New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh is heading into a difficult situation as he starts his first year as an NFL head coach. But if the adversity bothers him at all, he’s doing a great job of hiding it.
In an interview with Albert Breer for MMQB, Saleh said that he’s “excited for [the] adversity” he’s likely to encounter in New York. He said he loves seeing how people respond to different things that pop up and has enjoyed the entire experience of working with everyone.
“Everything’s been awesome,” Saleh said. “Call it the greatest honeymoon in the world, if you want. It’s been great. But I’m genuinely excited for adversity. Because a lot of different things are going to pop up. There are coaches that are going to find out about themselves. There’s the scouts and the G.M., there’s myself, the players, the training staff. Everybody’s going to find out a little more about themselves when adversity hits.
“I think that’s when teams have their greatest amount of growth—it’s through adversity,” he added. “And so with training camp, that’s what I’m most excited for. I wanna see how people respond.”
“Call it the greatest honeymoon in the world, if you want. It’s been great. But I’m genuinely excited for adversity.”
Robert Saleh’s ready for @nyjets camp. PLUS …
💥 NIL and NFL agents.
💥 Shanahan on Alex Gibbs.
💥 Steph, A-Rod, MORE!https://t.co/qDyJgt03NJ
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 19, 2021
Robert Saleh was one of the most highly-regarded candidates on the 2021 NFL head coach hiring cycle. Between his superb four years as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator and another 15 years rising through the ranks of college and the NFL, there was no way he wasn’t going to be a head coach this year.
But Saleh had better get used to dealing with adversity because the team he takes over now is going to give him plenty of it.
The New York Jets are coming off their worst season since the Rich Kotite era, giving up a franchise record 473 points in 2020. They responded by jettisoning QB Sam Darnold and drafting Zach Wilson out of BYU.
Their cupboard is largely empty of top-tier talent, largely consisting of young players with potential upside.
Saleh has the right attitude to take over a seemingly hopeless situation like they have in New York. But it’ll take more than a cheerful disposition to make it as the Jets head coach.