Robert Saleh, NY Jets, 49ers, HC, Head Coach
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

Despite living on opposite coasts in the United States, Robert Saleh and Arik Armstead stay connected in a unique way

Across the NFL, you can find stories of coaches keeping in contact with their former players. Whether it’s going from college to the NFL or coaches and players changing teams, we’ve seen plenty of unique ways people hold their personal relationships together.

As it turns out, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh has a unique way to stay connected to a former player he coached.

Appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead mentioned the unique way that he and coach Saleh have remained connected over the years: the game of chess.

Evidently, the games started while the two were in San Francisco together, and they haven’t stopped with Saleh’s arrival as the head coach of the Jets.

“I can’t lie on TV. Saleh definitely be getting the best of me,” Armstead said on Good Morning Football. “But we played a lot more when I first started playing. And since he got the head coach gig, we’ve played a couple times.”

Armstead admitted that since Saleh has taken over as the Jets’ head coach, the games haven’t been as frequent. After all, between family life and heading the Jets, Saleh does have a lot on his plate.

“But he’s a much busier man now, and he’s got a grip of kids. Saleh got like six or seven kids, so when we can sneak in a game, it’s a lot of fun.”

Saleh’s animated sideline demeanor may be the counterbalance needed to be a good chess player, considering the game is built on a strategic, analytical approach.

But who wouldn’t want to see an amped-up Robert Saleh playing a game of chess?

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Thomas Christopher has been covering the Jets since 2018. He is an avid sports fan, mixed martial artist, fantasy football player and Rex Ryan stan. He's also one of Jets X-Factor's breaking news writers. Email: tpascar[at]
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