Veteran Fires Shot at Jets Coaching Staff: ‘Pisses Me Off’

James Robinson, Jets

Getty New York Jets running back James Robinson makes a play during a game versus the Buffalo Bills.

The New York Jets won their seventh game of the season on November 27, but at a cost.

Veteran running back James Robinson sounded off on the Jets in an ESPN story after the coaching staff benched Robinson in favor of undrafted free agent Zonovan Knight.

“Obviously, I didn’t come here not to play,” Robinson said in Rich Cimini’s November 30 story. “Obviously, they brought me here for a reason. I don’t expect anything unless I work for it, and I’ve been working my ass off. Me not playing pisses me off.”

Knight, a rookie out of NC State, had a breakout performance with 103 total yards from scrimmage and appears to be “in line for increased opportunities,” according to a November 30 story by John Pullano.

Robert Saleh Appears to Take Shot at James Robinson’s Running

Robinson was acquired via trade in October after rookie star Breece Hall suffered a torn ACL during the Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos.

Robinson, a former Jacksonville Jaguars star, was expected to be a plug-and-play option, but in three games with the Jets, Robinson rushed for only 75 yards and no touchdowns and caught two passes for 5 yards. He has failed to show off the explosiveness the Jets coaching staff were looking for.

When head coach Robert Saleh was asked after the November 27 game why Robinson was a healthy scratch, he mentioned some “meat being left on the bone,” according to a tweet from The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt, seemingly taking a shot at Robinson’s east-to-west style of running.

Robinson told Cimini that he learned on November 23 that he wouldn’t be playing against the Chicago Bears.

“Obviously, I was upset about it,” he said. “I don’t know what they have planned for me.”

Saleh also said that Robinson was still getting comfortable with the new scheme after being traded midseason.

But Robinson disagreed, according to Cimini.

“I mean, picking up the runs, that’s easy,” Robinson said, according to Cimini. “The thing is getting used to the pass game [and] protections, and I feel like I’ve picked up that stuff up pretty good. You probably have to ask them what their game plan is for me. I’d do the same, but obviously, I’m going to continue to work my ass off. I can’t go in there begging. They can see what I do on the field.”

Robinson Could Reappear for Jets

Robinson might not have to worry about playing time heading into the Jets’ December 4 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Running back Michael Carter suffered an ankle sprain during the win versus the Bears and is listed as day-to-day. With Carter potentially out of the lineup, the Jets could trot out Robinson, Knight and Ty Johnson.

Saleh made it very clear that the inactive status for Robinson against the Bears wasn’t a nail in the coffin or a sign of things to come. The Jets coaching staff will take it week by week on who plays and how often based on matchups.

To say it has been a wild season for the Jets would be an understatement. Two players have demanded trades, the team has been beset by injuries, and now a player they traded for is unhappy. Still, they are 7-4 and holding on to the final wild-card spot.


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