Robert Saleh has changed his mind on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
At least, he’s going the extra step to make it seem that way.
The New York Jets coach stepped up to the podium to speak with reporters Thursday wearing a special customized “I Love HK” shirt that mimics the iconic “I Love NY” design seen all over New York City.
“We expressed some of our concerns, they’ve answered it, and it’s going to be fine,” Saleh said. “It’s no different than ‘One Jets Drive.’”
HBO landed on the Jets for their annual preseason documentary show this year, something the Jets were reportedly very against. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jets “fought it all along” and actually asked the NFL not to have them featured on the program.
Saleh, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and special-teams captain Justin Hardee have all spoken out against being on the show. Hardee called it a “distraction,” while Saleh flat-out said that they didn’t want to be on the show.
“I understand the appeal with us,” Rogers said earlier this month. “Obviously, there’s a lot of eyes on me, a lot of eyes on our team, a lot of expectations for our squad.
“They forced it down our throats, and we gotta deal with it.”
The Jets were one of four teams in line to be featured on “Hard Knocks” this year, along with the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders, and the Jets were the easy choice, whether they liked it or not. They haven’t been on since 2010, the last season they made it to the playoffs.
While allowing HBO and NFL cameras into the building can add an extra, stressful element to training camp, Saleh noted that the franchise has produced its own similar show, “One Jets Drive,” for years. And the Jets maintain certain editorial control of what makes the final episodes.
With the decision already made, there’s nothing left for the Jets to do but embrace “Hard Knocks.” Saleh’s new wardrobe choice makes it clear that he understands that is his only option.