Robert Saleh affirms confidence after season-opening defeat: ‘This is not the same old Jets’

Robert Saleh needed to clear the air before turning his complete attention to the Jets’ Week 2 matchup in Cleveland.

Asked to elaborate further on his receipt-taking comments to the media on Monday, the Jets head coach admitted Wednesday that he was caught “in a passionate moment defending our locker room” and it wasn’t meant as a personal shot anybody. However, the confidence that derives from that dialogue remains for Saleh.

“I think everyone in the locker room, including the coaching staff, knows how we all feel about one another and how much confidence we have in one another,” Saleh told reporters. “My words, my display of emotion, which I do my best to control up here, I’ve got conviction over it.

“This is not the same old Jets. But until we win, until we prove it, which is on us as coaches and on us as players, the shots will keep on coming. And so, we welcome them — keep bringing them. It’s not going to change or mission, and that’s to bring this organization and this fan base a winner.”

Saleh donned a shirt that read “Positive Vibes Only” during Wednesday’s media conference, which was in person as opposed to the virtual call held on Monday when he made the aforementioned receipt remarks.

With Week 2 now in their sights, Saleh went on to clear up one item left in the wake of his impassioned presser, particularly when it comes to the team’s current starting quarterback, Joe Flacco.

“Joe is our quarterback,” Saleh declared.

Flacco completed a league-high 37 of 59 pass attempts for 307 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the season-opening 24-9 loss to the Ravens. Boos cascaded MetLife Stadium as Gang Green’s offense trotted off the field after several fruitless drives, and chants for backup Mike White forced Saleh to address the topic afterward.

Saleh implied on Wednesday that Flacco’s issues were overblown as the QB was under constant pressure by Baltimore. A few drops, penalties and turnovers wasted a great defensive effort against the Ravens, and their rhythm-less offense was stuck in the mud until late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.

The loss amounted to the franchise’s fourth straight season-opening defeat, but good news might be on the horizon for Saleh’s Jets.

Second-year QB Zach Wilson returned to the practice field in uniform on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on Aug. 16. The initial expectation was a 2-to-4 week recovery timeline upon the completion of his surgery, but the Jets later ruled Wilson out for at least the first three games of the season.

Notching a win before their starting QB returns could not only do wonders to reaffirm his confidence in the team, but that of a Jets fan base losing faith.

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