Skip to main content

Notebook | HC Robert Saleh Extends Challenge to Team After Thanksgiving Break

QB Aaron Rodgers Delivering Lift; Jets Have Decision to Make at Left Tackle


When the team returned to 1 Jets Drive on Monday, after the Jets Week 12 loss to the Dolphins on Black Friday, HC Robert Saleh offered the team a challenge: To 'control' what it can control.

"It is just constructive criticism," LB Jermaine Johnson said. "It is just someone wanting to be the best version of yourself, and coach wants us to be the best version of this team that we can be. And that is how I think most everybody is taking it. We are looking to fix what he had up there for us."

LG Laken Tomlinson added: "Obviously, it didn't go as well as we wanted it to go last Friday, but Coach was just talking to us in the team meeting room. He challenged us, he challenged us so that we can all be better as players and coaches."

And players have embraced the call to action. According to captain C.J. Mosley, the teams used theweekend after Friday's game to decompress. Back at 1 Jets Drive, the team had meetings and spent the day watching film and having honest and open conversations about how to correct the problems that have led to a four-game skid.

"I woke up this more and put on my captain hat and tried to be positive," Mosley said. "We ended up having a really good day today. A lot of us tried to get on the same page and get this train back on the tracks. I think the best thing I heard today was for everyone to 'ace your controllables,' and that is how you come to work."

Aaron Rodgers Back in the Building
Over the weekend, QB Aaron Rodgers rejoined the Jets full-time as he continues to rehab from a torn Achilles tendon. Back at 1 Jets Drive, Rodgers didn't have a "special message," but has his appearance in Florham Park has had an uplifting effect on the team.

"I can share with you this," Tomlinson said. "Just coming in and just seeing Aaron this morning and actually seeing him in there doing treatment, he is a guy who is in there and doing everything he can treatment wise. For me, coming in off the game that we had and seeing him and how hard he's been working, that was motivation for me."

Rodgers ruptured his Achilles tendonin Week 1 against the Bills (Sept. 11) and hasbeen on anunprecedented pace to return from the injury according to hisappearances on "The Pat McAfee Show." The future Hall of Famer playedcatch before the Jets Week 6 game against the Eagles, four weeks after surgery. Now a two and half months later, Rodgers has continued to show progress and is targeting practicing with the team soon.

NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that there isa "chance" Rodgers practices this week ahead of the Jets Week 13 matchup with the Falcons, but "more likely" the week after. Rapoport added that Rodgers plans to target the Jets' Week 16 game against the Commanders on Dec. 24 for a return.

"He needs to show that he is not doing damage to himself by being out there and that he can protect himself," Rapoport said. "Then he will be able to practice."

Rodgers' status remains out of the team's control, but the presence of the four-time MVP is encouraging for a team looking to right the ship.

"Just excited to actually go with him through this process," LB C.J. Mosley said. "Just getting him back on the field, getting healthier. Just him being in the building for the whole team, is just another sign for us to just keep taking it one day at a time, keep getting better."

Left Tackle Log Jam
Rookie OL Carter Warren started at LT for the Jets in Week 12 and impressed HC Robert Saleh. With T Mekhi Becton hoping to return this week from an ankle sprain and veteran T Duane Brown being added to the active roster last Thursday, the Jets will have a tough decision ahead on who to start in Week 13 vs the Falcons.

"I'll sit down and talk with them," Saleh said. "I thought Carter Warren, Carter for missing all OTA's and training camp, I'm excited about him. He's fought over the last two weeks, stepped in when really, we weren't expecting him to play at all this season. I'm very encouraged by what he's done with his opportunity. We'll see if we can find a way to get him more opportunities for the rest of the year."

Warren, who took 49 snaps at Buffaloat left tackle after Becton hurt his ankle in Week 11, played 58 snaps (100%) against Miami. Becton, beforethe injury, started Week 1 at right tackle before moving to left tackle in Week 2 and starting every game before the injury at Buffalo.

"The young guys have definitely stepped up," LG Laken Tomlinson said. "Having Mekhi move over for when Duane [Brown] went down, and then Carter filling in when Mekhi went down. I really truly appreciate how hard those guys have been working. Those guys are busting their tails everyday giving us a chance and it's always fun talking to the young guys, because you can see how much they're just so attentive to absorbing all the knowledge."

Related Content