This is a defining moment for Robert Saleh.
A game of moments of truth.
It’s too early to call Patriots vs. Jets a must-win.
That’s a better win.
The adversity that hits every head coach and every team came too soon for Saleh’s Jets.
This take-flight season turned into an eerie possibility of a take-flight season when Aaron Rodgers fell to the turf after four snaps.
Monday night’s miraculous, fleeting euphoria against the Bills turned into a heartbreaking knockout loss against the Cowboys, and Zach Wilson said if coaches did the following: It gave them little to no confidence that they could end a 12-year playoff drought. He had no offensive or defensive line to help or support him.
Saleh has since vowed not to let his jet come crashing down, and now it is his responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.
With Rodgers not just out of mind, but out of sight, there’s an undeniable leadership vacuum, and it’s up to the head coach to fill it.
That’s why Saleh stood before his team Wednesday to remind them the sky isn’t falling.
“Even though Aaron is here, he’s the head coach,” Connor McGovern told the Post. “We want to be a player-led locker room, but Saleh is the leader of the boys. He knows how to motivate people and when to do what. His message is always Mr. Saleh’s leadership is second to none.
“We all watched ‘Hard Knocks’ a lot. It wasn’t a show. Team meetings are like that all the time. I like to call them parables, but there’s a better word for it. Because you never know. They’re always spot on and I think everyone can learn a lot from each player. A lot of them are life lessons that can be learned not only on the field but also off the field. He cares about you as a person. He’s honest, he’s humble, and that’s the type of guy you want to go into battle with and the type of guy you’ll follow in any situation.”
Saleh cites psychologist David Rosenthal’s Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, which refers to a situation in which high expectations improve performance and low expectations decrease performance.
“The more positive you are and the more you try to be positive, the more you’re going to accomplish,” McGovern said.
“Basically, it’s just don’t listen to everyone and just stay positive,” McGovern said with a laugh.
Saleh is 0-4 against Bill Belichick, the Jets are somehow 0-14 against him in the last 14 games, and it’s time for him and his Jets to take a stand and end this madness. It’s time to do it.
The last thing Saleh needs is a loss to a Patriots team that is 0-2. That would open up the possibility of a 1-5 record against the Chiefs, the Broncos on the road, and then the Eagles.
The last thing Saleh needs is a crisis of confidence mounting without Rodgers by his side to guide and manage standards and culture.
“It’s great to have a player like him,” Saleh said in the spring. “He’s a player who embodies all of that, who embodies what you want in a footballer, who has a track record of success, who has a voice.” Like him, we don’t have to worry about the things we can’t control. It will make your work easier. ”
But now he has to worry more about things he can’t control. “The teams with the best coaches are the ones that coach themselves,” Saleh has said since his days as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator.
Defensive end Quinton Jefferson: “We’re a player-driven team. He sets the tone, but I still think there’s a lot of great leaders in this room who have carried that burden since the eight went away. ”
There were other leaders in Saleh’s locker room, but Rodgers was the piper, player and coach.
Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Billy Turner all became Jets because of Rodgers.
Dalvin Cook wanted to play with Rodgers.
The Jets’ hiring of OC Nathaniel Hackett helped lure Rodgers out of retirement from Green Bay.
And now Hackett is struggling alone trying to devise a game plan for Wilson…against Belichick.
Saleh is a CEO that Adam Gase is not, but defense is his forte, and his bossy defense got punched in the mouth early and often by the Cowboys.
Just as Belichick’s defense has a man advantage over Hackett’s offense, Saleh’s defense will have a man advantage over Belichick’s offense. Mainly because Wilson (2 TDs, 7 INTs, 50.6 passer rating, gasp) looked like a lamb to the GOAT.
It is imperative for Saleh and coordinator Jeff Ulbrich’s defense to leave the field on third down this time so that Hackett at least has a chance to establish a ground game to protect Wilson from himself and Belichick. It will be.
“One game doesn’t define me,” Jefferson said.
It’s better to win this one.