Jets instructor Robert Saleh pointed the finger at himself on Monday to manage his time A slip-up at the end of Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Lions.
Saleh waited until there were 19 seconds left in the game to use his first timeout and ended up leaving the game with an unused timeout.
“I think I got the equivalent of half an hour of sleep last night,” Saleh said in a phone call with reporters on Monday morning. “There are things I definitely could have done better.”
Saleh walked with reporters through the sequence. The Jets got the ball at their own 25 with 1:49 left to play and a 20-17 touchdown. They had all three timeouts.
“The thought process for us is to provide these three deadlines up to a minute,” Saleh said. You want to save them to face disaster, whatever the situation. You’re trying to save those timeouts down to a minute.”
Saleh admitted he should have called his first timeout after Jarrett Wilson caught a 10-yard pass with about 50 seconds left in the game. But Saleh believed that the Jets got a good place in the second-and-tenth play, which resulted in a first defeat. He was worried that the booth review might change the venue and remove the first part.
“This is definitely where I thought about the situation,” Saleh said. “That’s definitely the thing I thought. Calling a timeout, there’s 49 seconds left. I felt like we had a better finish than a place and I was trying to beat New York in the challenge. That’s the thing I thought. It doesn’t matter. We’re not playing around with this situation.” We’re playing for time. When you look at everything, it probably cost us another shot.”
The Jets ended up not getting another game until 31 seconds remained. Saleh then used his first time after Zach Wilson was sacked with 19 seconds to go.
He used a second timeout with one second remaining to allow Greg Zuerlin to attempt a 58-yard field goal that sailed left.
He let Saleh kick himself.
“It’s something I definitely need to get better at,” Saleh said. “I wish I could take that back.”
Saleh was asked about holding himself accountable.
“I think you just need to be yourself and be honest about everything,” Saleh said. Not to make a statement. Whether or not I preach every day or not, that’s just who I am. You just want other people to have the same kind of mindset. I don’t think there is anyone in this building who looks more inward than me. The biggest thing you want to do is give your buddies a chance to play and do your job, and do your job to give everyone a chance to play and be the best version of themselves. In this case, I certainly could have done better. Like I said, I overthink it.”
The planes players appreciated Saleh’s admission of his mistake.
“He’s a huge influence on us,” said rookie cornerback Seuss Gardner. “He’s not just a coach. I feel that’s an important thing in this organization, it’s like a family. … We watch the way the coach Saleh carries himself. Being able to take charge in public is important there because most coaches are just trying to hide behind them.” For something. The fact that he could do something like that shows he’s a great leader, for sure.”