Robert Saleh was dealt a bad hand immediately, simply by agreeing to coach the New York Jets.

Earlier this week, former Jets' coach Rex Ryan attempted to insult Saleh on the radio. Saleh responded, and in the process, was dragged into the mud with Ryan at the worst possible time.

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Saleh Was Heralded as a "Defensive Guru" by Many

Beginning his coaching career back in 2002 as a defensive assistant, Saleh has paid his dues in college and professional football. He interned with the defense of the Houston Texans in 2005, became their quality control coach in 2006, and worked his way all of the way to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

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Saleh became the 49ers' defensive coordinator that year, and by 2019, was coaching the second-best defense in the NFL in terms of yard per game allowed. His calling card has been defense throughout his time under the headset.


Ryan Does Not Want to Be Compared to Saleh

Another name known for his penchant for coaching strong defenses, is former New York Jets' head coach, Rex Ryan.

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Ryan joined DiPietro and Rothenberg on Monday, and talked specifically about being compared to Robert Saleh. Apparently, Ryan doesn't exactly appreciate the comparison quite yet.

"'This guy is supposed to be a defensive guru,' Ryan said. 'I take it personal. Everything I heard was this guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad part. Some of the bad part you need, because this team doesn’t want to play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that is disappointing to me. Don’t ever compare this Robert Saleh guy to me.'" - Matt Parrino, Syracuse.com

Don't you EVER dare compare a New York Jets coach who's good at coaching defense, to a New York Jets coach who's good at coaching defense.

Are we starting to see the pettiness here?


For Some Reason, Saleh Gave Ryan the Time of Day

Current Jets' coach, Robert Saleh, could've easily just let this one pass. He could've ignored it, he could've told the media he wasn't commenting on it, or he could've praised Rex Ryan's winning seasons with the team, and moved on.

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He did not do any of these, however, and allowed himself to be dragged into the mud in the process. Saleh appeared on The Michael Kay Show, and according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, said this...

'I've never met Rex. I've never had a conversation with Rex. I don't even know him except for people who know him throughout the league.

 

Obviously, if it's that personal for him, he knows where to find me.'

 

Saleh wasn't finished. Asked if he's surprised by Ryan's comments, he said, 'Nah, I'm not surprised by him. He's always got something to say.' - Rich Cimini, ESPN

For me, this is a surprising change of character for Robert Saleh. Thus far in his time leading the Jets, he's been relatively mild-mannered, and has avoided commenting on "the noise" that surrounds him and the team.

Plainly put, this was a mistake.


This Needs to Be a Growing Experience for Robert Saleh

I do not envy the position in which Robert Saleh currently finds himself. Yes, you're a head coach in the NFL. You are also, however, the coach of the current-day New York Jets.

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That being said, you need to give yourself the best chance to last with the New York Jets, and be the "defensive guru" that finally brings this team out of futility. Wading into the water with Rex Ryan, who is currently coaching job-less, will not help that.

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