The New York Jets had major issues within their locker room last season, and some of those same issues are cropping up again now that the team has fallen to 3-6 on the season. Several Jets players and personnel anonymously ripped Tim Tebow this week and said he would not be able to handle the starting quarterback position. While Rex Ryan always encourages his players to speak their minds, he thinks not attaching a name to it is a gutless act.
“Did I address it? I absolutely addressed it,” Ryan said Wednesday according to the NY Daily News. “Because I think it’s a cowardly thing. If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing as there is. I even mentioned that. I said, ‘Look, if…’ Well, I don’t want to get into specifics of what I said. But I did address it with our football team. I absolutely did.
“If you’re going to make a negative comment, that’s fine. We never say that it always has to be a bed of roses. But again, put your name to it. I think people will respect you a lot more.”
Ryan praised offensive guard Matt Slauson for saying he believed Mark Sanchez should be the starter over Tebow but at least having the courage to attach his name to it. Last year, several New York players anonymously blasted Sanchez for being “lazy” and said the team babied him. Bashing teammates without revealing your identity was cowardly then and it’s cowardly now.
“If you’re searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team and all that… my thing is that I believe in this team,” Ryan said. “I believe this team is like this and will continue to be like this and maybe even come tighter. I’m confident that that will be a case.”
I wouldn’t be so sure. The Jets certainly didn’t come together last season after their players began flapping their gums. While I agree with Rex that ripping your teammates anonymously is a classless move, this time it’s his responsibility. There’s a reason this type of thing doesn’t happen with the Patriots, 49ers and Giants. Coaches like Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh and Tom Coughlin don’t stand for it. The fact that it has happened two years in a row now when the Jets have faced adversity falls squarely on Ryan’s shoulders.