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When coach Robert Saleh said he was “taking receipts” a few weeks ago it was a quick peek at what the New York Jets believe internally. It was a glimpse into a feeling that payback for years of struggle is not only coming but is already here.
And this week is an open sign of those times.
We got an indication of that when the Jets lost rookie running back Breece Hall for the season to a knee injury. Rather than accept being diminished and moving on with the next man up mentality, general manager Joe Douglas went shopping for the best man he could dial up.
He traded for James Robinson.
Jets Making Moves, Might Not Be Done
Robinson may not be as dynamic as Hall but he is a former 1,000-yard rusher for the Jacksonville Jaguars and a career 4.5-yard-per-carry runner.
And there’s more:
Less than a week before the Nov. 1 trade deadline, Douglas is still trying to make additions, according to NFL sources. He’s been calling teams shopping for upgrades, including at offensive line.
When’s the last time that happened?
“I don’t remember in the last couple of years getting a call from him asking about players who might be available he’d like to add,” one NFL general manager told OutKick. “This is what happens when you win four in a row, I guess.”
Jets ‘Taking Receipts’ Against the Patriots?
The Jets have indeed won four consecutive games and think of themselves as improving. They obviously believe themselves good enough to eventually pay back those that took advantage of them in recent down years.
“I’m taking receipts, and I’m gonna be more than happy to share them with all of y’all when it’s all said and done,” Saleh told reporters the second week of September.
And the New England Patriots may have stamped one of those receipts.
Bill Belichick’s team dominated the AFC East for nearly two decades and everyone accepts that. Tom Brady was the best quarterback in the division — and on planet Earth — and all the other teams were often not even competitive.
But last year when the Patriots smashed the Jets to the tune of 54-13, that felt different for Saleh and his staff. That wasn’t a Brady beatdown from the Patriots at their height. It was a team scoring late to pad the score, and that felt insulting.
It felt, well, personal.
Defensive Coach Jeff Ulbrich ‘Taking Receipts’
Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, whose unit yielded seven touchdowns and 551 yards, certainly remembers.
“Yup, I do,” Ulbrich said Thursday. “I remember the score. I remember a lot of things. I remember it being 40-plus and shots still being taken on us.”
“It is what it is,” Ulbrich continued. “It’s our job as a defensive coaching staff and as a defense to stop that. At the end of the day, it comes down to what we can control, and we allowed way too much last year.
“Been looking forward to this one.”
Does that sound like Ulbrich kept a receipt on the Patriots? Does that sound like he’s intending to get a beatdown refund on Sunday?
It does to me.
The Patriots actually substituted for starting quarterback Mac Jones in the fourth quarter of that game. But backup Brian Hoyer did indeed keep throwing in the final 6:42. And he did complete a 28-yard pass that set up New England’s final score.
“Yeah, I wasn’t fired up about it,” Ulbrich said. “Try not to say too much. So, I’ve been told.”
The Jets are actually doing plenty of talking if you’re paying attention.
Much of their message is behind the scenes and spoken in the moves they’re making or trying to make. But some of it they apparently don’t mind talking about.
And eventually, if things go just right for this team, we’ll all see the receipts.