The New York Jets officially kicked off their 2021 offseason programs on Friday, May 7 with rookie minicamp.
After a short practice in the morning, Jets head coach Robert Saleh was scheduled to speak with the media.
A few minutes into the presser coach Saleh was asked a routine question about his transition from defensive coordinator, where he spent the last four years with the San Francisco 49ers, to his new gig as the head honcho overseeing the entire operation.
Saleh’s response was clearly the best moment so far from the Jets rookie minicamp:
“I’ll give you a quick little funny story. We just had our bigs out there and we were going through workouts when the horn blew for practice to be over. I started to take my normal spot behind the huddle to listen to the head coach speak and I was like oh shoot that’s me.”
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) May 7, 2021
One of Robert Saleh’s Best Qualities Is His Genuineness
It was a nice light-hearted moment at the beginning of the 2021 rookie minicamp, but speaks to one of the reasons the Jets hired Saleh in the first place.
Saleh comes across as a super genuine person.
The 41-year old first-time NFL head coach is a family man at heart. Saleh and his wife Sanaa have six children: two daughters (Ella and Mila), and four sons (Michael, Zane, Adam, and Sam).
He wasn’t born and bred into football like some other coaches in recent memory. Saleh seemed destined for an average job working a normal life until suddenly he wasn’t.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Everyone that is old enough to remember, knows where they were when a series of coordinated terrorist attacks rocked our world on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Saleh was in the middle of his parent’s living room watching the tragedy play out on television hoping it wasn’t real. “Robert’s big brother, David, was working on the 61st floor of the south tower,” per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
Fortunately, Saleh’s brother made it out alive but the life-altering event changed what he wanted out of his life. He quit his ordinary job with a stable salary to pursue a career in professional football.
It was a wide-ranging and wild journey through a variety of college stops, NFL positional jobs, that eventually led to him becoming the 18th full-time head coach in Jets history.
Not only is Saleh genuine, but he’s also very relatable. His answers at press conferences don’t seem forced or fake. Saleh has an engaging personality and smile that draws you in. That’s something that several of his ex-players came out and said shortly after it was announced that Saleh would be the next head coach of the Jets.
Quite frankly he’s the complete opposite of what Jets fans experienced for the last two calendar years with Adam Gase at the helm. Emotionless. Lack of passion. Zero production.
We’re clearly still in the middle of the honeymoon period only a few months into his tenure. Heck Saleh hasn’t even coached a single game yet, but Jets fans still feel optimistic about the future of the franchise for the first time in a long time.