Rich ChiminiESPN staff writer3 minutes to read
FLORHAM PARK, NJ — New York Jets coach Robert Saleh and key veteran leaders had no issue with injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers – in absentia – being recalled to the team for his sideline altercations. They agreed with his opinion.
“He’s right, man, you can’t just go off and show our frustration on the sideline — especially on the sideline,” DJ Reed said Wednesday.
Rodgers, who is rehabilitating a torn Achilles tendon in California, said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show” that the Jets “need to grow a little bit” and “keep our balance a little better.” He said the team — losers of two straight games — must do a better job of dealing with negativity.
Saleh said he had no problem with the remote commentary.
Saleh said: “He is a coach as much as he is a player. He was in his youth and faced adversity, and he saw everything.” “So for him to realize that and talk about it, I think he’s not wrong that when you’re feeling down, it’s easy to look for answers when sometimes the most important answer is within.”
He added: “As for what he said, he is not wrong.” “But at the same time, there is a group of young guys who are showing a little frustration, but they will be OK.”
During the Jets’ 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots, Michael Carter and wide receiver Garrett Wilson engaged in lively discussions with the assistant coaches. They were caught on camera, fueling the perception of dysfunction. Both players downplayed the importance of these events, attributing them to the heat of emotions. Center Connor McGovern didn’t mind Rodgers’ comments.
“Yes, he’s trying to be encouraging,” McGovern said. “We shouldn’t have fights on the sidelines, whether positive or negative. It brings the wrong energy. If you break out with that kind of behavior, it could cause panic and you don’t need to.”
Rodgers became the team’s captain upon his arrival from the Green Bay Packers in April. His injury in the first week kept him out of the team, but he still wants to stay involved even though he is 2,800 miles away. He is a member of the Jets’ leadership council, which is made up of key vets, and contributes to the council group’s text with weekly words of encouragement and motivation, according to the players.
But it’s an unusual dynamic to have an injured player, outside the building and on such a high-profile platform, share his weekly thoughts on the team. Saleh does not see this as an unhealthy situation.
“No, that won’t be a problem,” he said. “I don’t think he should be. He’s part of this team, he has ideas, and I think he does a really good job of expressing those ideas in a respectful way.”
Reed said they appreciate Rodgers’ leadership, whether he is in attendance or on the other side of the country.
“Oh, sure,” Reed said. “Aaron, he’s definitely left a mark on this locker room. We have the utmost respect for Aaron and everything he says. Everyone is listening.”
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