problem with D.J. Reed’s ’85 Bears’ quote. He said the media took it out of context.”

Jets CB D.J. Reed’s Full ’85 Bears’ Quote

In case you missed it, here was Reed’s comparison from September 4, which also included the Seattle Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” defense from 2013:

“I’m very confident. I think we have the potential to be the best defense in the NFL. Honestly, I think we can be historical, not just the best defense in the league, but I think we can be a historical defense like the ‘85-‘86 [Chicago] Bears [or] the LOB [Seahawks’ Legion of Boom] in 2013. I think we can be that dominant if we just put all the things together and we just focus on the now and we’re deliberate, and everyone plays up to their potential. I think the sky’s the limit for us.”

Everything after the word “dominant” was omitted by certain outlets covering the story — and Saleh seems to have taken issue with that. This zoom call was not made available by the Jets on YouTube but can be viewed in full on

Reed also praised defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and the intelligence of this veteran group while explaining his confidence level.

Jets Teammates John Franklin-Myers & C.J. Mosley Comment on D.J. Reed Jr.’s ‘85 Bears & ‘13 Seahawks Comparison

During the same media availability session, veteran teammates John Franklin-Myers and C.J. Mosley were asked about Reed’s comments.

The pass rusher known as “JFM” was just as confident. “Yeah, 100%. S***, why not speak your goals?” he replied. “We all talk about manifestation — you have to talk about it, you have to believe it, you have to say it in order to do it. We’re not afraid to sit here and go out on a limb and say we want to win the Super Bowl, or we want to be the best defense in the NFL. If those aren’t your dreams, then you’re in the wrong place.”

Mosley, the 2023 defensive team captain, was a little more reserved admitting that the ‘85 Bears are “a pretty big comparison” — but was not critical of Reed either voicing that he “doesn’t mind it at all” because of how hard Reed and JFM work at their craft.

“When our brothers do say that, now we have to go out there and put on a show,” the veteran linebacker acknowledged. “I definitely feel we have all the right pieces, we have all the right coaches, the right personnel. We feel like we can match up with any type of offense. Those are just words right now. We have to put it to the test, but we’re definitely excited for the challenge.”