Kyle Shanahan takes unexpected shot at Robert Saleh and the NY Jets

What did Kyle Shanahan say about Robert Saleh?

Kyle Shanahan
Kyle Shanahan / Chris Unger/GettyImages
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NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh has garnered a reputation as one of the most energetic and boisterous coaches in the NFL. Saleh's sideline enthusiasm has become a calling card for the veteran NFL coach.

Unfortunately, losing takes its toll on anyone, and Saleh's typical sideline energy has often been replaced by straight faces and apathetic looks in recent years. In many ways, the Jets have seemingly broken his spirit.

That transformation hasn't gone unnoticed by Saleh's former head coach, Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan spoke to reporters this week following his team's decision to part ways with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

The 49ers coach was asked if he wanted to hire another energetic coach to replace Wilks, seemingly in the vein of Saleh, and he insisted that wasn't necessarily a priority. Shanahan then took an unexpected shot (or at least made a light-hearted remark) about Saleh and the Jets.

"Watch Saleh now, he's not that energetic," Shanahan exclaimed in a direct reference to the Jets' struggles under Saleh.

Kyle Shanahan isn't wrong with his comments about Robert Saleh and the NY Jets

Shanahan's comment caught many off guard, but he isn't necessarily wrong. Saleh is still the same energetic, optimistic coach he was during his time with the 49ers, but it's a lot harder to showcase that when your team is losing.

Saleh isn't going to be standing on the sideline doing cartwheels and jumping jacks when his team is losing by 20 points. He isn't going to be hurling praise at an inept offense that struggles to score double-digit points in games.

Saleh may be loud and enthusiastic, but he's never been one to yell at his players. His energy manifests itself in the form of words of affirmation — not criticism.

It's also worth noting that while he may be considered one of the best coaches in the NFL right now, Shanahan's time in San Francisco didn't get off to an ideal start. The 49ers won just 10 games over Shanahan's first two years with the team. They won six or fewer games in three of his first four seasons.

Saleh will be hoping to execute a Shanahan-like turnaround with the Jets this season. His .353 winning percentage is among the worst by a head coach in Jets history, just above Adam Gase and Lou Holtz.

The hope is that a healthy Aaron Rodgers can return in 2024 and help Saleh and the Jets return to the postseason for the first time in 13 years. Maybe then Saleh's energy will return in full force.

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