Jets takeaways from Robert Saleh, including praise for rookie WRs Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh speaks at a news conference before OTAs.
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh speaks at a news conference before OTAs. / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after the Jets announced their initial 53-man roster for the 2023 season, head coach Robert Saleh met with reporters.

Here are some key takeaways from what Saleh had to say on Wednesday morning...

On rookie receivers Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson making the team

“Tremendous work by them obviously to open up with an impression during OTAs. I thought Brownlee and X both did a nice job of putting themselves on the map early to get us excited about them going into training camp, and they’ve answered the bell since. X has shown dynamic ability in the return game. He’s a really good football player, he’s got great feel for space. Obviously in the pass game he still has a long way to go, but he’s going to get better. The way he works, his intent, his mindset, you can tell he’s going to be a really good football player in this league.

"As for Brownlee, again, same thing. He’s got an ability to make really tough, contested catches. Obviously, he didn’t show much during the preseason, didn’t get many opportunities, but in practice, it seemed like once every other day he was coming down with an unbelievable catch that was heavily contested. Another young man who also has a long way to go, but from a special teams standpoint and all of that stuff, he’ll continue to get better with his mindset."

Is Gipson the No. 1 returner right now?

“We’re going to work through it. Mecole [Hardman] still has something to say about it. … Still some decisions to be made. Nothing set in stone with the return game and all that, but knowing that he’s an option is a good thing."

On what should be a very competitive AFC East division

"The mindset doesn’t change because the good thing is, yes, we’re in a really tough division, but they all got to play us too. The mindset is always about us and what we can bring and it’s about whether they can stack up with us. Sounds cocky, I get it, but you can’t think of it any other way. It’s not about the opponent. It’s about what you do every day to be the best version of yourself. We’ve got an unbelievable division … I think it’s going to be exciting to see how it all plays out."

How much motivation is there for Jets to win first division title since 2002?

"I know there’s been so much talk about Super Bowls and division [titles] outside the building, and there’s even talk inside the building about embracing those possibilities, but it’s not something that’s talked about. Everybody knows what the goal is. Everybody knows what we’re trying to accomplish. What’s talked about in this building is ‘Are you doing everything you can to get better? Are you doing everything you can to go to bed better than you woke up?’ And that’s it. The results will take care of themselves."

On the talent level of the defense

“There’s a style we want, a mindset we want to play with, and it’s [about] bringing in the people that you feel can execute that style and mindset. I love that group. They absolutely have the mindset, they work every day, and they do everything they can to maximize who they are as individuals every day that they walk into this building. … It is a really cool group of guys."

Does 'The Sopranos' ride to the stadium from 'Hard Knocks' give you some street cred?

"I don’t know. My brother texted me. I don’t get street cred til my wife signs off, so I’ll wait for her to watch the show."