Friday, January 27, 2012

Crash Landing - Jets Locker Room Turmoil Continues

Visit - "All World All Sports"

-Digger's Daily-

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan promised a Super Bowl championship would return to the Big Apple. Little did he know a late season Jets loss opened the door for another New York team to make a run at Super Bowl history. The Jets were trounced 29-14 by Eli Manning & company ending any shot at Ryan's team advancing to post-season play while simultaneously sparking the Giants hot streak which has taken them into next weekend's game against New England.

By season's end, the Giants were celebrating winning the NFC East and the Jets immediately starting finger pointing at each other after a dismal 2011 performance. The focus of their post-season tirades have been on many levels all centering around a lack of camaraderie with players. Locker room disruptions, lack of leadership, failure of coaching staff to address inner circle problems and too many captains are just a few examples of what's spilled into local papers in recent weeks. Guess what? Maybe there's a bit of camaraderie surfacing? Most players finally agree on something - the 2011 New York Jets problems were based on being their own worst enemy.

Great teams overcome difficulties from injuries to infighting. It begins with leadership. The buck stops here line falls at the feet of Coach Ryan. Heading into 2011 the Jets assembled a team of bad attitude players. Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and a few defenders were thrust into a situation of big heads, big ego's and terrible work ethic. Game day sideline shouting matches between players vs coaches and players vs players eventually took its' toll with on field performances. New York was 8-5 before being embarrassed in their final three contests.

I remember reading New York sports pages warning of locker room misfits and if Ryan would be able to tame fragile ego's. Obviously, he couldn't. Ryan's claims of not knowing problems were brewing carries a stench of non-involvement or turning the other cheek mentality. This is your ship Rex. You decide what is and isn't acceptable. Players don't have to like each other to succeed. Not at all. One thing must prevail - the mission - and how 50 players working as a single unit helps everyone. Jets players with wide ranging playoff experiences of success and near misses should clearly have known better. What they displayed, and continue to gripe about, was an utter disgrace to New York football. Even legendary Joe Namath got in on the action publicly.

Jets fans can only hope this moment transforms into the biggest learning experience in New York football's recent history. There's plenty of blame to be evenly divided between players and front office. Question - will the Jets learn a positive lesson or will they continue griping throughout the spring and into training camp? 2012 off season test number one is getting rid of all disruptive players. Ryan has a chance to get a grip on his team here and now before all is lost before a new season begins.

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