Ryan, who was also the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for a year but is now a football analyst, was able to lead the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two seasons as head coach. He was with the organization from 2009 to 2014.
“This guy is supposed to be a defensive guru … I take it personal. … Everything I heard was, ‘This guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad part,” Ryan said in an interview on ESPN Radio. “Some of the bad part you need, because this team doesn’t want to play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that is disappointing to me.”
“Don’t ever compare this Robert Saleh guy to me,” Ryan said. “Statistically, one time they were a top defense. Four out of five times, they were dead last in their division. … They are going to be dead last again, so he’s going to be used to that. To me, I am a little pissed off about it when I heard his background is a lot like yours. No, it isn’t. No, it isn’t.”
The Jets are last in the NFL in points per game allowed (32.9) and yards per game allowed (417.1) in Saleh’s first season after spending four years as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. In those four seasons, the 49ers finished 25th, 28th, 8th and 17th in points per game, per the New York Post.
“This is a horrendous defense,” Ryan said. “Now they are going to say, ‘We never had our safeties.’ So, what? Everybody has a million injuries, let alone an above safety you are missing. I remember playing without five corners [one season], it never looked like this. I think we were fifth in the league in defense that year.”
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