Robert Saleh takeaways from OTAs, including Jets still learning about QB Zach Wilson

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Robert Saleh wearing Islanders jersey during Zoom
Robert Saleh wearing Islanders jersey during Zoom

Robert Saleh pulled up to his news conference on Thursday rocking an Islanders jersey right after the team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“Supporting all New York teams,” the Jets head coach told reporters via Zoom, smiling.

He just can’t wait for his own New York team to have fans in MetLife Stadium again, cheering them on to a hopeful playoff run in his first year as head coach.

“Had an opportunity to get out there and it was really just to kinda go through a walk-through and anything that we may or may not want to add or take away to create a better gameday experience not only for our fans, but our players,” Saleh said. “It was an awesome experience. Got to take the kids over there which was good for them. They were excited they got a free day out of school. It was great. It was awesome to be able to go there. Can’t wait for the fans to fill it up.”

MetLife will be allowing full capacity by the time kickoff comes in September, but Saleh already caught a glimpse of what those cheers will be like – more specifically, the “J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!” chant.

“We walked out of the tunnel and they blared on the speakers the Jets chant,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you, I got a little bit of goosebumps.”

Here’s what else Saleh touched on heading into another Jets practice…

Jets still learning about Zach Wilson

OTAs and minicamps are always good for rookies to get acclimated to their new team as well as showcase what they’re going to bring to the table.

For Saleh, though, the real player comes out when adversity strikes. That’s why he says the Jets are still learning about their new franchise QB.

“We’re still learning. I’d love to give you an answer on that one right now, but there’s going to be so much more to learn and your best learning comes through adversity and conflict. Obviously, OTAs, everything’s been feel good. Everyone’s excited about everything that’s happening around the organization. But until we actually hit adversity will we learn more about each other and how we handle things.”

Young CBs still working through new scheme

The question of whether or not the Jets will add a veteran cornerback is still up in the air, so Saleh was once again asked it. But he deferred to the fact that the current secondary on the roster is trying to work through his new scheme compared to last year’s.

“They’re growing. Obviously, there’s a learning curve. With Coach [Gregg] Williams a year ago, there was more of a Cover 2 base. We’re here, we’re more Single High based. So they’re being asked to learn completely new techniques and play into the style that we play. Everyone’s different, doesn’t make them wrong or right. It’s an opportunity for them to continue to grow.

“They still have two more minicamps, so we’ll sit down, we’ll reassess and see where we’re at. As of now, the focus is just on them.”

Elijah Moore’s versatility already being showcased

When Moore was taken in the second round by the Jets back in April, his versatility at wide receiver was a main reason why he was regarded as one of the best in his class.

Well, the Ole Miss product is already impressing his new head coach with that very attribute.

“He’s a dynamic young man. One of the things that’s really been great for him – not that it’s been a surprise to see that it’s actually happened – is what makes those guys difficult to defend is that he can line up as Z, F, or X. He can line up wherever you want him. He’s going to execute at a high level.

“He’s showcasing his ability to be as versatile as possible.”

No update on Jamison Crowder

GM Joe Douglas and Crowder continue to have conversations about his contract heading into its final year, with the former reportedly wanting the latter to take a pay cut.

Saleh says that Crowder is welcome to any practice he’d like, but he doesn’t have an update on when that will happen.

“With Jamison, he’s having all the discussions with Joe and that’s always going to go back to Joe’s book. But it’s minicamp, everybody’s welcome obviously. If he’s here – I haven’t had a conversation with him on it – it will be awesome to have him here.”