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Jets HC Robert Saleh name-drops Tom Brady while defending Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh used retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady as an example when defending Aaron Rodgers' wishlist of player during a press conference Friday.

Saleh, 44, hit back at critics who say that Rodgers is controlling the franchise because they signed former Packers wide receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, and offensive lineman Billy Turner. Jets also acquired Odell Beckham Jr., another name on the QB's list given to the team prior to the Green Bay trade.

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"I'm going to try to say this as respectfully as I can. I'm not attacking anyone," Saleh said. "I do think it's a silly narrative with regards to the wish list. I say that because there are 32 teams in the NFL and it's common practice for when there are changes, when you have a new coaching staff, when you have new people coming, you surround those people with people they're familiar with."

Saleh highlighted how new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is also familiar with Lazard, Cobb and Turner.

"Everything is being pinned on the quarterback. It's not just him," Saleh said. "Hackett has something to say about it. He loves Lazard, loves Randall. He took Billy Turner with him to Denver, wanted him here. Of course, you're going to surround a coach with people he feels will be able to plant the flag. That whole narrative of whatever people are trying to put on the quarterback, I think it's tired. It's common practice in the NFL."

Saleh compares Brady to Rodgers

Saleh went on to say that even he had a wishlist before joining New York and name-dropped Brady to point out that everyone asks for people they trust.

Brady, 45, won a Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thanks to the fact that the franchise picked up players he wanted.

"I had a wish list - Solomon Thomas, Marcel Harris, D.J. Reed, Kwon Alexander, guys who I've worked with who are very familiar with our messaging, very familiar with our scheme and can come in and play," Saleh said. "Shoot, Tom Brady goes to Tampa and he gets [Rob] Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. It is very common for new faces to want old faces, to be able to come in and help accelerate the installation of a program."

Saleh also spoke of Rodgers being the utmost professional and about the quarterback embracing the city. He recently attended a New York Knicks game courtside with new teammate Sauce Gardner.

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