robert saleh
Syndication: The Record

The Jets defense put together another rough showing Sunday against Buffalo.

The Jets haven’t had their No. 1 quarterback — Zach Wilson — since Week 7.

But that isn’t even close to the only issue surrounding this struggling 2-7 ballclub.

The Gang Green defense has been horrendous and has allowed at least 45 points in three of its last four games. The latest disaster came at the hands of the Bills on Sunday — Buffalo defeated New York 45-17.

Robert Saleh, a former defensive coordinator of the 49ers, was (partly) brought in to fix Gang Green’s issues at that end of the field. Some possess little confidence in the first-year head coach though, and that includes a former head coach of this very franchise.

“I look at it as this defense is abysmal,” ESPN’s Rex Ryan said on the network’s DiPietro and Rothenberg show. “Bart [Scott] was telling that to me, ‘Oh no, their defense is playing hard.’ I’m like what? No, they don’t. This is a horrendous defense. Now they’re going to use, ‘Well now we didn’t have our safety.’ So what? Everybody has a million injuries let alone above average safety you’re missing. I remember playing without five corners. It never looked like this. We were fifth in the league in defense that year.”

The safety Ryan is speaking about happens to be Marcus Maye, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the Week 9 loss to Indianapolis. The Jets must now move forward with Ashtyn Davis, Sharrod Neasman, and Jarrod Wilson manning the deep part of the field.

Like Saleh, Ryan was defensive-minded. But if you ever find yourself speaking to the coach-turned-analyst, do not compare him to the current occupant of his former position.

“This guy was supposed to be a defensive guru,” Ryan said. “I heard everything and I take it personal on this one. Everything I’ve heard about was, well this guy’s a lot like myself, but without the bad part. Yeah, well some of the bad parts you need because this team doesn’t play with any damn heart. That’s the thing that’s disappointing to me. Don’t ever compare this guy to me, this Robert Saleh to me.

“Statistically, one time they were like a top defense. Here’s one thing they’re going to be familiar with: Four out of five years the 49ers were dead last in their division. So he’s going to be dead last again, so he’s used to that. So to me, I’m a little pissed off about it that this guy, his background’s a lot like yours. No it isn’t, no it isn’t.

“Quit trying to tell the New York fan base that he’s going to be like me as a defensive-minded guy or whatever. I had a clue how to handle a rookie quarterback. I also never got my butt kicked like this in a four-game stretch ever…Never made excuses and never put a product out there like this.”

While the Jets are indeed missing various starters on the defensive end, including Maye and Carl Lawson (who ruptured his Achilles prior to the regular season), the issues from that unit are inexcusable.

Even with a defensive-minded head coach, the group is at the bottom of the league in terms of total defense and scoring — describing this as “not ideal” would be a total understatement.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.