After an 0-2 start and a four-turnover game against the Patriots in Week 2, Jets head coach Robert Saleh is eager for another chance, on Sunday against the Broncos in Denver.
"I think we all are," he said. "I know I am. Call it a biased look of the film, I felt like we played a really good brand of football, we just turned it over four times. In the history of football, you'll never win. I think I speak for the entire organization when I say we're 'chomping' at the bit to get back on the football field and try to showcase who we are."
The numbers back up Saleh's statement. The Jets outgained the Patriots in most offensive categories including total yards (336 to 260). Defensively, the Green & White held New England to 25% on third down and QB Mac Jones threw for fewer than 200 yards. Saleh said he'll know the identity of his team when adversity hits. After two losses, Saleh is happy with the way his team has responded throughout the week.
"You're establishing who you are and right now, these guys are showing resolve," he said. "They're showing to be able to bounce back and take coaching and to be engaged and to ask questions. That hasn't stopped. You're seeing a group of men who have shown no signs of quit and we shouldn't. It's the first two games of the year, but the deeper we get, the more the identity will show itself and our style and the way we respond to negative things."
Saleh's Mother Knows Best
Robert Saleh has been the Jets head coach for only two regular-season games and as is usually the case in good or bad times, everyone has an opinion.
So why should the coach's mother be any different? Answer: Apparently she isn't from what Saleh said this week.
"She'll probably kill me, God bless my mother," Saleh said. "Broken English, doesn't even know how many yards it takes to get a first down and she was coaching me up on what we should tell our receivers."
Saleh's parents are immigrants from Lebanon.
The tidbit of motherly advice drew laughter from the assembled reporters at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
Saleh continued: "So, everybody's got an opinion but, you know what, I had an opinion, too. You take it with a grain of salt but, I'm not afraid to absorb all the information because you never know what you might find. All of it's worth something.
"I was a little upset at the time so, I'm not sure I took it all in, even though I should've. I'm pretty sure it was something about the, I don't even remember."
Reporters followed up on Friday, asking if his mother had been in contact, to which Saleh said: "First off, I want to say sorry, ma. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. She's the best. She's always been my biggest fan, but she's a concerned mom like every other mother in the world, so, well warranted."
See the Top Images from the Practice Field Leading Up to the Jets' Road Trip to Denver
Prepping for Bridgewater
Veteran QB Teddy Bridgewater spent the 2018 offseason with the Jets before being traded to New Orleans in the preseason. After two mostly quiet seasons as a backup, he moved to Carolina and played in 15 games last season. But he was traded again (to Denver) when the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from the Jets.
So far, he's taken the Broncos to a pair of road victories to start the 2021 NFL season, and will open up at home against Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and his players.
"Obviously, our rush has to come alive and can't give him a lot of time back there and we got to be sound on the back end," Ulbrich said. "It's interesting because I've been around Teddy Bridgewater for a long time now, being in the NFC South and just in general and he's a guy that's historically been known as a high percentage guy. Short intermediate passes, and for the first time, he's pushing the ball. I feel like for the real first time there's a concerted effort to throw deeper. It's going to test us, it's going to be a great test for us, for sure."
In two games (wins at the Giants and at Jacksonville), Bridgewater has completed more than three-quarters of his passes (54 of 70) with four scoring tosses and no interceptions for a 120.7 QB rating. He has been sacked five times.
"He's been consistent," LB C.J. Mosley said. "Everything that we've seen from him in the past. He's a smart quarterback. He's not going to force the ball down the field, when he does have a shot, he will take it. He's great at seeing that check down, he's great at getting the ball down to his guys to make them make plays. I think if we do our job on the back end, linebackers do a great job on playing the overs and playing the run game, once we eliminate that, he's definitely going to get the ball to his running backs and to the tight end, so we just have to do a good job, run to the ball, and tackle him."
WR Jamison Crowder(groin) will be a game-time decision and Saleh believes he'll be ready to be thrown into the fire whenever that time comes. "From a conditioning standpoint, he'll be fine," Saleh said. "From a schematic standpoint, he knows this scheme like the back of his hand and he executed it in Washington. He's been here long enough, he's a veteran, so he'll be fine. So when he's ready to roll, he'll be able to jump right in."
LB Jamien Sherwood(foot) has been a full participant in practice and will likely return to the lineup on Sunday. … John Franklin-Myers(calf) and Zach Wilson (groin) will be good to go as well. WR Denzel Mimswill be a game-time decision, but Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur are happy with the way he's practiced the last two weeks.
Saleh was wearing a Mepham HS shirt Friday, paying homage to the Gatorade HS Player of the Week, Sofia LaSpina, who became the first woman to score a touchdown in a Long Island varsity football game. LaSpaina will be at MetLife Stadium Week 4 when the Jets host the Titans.