It’s always intriguing to eavesdrop like a silent observer.
During the CBS broadcast of the New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos game, a hot microphone captured a moment when Jets head coach Robert Saleh exchanged words with Broncos head coach Sean Payton as they shook hands at midfield.
While a viral tweet initially suggested Saleh said, “Stay humble,” a closer examination suggests that he actually said, “Stay healthy.”
The significance of this interaction lies in Sean Payton’s previous criticism of Nathaniel Hackett, the former Broncos head coach who now serves as the Jets’ offensive coordinator, during the offseason.
Payton’s comments triggered a response from Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who, along with several other Jets players, took Payton’s words personally. This was evident in a fiery pregame speech by tight end CJ Uzomah.
“Their coach made this personal,” Uzomah declared.
On ESPN’s Get Up! Monday morning, former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan commended Saleh for taking the high road in his dealings with Payton, stating that he would have been much more outspoken personally.
The Jets ultimately triumphed over the Broncos, who were favored by 2.5 points, with a score of 31-21. This marked the highest point total the Jets had achieved in a game so far this season. It also marked the first time this season that the Broncos allowed the Jets to score in the first quarter.
With a 2-3 record, the Jets find themselves in the midst of the AFC playoff race, alongside several other teams, including the Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs, Chargers, Steelers, Ravens, Broncos, Bengals, Jaguars, Colts, Texans, and Titans, all of whom have secured at least two wins.
Next week, the Jets will return home to face the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles before taking on the New York Giants the following week.
Hopefully, the NFL will provide more on-field microphone access in the future.