Robert Saleh and the experience of a freshman NFL coach

Robert Saleh has lost about 25 pounds this season, which for many of us would be a good thing. Not so much for Saleh, one of the NFL’s most physically fit head coaches.

“I have to get it back,” he said with a smile Friday before the Jets’ final training session of the season.

What does he attribute to the weight loss? Stress, maybe, what about the Jets being 4-12?

It turns out in his case that losing pounds has more to do with not lifting pounds.

“I have not been able to get into the weight room as much as I would like,” Saleh said. “I do not eat as much as I usually do. It’s a bit of everything.”

Consider it another part of the learning process for the first-year head coach, who at times has seemed powerless to make his team competitive and other times has given fans hope that he could train after all.

After Sunday’s final against the Bills, there will not be much more data until September. But Saleh believes the experience has positioned him and his players well in the near future.

“It has been a roller coaster, but it has been a roller coaster as we had expected,” he said. “You do not really know until you are actually into it.”

One lesson that has hit home is the emotional baggage attached to a franchise that has not played in the Super Bowl since 10 years before Saleh was born.

“When you talk to the people around, talk to you [reporters], talk to fans, the scars run pretty deep, “he said.” You try to absorb it all, and you try to understand it. But at the same time, there is a lot of confidence in this building in the direction we are going. ”

Saleh said he and general manager Joe Douglas are “really excited” about the foundation that has been built.

“It has not been smooth of imagination, which I think we can all agree on,” Saleh said. “But I think there have been huge strides … That’s why this fight [Sunday], along with the offseason, is really exciting and so it’s going to be a fun, fun the next few months. ”

The Jets are well positioned in terms of draft and space for salary cap, so Douglas’ work will be crucial.

Saleh said he in previous stops, most recently with the 49ers, has learned the importance of GM coaching relationships.

“I think one thing you can take from teams all over the league that are successful is when the front office and the coaching staff communicate to the level we do and see things exactly the same,” he said, “it’s more likely to be successful in this league than where there are frictions between the two. ”

While COVID-19 complications have been a challenge for Saleh – including missing a match himself while in quarantine – he said he was better positioned than first-year coaches dealing with virus protocols last season.

“I think 2020 really made everyone immune to it,” he said. “This season, it was hassle-free to become virtual.”

Notes and quotes: Braxton Berrios (quadriceps) was placed on IR, but co-recipient Jamison Crowder (calf) is set to return. . . Rookie running back Michael Carter: “Looking back on when we played the Panthers [in the opener], I’m not even the same player. I think I had 6 yards in that game. It’s like, wow, I still can not believe it. I have grown so much. . . I work every day to be the best in the league, because that is my ultimate goal. “


Give a Comment