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Jets' Robert Saleh Says He's Lost 25 Pounds During 1st Season as Head Coach

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2022

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Jets' Robert Saleh said Friday he's lost around 25 pounds during his first season as the team's head coach.

"I was talking to my wife [Thursday] night [and] I think I've lost about 25 pounds, so I got to get that back," Saleh told reporters. "It’s been a roller coaster that we were expecting."

The 42-year-old Michigan native added the weight loss comes from a combination of factors.

"I haven't been able to get into the weight room as much as I want to [and] I don't eat as much as I normally would," Saleh said. "It's a little bit of everything."

The Jets hired Saleh last January after he'd spent the previous four years as the San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator. It marked his first opportunity as a head coach after 19 years as an assistant at the college and pro levels.

New York has failed to take a significant step forward in his first season as it heads into Sunday's regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills with a 4-12 record, far out of postseason contention. Two of its wins did come against playoff teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans.

The lack of wins wasn't totally unexpected. The Jets were led by a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and still have plenty of holes elsewhere on the roster that must be filled before they rise toward contention.

That said, Saleh arrived to New York with a defensive pedigree and the team dropped from 24th in total defense in 2020 to last in the NFL this season.

The Jets will hope Wilson makes a leap in his second season to lead the offense to new heights and that Saleh finds a way to make the defense more competitive with help from the front office in terms of draft additions and free-agent signings.

He also sounds eager to get his weight back after getting firsthand experience of the rigors of being the leader of an NFL coaching staff.

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