Neither Rex Ryan nor Robert Saleh are known to have bitten their tongues. Maybe it’s something about training the Jets that requires embarrassment and frankness, or maybe it’s just something about Ryan and Saleh, but the two traded up on Monday.
Ryan, now a character on ESPN’s “NFL Live” and “Get Up,” appeared on an ESPN radio show and let his thoughts known about Saleh, the stature of him as a “defensive specialist” and the Jets’ performance in general.
“This is a terrible defense,” Ryan said. “This guy is supposed to be a defensive master? I’ve heard everything and I’m commenting on this myself because I’ve heard he’s a lot like me, no bad parts.”
Ryan went on to talk about this iteration where the Jets lacked heart and how Saleh got the top defense just once as a dispatcher in San Francisco, which was part of the conversation that made Ryan particularly emotional. size.
“Never compare this guy to me,” Ryan said. “Statistically, there was a time when they were top defenders. This is something he will be familiar with – the last four out of five years, 49 players have died the last time in their division, so he He’s going to die one last time. So he’s used to that.”
Ryan’s assessment of Saleh’s defense seems to be correct.
During Saleh’s time as defensive coordinator from 2017 to 2020, the Niners’ best year defensively was 2019, when they finished second in yards allowed and eighth in total points allowed. . Outside of 2019, the team has played midfield defense.
The Jets also ranked last this year in terms of both points and yards allowed, but Saleh doesn’t seem to care about the merits of Ryan’s claims.
“I’ve never met Rex,” Saleh said on “The Michael Kay Show,” according to the New York Post. “I’ve never talked to Rex. I don’t even know him, except for those who knew him during the tournament. Obviously, if it’s personal to him, he knows to look for me. where. “
And while it’s easy to portray Ryan as a bitter or snubbed ex-coach, he’s got a defensive streak. In two of his final three years as defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Raven placed first in both yards and points allowed in 2006, then second and third in both. two categories in his final year in Baltimore in 2008.
His success translates to the Jets, where, as head coach, the team topped all-round defensively in 2009 and third and sixth respectively in yards and points in 2010. .
“I was a little upset when I heard, ‘This guy’s from a lot like you’ – it’s not like that,” Ryan said.