Source - A day after the Jets’ season-opening loss, coach Robert Saleh said his faith is not shaken that this team will turn things around and become a winner and he’s keeping track of all the non-believers.
“I know it’s going to happen,” Saleh said in a Zoom call with reporters Monday. “We’re all taking receipts on all the people who continually mock and say that we aren’t going to do anything. I’m taking receipts, and I’m going to be more than happy to share them with all of you when it’s all said and done.”
Saleh then doubled down during an interview on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio and said he can’t wait “to shove it down everyone’s throat when it comes around.”
Friends. Americans. Countrymen. Professional Jets bashers. Lend me your ears. I come not to mock Robert Saleh, but to praise him.
Now look, the simple response to this is, "Well what else is he supposed to say?" And that is true. When you're second year coach whose career record just fell to 4-14, you're just got nutpunched in your opening game at home despite the fact you added three first round picks in a draft that all the gurus couldn't help but lose their minds over:
… you owe it to your players, your coaches, your bosses, and your fans, to put on a brave face and sell them on the idea you're on the right track. Most of all, you owe it to yourself.
But to me personally - as well as thousands like me - it goes much deeper than that. To me, this is a beautiful moment. It's a story of hope and optimism in the face of overwhelming odds. One we've seen play out so many times before.
I mean, apart from the "receipts" part, which is a relatively new phrase in the vernacular, this speech could've been given by any of Saleh's predecessors. Change around a word or two, and it was. Some variation of this message was delivered by Adam Gase, Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini, Herm Edwards. Going back through Rich Kotite and to the very dawn of Jets civilization. If this franchise existed in some form back in prehistoric days, there'd be paintings on cave walls illustrating some version of, "Urk of Jets Tribe: 'We Have Hunters and Gatherers to Bring Feasts of Great Abundance. Hill and Valley Dwellers No Longer Taunt Us with Bountiful Harvests from Their Agriculture.'" Followed by newer paintings depicting them all sacrificing Urk to their pagan gods as their women and children starve to death.
What I'm saying, in a long-winded way, is that public pronouncements from head coaches is a tradition on this team. A lovely, profoundly beautiful tradition. Taking the job as Jets head coach is akin to being the protagonist in a kids' movie. Those Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks animated films where the main character - a cute animal, toy, robot, or child of an ethnic background that doesn't yet have a Disney princess - has huge hopes and dreams that everyone discourages because their too unrealistic. But our plucky hero refuses to stop believing in themselves, overcomes adversity and reaches their ultimate goal. Picture that, only where the story ends in abysmal, abject failure where their plans fail miserably, they get sent home in disgrace and all those people who tried to discourage them are proven totally right. The end.
So thank you for this touching moment, Coach Saleh. And please accept this from a longtime Jets mocker. One with a track record of being proven right in the end. Please take this receipt, keep it with all the others, and throw it back in my face if - finally - I turn out to be wrong. I'll save it too. To produce it in a year or two when the Jets are drafting in the Top 3 again and their coaches are all assistants somewhere else. I've seen this movie too many times to believe it now.