Rex Ryan and Robert Saleh appear to have buried their Gang Green hatchet.
The former and current Jets coaches had a war of words last week, which started when Ryan said he took it “personal” hearing Saleh compared to him, and Saleh responded by saying Ryan “knows where to find me.”
Ryan seemingly found Saleh over the phone, where they hashed out the snafu and came out of it with a much different tone.
“I was blown away by the guy,” Ryan said Sunday morning on ESPN. “He’s got a direction for this football team. I’m telling you, Jets fans, the more I talked to him, the more impressed I was with Robert Saleh. I became a fan of his. Taking my call and all that speaks volumes about him. But it was way more about, we put that stuff behind us. But it was about the future of this team, and I’m just telling you something, this guy’s got a great plan and I think they got it right.”
It was a stark contrast from the way Ryan had spoken about Saleh earlier in the week.
The current ESPN analyst, who coached the Jets to a 46-50 record from 2009 to 2014, was offended by comparisons to Saleh. The first-year, defensive-minded coach has the Jets off to a 2-7 start this season with the worst-ranked defense in the league.
“This guy is supposed to be a defensive guru. I take it personal. Everything I heard was this guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad part,” Ryan said in an interview on ESPN Radio on Monday. “Some of the bad part you need, because this team doesn’t want to play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that is disappointing to me.
“Don’t ever compare this Robert Saleh guy to me. Statistically, one time they were a top defense. Four out of five times they were dead last in their division. They are going to be dead last again, so he’s going to be used to that. To me, I am little pissed off about it when I heard his background is a lot like yours. No, it isn’t. No, it isn’t.”
Saleh fired back later in the day.
“I’ve never met Rex. I’ve never had a conversation with Rex. I don’t even know him, except for people who know him throughout the league,” Saleh said on ESPN Radio. “Obviously, if it’s that personal for him, he knows where to find me.”
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