As the Jets try to improve across the board for 2022, coach Robert Saleh explained in a recent appearance on PFT Live the one quality that the team wanted in all players added this year.
He called it “internal drive.” We asked him to elaborate on how they spot whether a player has it.
“Through the process you can find out if a young man genuinely loves football,” Saleh said. “If that young man genuinely loves—there’s two types of players. There’s those who love ball and then there’s those who love what football brings them. Two completely different mindsets in the way you attack your everyday life.
“Those who absolutely love this game and love everything about the process of this game. The rehab, the practice, the weight room, the meeting room. Everything. You love everything about football. In our hearts and our belief, we believe that you’re going to do everything you can to protect that love you have. You’re going to protect it. Even if you’ve had some silly life mistakes, life skill mistakes, life decisions prior, if you have a love, you’re going to find a way to correct that aspect of your life to make sure you don’t lose what you love.
“I think it’s universal. It’s just can you be disciplined and ignore the height, weight, speed, length, and the flash plays of a kid that — I think it was Nick Saban [who said it]. You have the scouting report and then you either have the word ‘and’ they add some more positives or ‘but’ and they add the negatives. If you have a long list of buts, I promise you those buts are going to follow you in the league.”
The Jets of the past 50 years usually have been far more “but” than “and.” Saleh, as he enters year two of his career, is intent on changing that.