Rex Ryan backpedals on criticism of Jets HC Robert Saleh
Rex Ryan. Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

Rex Ryan had some harsh criticism for New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh earlier this week, but the former Jets coach has already changed his tune.

Ryan, who coached the Jets from 2009-14, ripped Saleh during an appearance on ESPN’s “DiPietro and Rothenberg” show. He said he takes it personally that people have compared Saleh to him, saying Saleh is “a lot like (Ryan) without the bad part.” Ryan feels — or felt — that Saleh does not deserve to be mentioned in the same conversation as him.

Apparently Ryan’s opinion changed after he had a conversation with Saleh. Ryan said on ESPN Sunday that he spoke with Saleh this week and is “blown away” by him.

“I thought he was super smart and just has a direction for this football team,” Ryan said. I’m telling you, Jets fans — the more I talked to him the more impressed I was with Robert Saleh. I became a fan of his.”

Ryan’s original frustration probably stemmed more from people ragging on him than it did with being compared to Saleh. It’s completely unfair to judge a first-year head coach based on one season with a rookie quarterback. Saleh may have reminded Ryan of that in their conversation, which is why Rex tried to totally change the narrative on Sunday.

This isn’t the first time Ryan has publicly trashed a head coach. That’s part of his job, but you can understand why Saleh wasn’t happy about it.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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