Friday Night Whispers

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Josh Allen should certainly have extra motivation this week after the Jets coach said they “embarrassed” him in Week 1.

Following the Jets’ upset of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jets coach Robert Saleh made headlines by saying: “Through these first six weeks, we’ve played a gauntlet of quarterbacks. I know we haven’t gotten all the wins, but we’ve embarrassed all of them.”


You have to wonder how Buffalo’s Josh Allen felt about that comment, and if he will use it as motivation when the Jets travel to Orchard Park on November 19. Allen threw three picks in the Jets 22-16 upset over the Bills in Week 1. Allen is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and a very driven competitor. Will that comment give him extra juice? We shall see. Embarrassment can be a major motivator for athletes.

You know darn well. Allen will look to make the Jets lives hell at High Mark Stadium on November 19.

Not just because the Bills need to win, but not wanting to get “embarrassed” again by the Jets’ defense.

New York Post beat-writer Brian Costello, one of the few willing to ask tough questions, asked Saleh about that quote today:

Brian Costello, The New York Post: Robert, after the Eagles game, in the glow of that win, you mentioned how your defense had embarrassed all the quarterbacks you’ve played.  You are going to see one of those guys on Sunday, I am sure he has been made aware of that comments. You know, would you like to reword that or double down?

“Double down? No. Josh (Allen), like I said embarrassing was probably the wrong choice of words in the heat of the battle. Josh is a phenomenal quarterback. He’s one of the top 10 quarterbacks in ball, takes a lot of pride. I mean, he’s a one-man wrecking crew and a damn near superman on the football field.,” Saleh said.

Might be too late with the praise.

Saleh is a good man, a compassionate man, good family man, but he might need to work on his word choices in the future.

Whether it’s in the “heat of the battle” or not, perhaps it’s best to avoid saying you “embarrassed” opponents. You don’t see that word used very often, if ever, when a coach talks about opponents.

A couple of weeks ago, Saleh said he “pleads the fifth” on whether somebody above him is forcing him to continue playing Zach Wilson. That quote became a national story, discussed on a lot of talking head shows on cable television, and led to conspiracy theories.

He said this week that he said Zach Wilson is “actually playing pretty well.”

Wilson has thrown one touchdown pass in the last five games, and that was a short pass to Breece Hall that the running back took 50 yards for a touchdown.

“You are 32nd on third down. You are 32nd in the red zone on offense. Who is playing well at QB,” former NFL GM Mike Lombardi said on VSIN. “Those are two numbers that really tell you about what the QB is doing with the football.”

Bill Parcells once said about the quarterback position: “Your job is to get your team in the end zone and that is how you will be judged.”

While it’s not all Wilson’s fault, some people might find it insulting to their intelligence for a coach to say Wilson is “playing pretty well.”

“If it’s not Zach, who is it? Is it the offensive line, is it the receivers? You can’t say he’s playing well. The answer is no one is playing well,” Lombardi said.

Saleh’s a bright man, a philosophical man, but sometimes his word choices get him in trouble.

November 17, 2023

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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