HBO’s “Hard Knocks” debuted on Tuesday night, and this year’s NFL team has been delivering the hype since the beginning of the year with its trades, free agent signings and heightened expectations: The New York Jets.
To kick off the behind-the-scenes look at Jets training camp, the series opened with some blasts from the past, with Joe Namath winning Super Bowl III. Then, it funneled into the present day Jets, who are now quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers.
However, before the theme music played, head coach Robert Saleh delivered an inspiring speech during a full team and staff meeting in Florham Park, New Jersey.
“Did you know that the only bird, the only bird in the world that will attack an eagle is a crow?” Saleh questioned his team.
The camera panned to players looking a bit dumbfounded and confused as to where Saleh’s story was heading.
“It will perch on the eagle’s back and peck at its neck. So rather than fight back and tearing the crow to pieces, like it can, the eagle spreads its wings, and it soars as high as it possibly can. It keeps going, and going, and going as high as it can. The higher the eagle flies, the harder it is for the crow to breath. Eventually, the crow suffocates, falls back down to Earth and dies.”
“Guys, we got a great deal of hype around us. We do. All kinds of expectations. And with great expectations, we know that there’s going to be a whole lot of people, a whole lot of crows expecting us to fall on our face.
“What are you doing to find that little bit more to get us closer to being a great f—ing team? You finish practice, now what? You finish meetings, now what? You finish lifting, now what? A rep, now what?”
“If we come together and we challenge ourselves to do a little bit more every day, the crows? They’ll fall by themselves. Embrace what we’re capable of. Embrace the fact that we aren’t the same old Jets. Embrace the fact that we do have a target on our back. Embrace the fact that when teams look at our schedule, they’re not chalking us up for a W. They’re coming at you. That’s exactly where we want to be.
“That’s f—ing awesome.”
While the Jets players, including Rodgers, seemed on the edge of their seats during the speech, fans on social media were ready to run through a brick wall for Saleh, too.
“I would die for Robert Saleh,” one X user wrote, with the Jets’ #TakeFlight attached to the post.
Another user said, “This opening monologue from Robert Saleh got me hype.”
From the interactions with Rodgers and his teammates to the battle between two of the elite young stars in the game in Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner, the Jets are clearly an entertaining bunch that will only get better as training camp and the new NFL season unfolds.
Fans are also learning a thing or two about nature courtesy of Saleh, who wants to be the eagle in his story when the 2023 season comes to an end.