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Monday, December 13, 2010
Jets deliver strong statement on Sal Alosi

By Tim Graham

The New York Jets acted swiftly, decisively and justly in punishing strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi.

As shameful as Alosi's trip of Miami Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll was, the Jets at least should be proud of how they responded. The Jets suspended Alosi without pay for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, and fined him $25,000. Alosi will not be allowed to have any contact with the players while he is suspended.

The NFL will not add to the sanctions, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the league is looking into the incident to determine if Alosi and the Jets' inactive players were instructed to station themselves on the extreme edges of the sideline to inhibit Carroll from using that area to cover a punt.

As you can see in the still shot of the video below, Alosi and some inactive Jets players stood in a military-style phalanx, foot to foot, with their toes right up against the boundary. Alosi is stationed as close to the corner of the sideline box as allowable. That doesn't look like a coincidence.

Two punts before Alosi's trip, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for running out of bounds for about 30 yards. Players often get knocked out of bounds by defenders, but they must get back into the field of play as quickly as possible.

One of Alosi's game responsibilities is to make sure the Jets' sideline is clear, that their own players don't creep too close to the field. That person is called the get-back coach because he's often yelling at his players to do just that.

But Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum denied they or special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff had instructed Alosi or anybody else to defend the sideline.

"We don't coach that," Tannenbaum said. "Coach Westhoff does not coach that. Coach Ryan does not coach that. We try to follow those rules as closely as possible, the player safety rules. I had a discussion with the league about that as well. Sal is in charge as the get-back coach, but that's not something we try to coach at all."

Ryan said he informs his coaches and players to back up when they're going to double-press a gunner because collisions can occur as they get driven out of bounds.

"I know one thing: I've never made that instruction," Ryan said of the cordon. "I always do the opposite. I always alert that there is a double press; get away from it."