Michigan State alum Saleh takes shot at Michigan while comparing Jets-Giants fans

Detroit News staff

New Jets coach and Dearborn native Robert Saleh’s early assessment of his team’s rival fans is likely to stoke some blue language across the New York divide.

In a podcast interview on “Huddle and Flow,” Saleh likened the green-blue color distinction between the Jets and Giants fan bases to the one he was familiar with at alma mater Michigan State (where he earned a master's degree) and instate-rival Michigan, except the new NFL coach went a step further.

Robert Saleh

Saleh said Jets fans — like his emerald-hued brethren in East Lansing — are passionate whereas Giants fans tend to resemble UM followers, lacking in emotion.

“Michigan’s more … We always make fun of Michigan for kind of being more the uppity-ups, sit on your hands,” Saleh said in the interview, which was reported on GiantsWire, “where the Spartan fans are a little bit more rambunctious, a little bit more passionate, a little bit more — they’re louder. Like we always say a loaded stadium in East Lansing is a hell of a lot louder than the loaded stadium at the Big House (in Ann Arbor).”

Saleh, 41, was hired as Jets coach after serving as defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers from 2017-20. He also had assistant coaching tenures with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.

He starred at Dearborn Fordson High before going on to play at Division II Northern Michigan. He served as a defensive coach at Michigan State, where he earned his master's degree. He also worked in similar roles at Central Michigan and Georgia.