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Jets' Robert Saleh and His Brother Clap Back at Harsh Criticism From Rex Ryan

After Robert Saleh was ripped by one of his predecessors, the head coach stood up for himself and responded (with some help from his brother on social media)

One day after the Jets were disgraced by the Bills, head coach Robert Saleh received some harsh criticism from one of his predecessors. 

Rex Ryan, who spent six seasons as the Jets' head coach, bashed Saleh's defense on Monday, voicing his displeasure at comparisons that cited their similar defensive backgrounds.  

"This guy is supposed to be a defensive guru," Ryan said in an interview with ESPN Radio's DiPietro & Rothenberg Monday morning. "I take it personal. Everything I heard was this guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad part. 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 years the 49ers were dead last in their division. So, they are going to be dead last again. 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."

Hours later, during an interview with The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio, Saleh responded.

"I've never met Rex. I've never had a conversation with Rex," Saleh said in his weekly spot on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. "I don't even know him except for people who know him throughout the league.

"Obviously, if it's that personal for him, he knows where to find me."

Asked if he's surprised by what Ryan said, Saleh snapped back one more time.

"Nah, I'm not surprised by him. He's always got something to say."

If you haven't had a chance to hear either of the comments yet, take a listen in this embedded tweet (both clips are edited together):


Two coaches going back and forth is one thing. But Saleh's side wasn't finished. 

On Twitter, Saleh's brother, David Saleh, added fuel to the fire with a strongly-worded tweet directed to Ryan.

"Rex Ryan took over a good [Eric] Mangini roster," he wrote. "Won with it the 1st 2 years and lost with his own roster every year after. The only person making comparisons is you in an effort to stay relevant. Stick to podiatry and eating cheese burgers clown!"

Ryan went 46-50 during his tenure as the Jets' head coach, taking Gang Green to back-to-back AFC Championship games in his first two years at the helm. New York's defense was elite back then, perennially ranking among the best in football. 

Since 2010, however, the Jets haven't been back to the playoffs once and have slipped deeper into mediocrity. 

Saleh was brought in this past offseason to help build a new culture and standard in Florham Park, a process that's going to take time, especially with a young roster and rookie quarterback. 

It's been rough sledding so far for Saleh and his staff, though. The Jets are 2-7 entering play in Week 11, allowing 32.9 points and 417.1 yards per game, both the worst marks in the National Football League. 


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