Rex Ryan has thoughts on New York Jets coach Robert Saleh.
They are not kind. And they've prompted Saleh — and his brother — to fire back at the ex-NFL head coach who led the Jets from 2009-2014.
The salty back-and-forth started with Ryan's appearance on ESPN Radio Monday morning following New York's 45-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the third time in four games the Jets have allowed an opponent to score at least 45 points.
— DiPietro & Rothenberg (@DRonESPN) November 15, 2021
"This guy is supposed to be a defensive guru," Ryan said of Saleh. "I take it personal. Everything I heard was this guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad part. Some of the bad part you need, because this team doesn’t want to play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that's disappointing to me.
“Don’t ever compare this guy to me, this Robert Saleh to me. ... To me, I'm a little pissed off about it when I heard his background is a lot like yours. No, it isn’t. No, it isn’t.”
Saleh fires back
What started as criticism of Saleh's defense quickly turned personal. Saleh heard it. And it sounds like he took the talk as fighting words. Per the New York Post, Saleh fired back at Ryan on "The Michael Kay Show" Monday afternoon.
“I’ve never met Rex," Saleh said, per the Post. "I’ve never had a conversation with Rex. I don’t even know him, except for people who know him throughout the league. Obviously, if it’s that personal for him, he knows where to find me."
Saleh's clearly frustrated. His Jets are 2-7 in his first year on the job. They're giving up a league-worst 32.9 points per game. This is certainly not what he envisioned when arriving in New York after four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Saleh's brother gets personal
He surely doesn't want or need to hear the noise from Ryan. Neither does his brother. While Saleh declined to get personal in return with Ryan beyond the invitation to meet him, David Saleh decided to make things very personal on Twitter. As in jokes about feet and cheeseburgers.
Rex Ryan took over a good Mangini roster. Won with it the 1st 2 years and lost with his own roster every year after. The only person making comparisons is you in an effort to stay relevant. Stick to podiatry and eating cheese burgers clown! https://t.co/3eVUWNNKHG
— David Saleh (@DavidSaleh) November 15, 2021
The gloves are off in New York.