Are the New York Jets out of control?
August, 7, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
Check out this quote from New York Jets coach Rex Ryan after Monday's 20-player brawl at training camp.
"I think we've had enough fights for camp," Ryan said. "So I don’t expect too many more after this one."
Well, Ryan was wrong. The very next day, they were at it again.
The Jets continue to duke it out with each other. On Tuesday, another scuffle ensued, forcing Ryan to stop practice. He ripped into his players and ordered them to stop the fighting. But ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini reports that cornerback Antonio Cromartie began yelling at the offense soon after, and Ryan stopped practice again, this time making the team run sprints.
It's early, but the Jets continue to look like a team out of control. Ryan traditionally runs a loose ship. All was well when the Jets were winning. But coming off an underachieving 8-8 season, all of the brawls, silliness and shenanigans are adding up and being magnified.
Ryan said after Monday's brawl that he wouldn't address the team directly about it. That was a mistake. It sends the message that it's no big thing and it's acceptable in training camp. The next day there was more fighting, because nothing was done to stop it the first time.
Ryan is a players' coach and wants all of his guys to be loose. But at some point Ryan also must be a disciplinarian. That is perhaps the toughest balance for an NFL coach. Ryan lost control of his locker room at the end of last season. He needs to put his foot down now to regain control before it's too late.