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You shouldn’t talk this way, especially since you really don’t know for sure . . .
ESPN’s Ryan Clark said, on the air, that Robert Saleh needs to “at least lie better.”
Clark feels, basically, the only reason the Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett to be their offensive coordinator was to attract QB Aaron Rodgers to the team. Hackett and Rodgers worked together in Green Bay from 2019-21.
Here is some of Clark’s rant on ESPN’s Get Up:
“Nathaniel Hackett is actually terrible at coaching. He’s terrible at managing an offense. He’s terrible at decision-making, but no, let’s bring him to the Jets, let’s bring him to the Jets because of the quarterback he’s connected to and then Robert Saleh (says) everybody in this league is connected – at least lie better. We know why you went out and got [Hackett]. You didn’t go out and get him because he performed a phenomenal deed in Denver (as head coach).”
To go on the air and say, “At least lie better,” is clearly stepping over the line, especially since you can’t prove there is any lie going on here.
Saleh knows Hackett well. They worked together in Jacksonville in 2015-16 and values him as an offensive coordinator. Hackett didn’t last an entire season as the Broncos’ head coach in 2022, but he’s not being hired as the Jets’ head coach. He’s being hired as their offensive coordinator.
“[Denver is] part of the resume and I get it, but you got to have the discipline to look past recency bias, you got to be able to look past, whatever you want to call Denver, but the fact of the matter is that he got to Denver, and he had that opportunity because of his life’s work as an offensive coordinator,” said Saleh. “There’s a lot of strengths with him, his commitment to complimentary football, the experience, he’s an innovative teacher, he’s got a laundry list of stuff that we’re all really, really excited about.”
Is the chance of getting Rodgers a small part of what attracted Saleh to Hackett, maybe, only Saleh knows that, but even if it’s a small part, that would make Clark’s attack on Saleh’s integrity still way out of line.
Do you really think that Saleh, hired an offensive coordinator, with just Rodgers in mind? First of all, Rodgers isn’t a free agent. He’s under contract with Green Bay for around $59 million this year, and if the Packers trade him, they take a $40 million cap hit. And in order to acquire him, you probably would need to send two first-round picks to Green Bay. Are you willing to give up that kind of draft capital for a QB turning 40 this season and coming off a pedestrian season?
You would have to think that Saleh hired Hackett because he feels he’s a good offensive coordinator. Once again, perhaps not a great head coach, but a good offensive coordinator, the job he was hired to handle.
And you think it’s a good idea to hire a coach, to get Rodgers, who might just be a one-year rental, and then he might retire?
If you are hiring an offensive coordinator, you would be very misguided to hire him for one reason.
And Saleh probably didn’t.
Is the Rodgers factor in the mix? Perhaps, but probably not the only reason.
It’s not like he hired a former Green Bay assistant he never worked with and didn’t know well.
Clark was probably way out of line for calling Saleh a liar.
And let’s not forget, the Jets’ flagship radio station is ESPN Radio New York, so they are media partners with ESPN.
The Jets need to start fighting back against ad hominem attacks on them like this.
Don’t just accept it. Make people think there is a price to pay for this kind of gutter sniping.
February 1, 2023
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