NY Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh (9.18.22)


On the final minutes of the game and how the locker room felt after:

“You can hear it. We’re off the snide. I love the way this feels. [We have to] find a way to stack them up. There is a lot of stuff that we have to clean up, but I’m just proud of the guys because we didn’t quit. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’ll take away from it.”


On the offseason about waiting for guys to emerge in the fourth quarter and whether this was the vision:

“Yes, we had the benefit of getting the opportunity on that last touchdown from (Browns RB Nick) Chubb. It just gave us an op. That whole fourth quarter you have an opportunity to seize the game. This here, or a couple of dropped passes here. I’m proud of them just to resolve and to regroup. We got that opportunity to take advantage of it and make something spectacular happen.”


On whether there was a moment where the tide shifted and if it was the WR Corey Davis touchdown:

“It was the onside kick because even with that explosive play, they gave us a chance. The onside kick, with the new rules, have been so rare, so once that happened, there was no doubt that we were scoring once we got the ball.”


On whether the onside kick happened right in front of him:

“It was right in front. [I saw it] right away. It was awesome.”


On what he said to the team before the last drive:

“I was trying to stay out of their ear. There were a lot of conversations with the position coaches and (Jets OC) Mike (LaFleur) trying to regroup, so I just told Mike he’s got time. It was almost normal football. There was so much time. I told him, hey don’t give them too much time to score. Credit to those guys. (Jets QB) Joe Flacco was absolutely lights out – four touchdown passes. A really good game from those guys.”


On WR Garrett Wilson:

“Same thing. He’s got grit. He is a dynamic football player. We all know that. He is still trying to find his footing. The sky is the limit. I thought he did a really nice job today. Obviously, he has a couple things that he needs to clean up, especially there in the fourth quarter, but again he showed resolve. He got that big touchdown at the end. He’s going to be a stud for a long time.”


On the team’s maturity to come back from 13 points down with 1:55 left:

“I’m going to go to the quarterback first with Joe. [He is] just a calming force. He has been in a lot of these situations leading a bunch of young men. I thought he was cool, calm, got the ball where it needed to go, and they left the door open just a crack. Just a crack for our guys to break through was awesome.”


On the drastic change of emotions in a span of just a few clock minutes:

“I feel like that happens every game. It does. I have won on a Hail Mary. I have lost on a Hail Marys. I have won in a last-second game. At this point in my life, I’ve experienced all of it, so I’m never surprised at what the league has to offer, but that rollercoaster never changes.”


On WR Corey Davis being buried coming into this game and what is meant for him to make that play:

“Maybe he has been buried to others, but not here. There is a reason why he made this football team. He has been getting better every single week. He was opportunistic last year in finding the ball. He is just getting his feet wet and trying to find his footing. People take for granted how good he is on teams. To give him that opportunity, we went three down, and to try and keep the ball in front. Credit to him for just keeping his eye on the quarterback and he came away with one.”


On whether he has personal vindication after catching heat all week for his quarterback decision:

“No. We have to win a hell of a lot more than one game to cash in on those.”


On how a win like this can catch fire with a young team:

“We’ll see. We’ve got to [gain momentum]. We have no choice. We have a Super Bowl runner-up coming in town this week – a dynamic offense, a really good defense. I’m sure they remember last year, so they’re going to come in guns blazing, and we’ve got to be able to answer it.”


On whether he had conversations with QB Joe Flacco during the week about the quarterback plan:

“No. We talk regularly. Joe is 37 years old. He has been in this league a long time. He has seen the worst of times and the best of times. He knows that last week wasn’t his best game. You just trust that a guy like Joe, who has been in this league long enough, will rebound. You knew that he will take care of the football and that he would get the ball where it needed to go and give ourselves a chance. Even in that first half. That offense is freaking good. That’s an underrated offense over there in Cleveland. We just kept going punch-for-punch and we got that onside kick and gave ourselves a chance.”


On how the defense played:

“We’re going to look back, especially in that fourth quarter. A lot of missed tackles because we’re going for the ball which is unacceptable. We had plenty of time left. We didn’t need to do what we were doing. We’ll just go back and look at that learning moment again. That’s not the time, just get the ball carrier down. If you have a clean shot at it, take a clean shot at it, but credit to them. Those two backs are workhorses. That’s what they do. They just keep grinding on you. We were stuffing the run early. The defense did make that stop in the fourth quarter that knocked them out of field goal range and gave us the ball. But there is still going to be a lot of stuff to clean up when we look back at it.”


On whether it was surprising that Browns RB Nick Chubb scored instead of laying down:

“Yeah, you know what, that’s going to be one that shows up on Friday for us as teachable moments. I’m sure (Browns Head Coach Kevin) Coach Stefanski is very, very detailed. I’m sure that’s in their vocabulary and I’m sure it’s just one of those moments. They scored and the echo on the headset was that they gave us a chance, let’s see what happens.”


On whether teachable moments are easier to look at when you win the game:

“It’s a lot easier. It’s so much easier to have these conversations, but the conversation still has to be real. It still has to be hard. We still have to get a lot of stuff fixed.”


On the injury report:

“Everyone finished the game. They’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, but everyone finished.”


On whether he felt like RB Nick Chubb scoring was the better outcome:

“Yeah, I’ve never been so happy for a missed tackle in my life. That was our only chance. Credit to the offense that stepped up and took advantage of a busted coverage on Corey’s play and left us enough time to get the onside and win.”


On the offensive line containing Browns DE Myles Garrett in the second half:

“I think we wore him out. We were chipping the heck out of him. Running. We ran the ball really well for the most part. It was hot down there. You could just see. The guy is an unbelievable talent. I’m not going to speak for him, but we were trying to bother the heck out of him all game.”


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