Jeff Ulbrich’s Hard Knocks speech made waves nationally for the New York Jets
Ulbrich told his defense, “Make the [player] earn every yard. Do my job—is that good enough? No. That’s the rest of the NFL, isn’t it? Do your job. Do your job. [Bleep] that. Now what? If we all do our job and a little bit more, that’s 22 playing.”
Of course, this is my sanitized version of his words. Here is the actual, NSFW version.
Around the NFL, this speech made waves as a direct shot at Bill Belichick, whose “do your job” mantra became famous after Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl-sealing interception in 2014. Undoubtedly, Belichick is aware of the comments, and it’s fairly likely that he tries to exact revenge on the team against which he has a personal vendetta.
Of course, reporters asked Ulbrich his reaction to the drama. He responded, “First of all, it had zero reference to the Patriots. If anything, it’s paying an homage to the Patriots.”
Ulbrich then clarified his intention. “Do your job, set an edge to the defense—and then when the ball goes up the field, shed and finish on the ball. I’m responsible for the third, I have the third, the ball is thrown—the play is not over for me… It’s not compromising your job to do a little bit more, it’s do your job, and when the ball goes elsewhere… finish.”
That sounds like a message Belichick would approve of. It also seems that Ulbrich’s words were out of context, always a danger on reality TV.
Ulbrich then continued to explain. “You see guys that are completely content just doing their jobs. I’m setting the edge… the runner cuts up the field, and they stop. And they come to the sideline and it was an explosive run, and they said, ‘I did my job, coach,'” he said. “In my opinion, good defense is not played that way… the ball is oxygen to us, and we will finish on the ball every single time.”
Ulbrich concluded, “Do your job first, and that’s huge… But then when you’ve got 11 guys that’s not enough, the mathematics of it, you’re playing with 22 players when you’re playing that way, and in my opinion that’s very hard defense to play against… It’s more just a mindset, that I will get to this ball no matter what.”
The goal of Hard Knocks is to drum up interest. If other teams think he was knocking Belichick, it’s another storyline to monitor. Circle Week 3 on the calendar along with Week 5.