Head Coach Robert Saleh, 5.5

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Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: What are you looking for in this camp as far as what can a guy do to get a contract? What are the tangible things?
Well first, we want to acclimate the kids who will be here on the 90-man roster. So, your undrafted free agents and your rookies that we did draft, we’re putting them through a lot of the things that they’ll see once they get here, so kind of a phase two-ish, an introduction to the scheme. As far as somebody sneaking their way onto the 90, you’re looking for talent, mindset, the way they approach these next two days, obviously there’s a standout on film. They’re going to standout. We took one last year if you guys remember, (Calvin) Jackson, he wound up getting that touchdown in the third preseason game to win it against the Giants. If they’re capable of making the 90, they’ll standout.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, what has this first week with Aaron (Rodgers) been like?
It’s been good. I’ve never been around a quarterback quite like him, personally, and all his experience, his communication, every play, just talking to the receivers, talking to the backs, his demeanor in the meetings, all of that stuff. He practically is another coach out there, he’s pretty impressive.


Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: You say you haven’t been around a quarterback like him, do you mean his accomplishments or just personality?
Just his experience and how vocal he is with regard, in a good way, and how positive he is with the group and how much he wants to share his knowledge. It’s impressive.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Does that surprise you how vocal he is?
No, because when we went in practice with him, just got to see him and for those couple of days and was impressed back then too.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Guessing when you guys had that brief window to talk to him, that you weren’t pressing him about whether he would be here for spring program. How nice is it that it seems like he is all in so to speak, and he has been here already?
As a coach, you want them all here, all the time. Just felt like for him, he’s a very smart individual, very deep and very thoughtful. Personally, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing to say, I was never worried about whether or not he was going to be here. I always felt like if he did want to be here, he was going to be here, if he decided to be a Jet because he is so competitive and he does understand that he has to get acclimated to the new building, he’ll have to get the receivers acclimated to him and he’ll have to get the verbiage in and help get everybody on the same page. In my mind, you just see a fire in the guy’s eye when you’re sitting and talking to him, he’s going to do everything. He’s coming to win and you can just feel it in his voice, you can see it in his eyes and the way he’s going about his business.


Andy Vasquez, The Record: What do you think that has done for other guys here or younger guys or even some veterans to see a guy like that?
I think it’s been good. You talk to Garrett Wilson and you see his interaction with (Allen) Lazard, who’s been in the system and Aaron. (Denzel) Mims looks fantastic and Corey (Davis) looks really good. The backs, the tight ends, everything looks really good and obviously it’s OTA’s, we don’t have pads on, everything is feeling good right now, everything is new and energetic. There’s a saying, I think it was a Jon Gordon saying, “Where there’s a lack of communication, negativity fills the void.” At this stage, I’m just pleasantly surprised at how much communication is happening on the offensive side of the ball with it being so new. A lot of guys work and they get on the same page.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Where do you see Randall (Cobb) working into that receiving room because it seems like it could get pretty crowded, pretty quick?
It’s a really good room. Obviously, I think we get them on the field Monday. He’s got so much familiarity with the system, to be able to play all three spots, he’s very smart, has had a lot of production in his career. It’s just another person to come in and compete.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, there was a lot of talk about Aaron and the wish list and here’s Cobb and (Allen) Lazard and other guys who come in. Was there that wish list? Tell us about that. Was there a conversation? Because you would think a guy would tell you, “Hey, here are some guys I want to play with”. 

I’m trying to say this as respectfully as I can, I’m not attacking anyone. I do think it’s a silly narrative with regards to wish list and I say that because there are 32 teams in the NFL and it’s common practice for when there is changes, when you have a new coaching staff, when you have people coming in that you surround those people with people they are familiar with. I had a wish list – Solomon Thomas, Marcell Harris, DJ Reed, Kwon Alexander, guys who I’ve worked with and are very familiar with my messaging, very familiar with our scheme who can come in and play. We had it on offense with Laken Tomlinson, Tevin Coleman and guys who have been in this system. Shoot, Tom Brady goes to Tampa and he gets (Rob) Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. It is very common for new faces to want old faces to be able to come in and help accelerate the installation of an entire program and it’s not just everything being pinned on the quarterback, it’s not just him. (Nathaniel) Hackett has something to say about it, he loves Lazard, loves Randall, took Billy Turner with him to Denver, wanted him here, so of course you’re going to surround a Coach with people who he feels will be able to plant the flags, so that whole narrative of whatever people are trying to put on the quarterback, I think it’s tired, but it’s common practice in the NFL.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Is Mercedes Lewis a possibility? 

You never know.


Andy Vasquez, The Record: Robert, you guys declined Mekhi Becton’s fifth-year option. I’m curious if that’s added motivation for him going into this year? 

He looks good. He looks fantastic, really, but I don’t know, probably more of a question for him, but I don’t get into the whole business part of it. Just find a way to get better every day, but he’s attacking this offseason the right way and I’m excited for him.


Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Is that an open competition with Mekhi on the right side with Max (Mitchell) or is competing on the left side with Duane (Brown)?

We’re going to play our best five. You can assume AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker) is the best right guard and Laken and our center and both tackles, so it’s going to be a cool competition.


Andy Vasquez, The Record: How do you balance as a Coach, obviously you want to bring in guys that your other coaches and new players are comfortable with, but making sure having the balance of the best guys on the field and when there is a tie between two players, how do you work that out?

At the end of the day, the best 53 will be on the football team and then the best 11 will be on the football field when it comes time to snap the ball, but at the same time, the reason why we’re excited to bring those guys in is because they stand for everything we believe in. You look at Allen Lazard and he came in as an undrafted free agent and he’s got all this unbelievable ability to him and he’s made himself. Randall has such an amazing amount of experience. Billy Turner has so much experience, but they’re internally driven individuals who want to win football games and love the game of football, so it’s like why wouldn’t you bring them in to help accelerate and plant the flag and echo the message and Nathaniel and his staff are trying to accomplish.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, what do you see as Corey Davis’ role this year? You spoke glowingly of him at the owner’s meetings, you just brought him up again unsolicited a couple questions ago. When this thing goes into the regular season, where do you see him performing, assuming everyone is healthy?

Again, the cool thing with what Nathaniel is bringing, and this whole system, is there is a lot of versatility amongst the receivers in terms of being able to play multiple spots. The one thing when Corey got hurt last year, we got small pretty quick. If you guys remember. I felt like this year, bringing in Allen and having Corey, we have a lot bigger personnel now. There’s a lot of grinding that goes on in the run game, the red zone, all those big boy catches that happen off the play action pass. Those things are where Allen and Corey excel. It’s not just to limit them to those, we’re going to see how they play within this system over OTAs and training camp and their roles will be defined more, but to have him, you can never have enough receivers. To have a guy like Allen and Corey, then you add Garrett (Wilson) and Mecole (Hardman) with all the speed and all the competition that’s going to happen at that five-six spot, Randall and all that. It’s a really cool group of receivers and exciting to see how it shakes out.

(follow up) So, he will be on this team this year, Corey?

Yes, he’s going to be on this team.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, you were talking about Aaron on the field. What does it show you him going to the Knicks games and the Rangers games with Sauce (Gardner) and Breece (Hall)? I know you were at the Knicks game as well, but just kind of him embracing that role?

He’s soaking it up. New York is different, obviously, I don’t want to speak for him, but I think deep down he’s a big city guy at heart. I think he’s just been enjoying it. I know he was in absolute awe of Madison Square Garden, which I was too when I first went. It’s probably the coolest stadium in all of sports. He’s embracing it, he’s been enjoying all of it. He is cool in the sense that when he is in here though it is football. So, it’s been good.


Connor Hughes, SNY: When Aaron brought Allen to the game and then he brought Sauce, they had their feet on the floor, I think you were in the nosebleeds. 

I was just gracious to be in the stadium.

(follow up) What do you have to do to get one of those seats?

Win a few more games (laughter).

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Robert, I know you’ve only had one practice with him, and it was a light practice, but what’s been your impression of Will (McDonald) since you’ve gotten him in the building?

He is long, big. You look at his height, weight and then you see him and you’re like, ‘Wow, he just feels bigger.’ There’s no doubt in an NFL program with an NFL training table, he’s going to get another 10-15 pounds. He’s going to be pretty cool. I’m excited to work with him.


Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: There’s an undrafted free agent from Dearborn, Hassan (Beydoun). Is there a backstory there?

Hometown kid. Let’s see if he can make it.