After another forgettable performance for Robert Saleh’s New York Jets, one has to wonder what the message was after the game.
Did this head coach finally lose it and go off on a tirade at the locker room? Probably not, he’s told reporters that isn’t his style. Was it the same old coachspeak? Maybe.
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Rankins Sheds Some Light
During his Week 10 postgame press conference, Rankins was asked about Fatukasi’s speech to teammates. ‘Foley’ is one of two defensive captains and is a major voice in this locker room.
Rankins relayed: “I think he speaks for a lot of guys because he’s one of the leaders on this team and he’s been here a while. He’s experienced a lot of the ups and downs here and when a guy like that speaks up and says what he said, guys listen. So at the end of the day, guys got to look within… this is your job, you’re paid to not just come out here and be a football player but make plays. At the end of the day, you don’t just come out here to do your assignment, you come out here to make plays to help this team win football games.”
When asked to elaborate on Saleh’s message later in the Q&A, Rankins gave more detail on the joint theme from the captain and HC. “[Saleh’s was] similar to Foley’s… just understanding that the way this league works, you got to show up. If you don’t show up, you get replaced.”
He added that he believes his teammates know that and stated that the Jets have to get back to embodying the “brand of football that [they are] accustomed to playing.”
ESPN’s Rich Cimini asked a follow-up on whether or not Saleh actually said guys would get replaced if they don’t perform, but Rankins made sure to clarify that he was paraphrasing on that exact quote.
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Jets Need to Show More Fire
Maybe Saleh echoed Fatukasi rather than voice it himself, but either way, someone has to light a fire under this team. There has been no accountability, especially from the veterans of the roster.
Most fans probably wish the head coach was screaming in his player’s faces like Rex Ryan or Gregg Williams right now. Unfortunately, that’s not the way this staff operates. Saleh, Mike LaFleur and Jeff Ulbrich all have a similarly calm demeanor when it comes to discipline.
They each respect the athletes and want to help them, Ulbrich even was one himself. So far, that player-friendly mentality has not worked when things go wrong.
After the loss in Indy, Saleh stated per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano: “If you need someone to yell at you, playing child’s game for a king’s ransom, then you don’t deserve to wear the logo, period.” I love that quote, but maybe he needs to say that to his locker room, not the media.
“Yeah we’re embarrassed,” Rankins admitted, “because it’s just not our standard… every man should be embarrassed, every man should be angry.”
The Jets’ body language has personified embarrassment but I’ve yet to see anger. To quote the great Patches O’Houlihan, “you gotta get angry! You gotta get mean! That’s the only way you can play!”