Naturally, most people don’t like to admit when they’re wrong.
That is especially true for people in power positions, like an NFL head coach for example.
Yet this week New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh went out of his way to admit a big mistake and why it helped him learn a very valuable lesson.
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You Don’t See That Very Often
Saleh made an appearance on The Official Jets Podcast with host Eric Allen while he was down at the NFL’s owners’ meetings.
When the topic of former Seattle Seahawks cornerback DJ Reed Jr came up on the show, Saleh was ready to own up to a mistake from his past:
“You know credit to DJ and shame on me when I was the defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers we looked at him as a nickel safety. We tried to pin him there and said he can’t play on the outside, Reed is too small. Because of COVID and roster restrictions, he had an injury so we had to cut him and we were hoping to be able to stash him for the year, and [other teams with their restrictions wouldn’t be able to grab him]. To Seattle’s credit, they claimed him, stashed him, and waited until he got healthy and for the next 1.5 years he absolutely dominated on the outside. He proved Seattle right and proved me wrong and I’m not afraid to admit that.”
NFL teams will routinely try to get cute with their roster flexibility and sneak guys through waivers, hoping no one notices, so they can retain his rights and maximize the size of the roster. Unfortunately, this is one of those games where Saleh and the 49ers lost.
With the Seahawks, Reed played in 24 games and showed that he belongs in the big leagues:
- 17 pass deflections
- 140 combined tackles
- Four interceptions
Two years later Saleh was able to make up for his mistake by luring Reed to the Jets in free agency.
“I’m so proud of him and it is a testament to who he is and the type of mindset he has,” Saleh said. “If you say he can’t do something, he will prove you wrong. So be very careful about the challenges you make to him because he will prove you wrong. I can’t say enough great things about him.”
The 25-year-old corner was able to sign a very nice three-year deal for $33 million with $10.5 million of that guaranteed at signing in free agency in 2022.
A Polarizing Topic on Jets’ Social Media
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer on how big of a need the cornerback spot is for the Jets this offseason.
The conversation seemed to shift in another direction when the Jets invested over $33 million into Reed to be their top corner on the roster.
With him now on the roster, it is plausible that the green and white roll out Week 1 with this current depth chart:
- Bryce Hall
- Brandin Echols
- Michael Carter II
- Javelin Guidry
- Isaiah Dunn
- Justin Hardee
- Rachad Wildgoose
On the flip side, you could also make a very strong argument that the Jets should invest a premium resource in the position to give them a true No. 1 corner.
Even if you’re really high on Reed’s potential, adding another corner will simply increase the overall depth of the unit and provide some cushion just in case an injury happens. By drafting another talented corner, every other defensive back on the roster would just slide down one peg.
As we inch closer and closer to the 2022 NFL draft it’ll be a fascinating debate on social media trying to figure out which direction the Jets will go.
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