NY Jets HC Robert Saleh under fire again for a very silly reason

Why are fans hating on Robert Saleh this time?

Robert Saleh
Robert Saleh / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh has been a frequent subject of criticism in recent months, essentially serving as a lightning rod for his team's shortcomings this past season — and throughout his entire tenure.

From a lack of enthusiasm on the sideline to questionable comments made in press conferences, Saleh's critics have found new ways to lambaste the Jets' head coach. Their latest narrative: the NFL Combine.

Saleh is one of a number of NFL head coaches who will not be in attendance for the NFL Combine this year. The fourth-year head coach has never attended the Combine during his time with the Jets — an increasingly common trend for coaches in today's NFL.

Among the many (nearly half the league) coaches that will not be attending the Combine are Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, John Harbaugh, and Mike Tomlin — a who's who of the premier coaches in the NFL.

But for whatever reason, Saleh's decision not to attend has caused a portion of fans and even analysts to pull out their pitchforks.

Robert Saleh not attending the NFL Combine is a non-story

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wrote an entire article dedicated to Saleh skipping out on the Combine. This is, of course, despite the fact that half the league's coaches are doing the same thing. Where's this ire for Mike McCarthy? What about new head coaches like Jerod Mayo and Antonio Pierce?

Nope, only Saleh receives this criticism. It's not just Florio, either. Some fans, many of whom have already made up their minds about the Jets' head coach, are doing the same thing.

Many coaches in the present day view attending the Combine as a waste of time. As Florio notes in his article, "All of the workouts are filmed, and the head coach can participate in the formal, 15-minute interviews by Zoom."

There isn't a tangible benefit for most to attend the Combine, and it instead would disrupt their offseason routine. In essence, there are much more productive and important ways these coaches can spend their time.

The NFL Combine has become an increasingly out-of-date and mostly irrelevant event in the pre-draft process. The most important aspect of the Combine comes in each prospect's medical evaluation. Aside from that, many see the event as a "circus."

While the Jets haven't found much success during Saleh's time with the organization, his track record of scouting and developing defensive talent is among the best in the sport.

Players like D.J. Reed, Quincy Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Bryce Huff, Jermaine Johnson, Sauce Gardner, Michael Carter II, etc., have all developed into stellar players under Saleh, and many of them weren't exactly high-profile additions at the time.

You can fault Saleh for putting together a poor offensive staff, among other things, but it's impossible to question his defensive talent evaluation and development. He hasn't had any trouble with that despite not attending the Combine.

Ultimately, some people will search for any reason to continue pushing a narrative. Those criticizing Saleh for this have already made up their mind about him. This is a non-story in the quiet part of the NFL offseason.

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