Friday, February 21, 2014
Jets not worried about locker-room bullying
By Rich Cimini
INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the questions that has emerged in the wake of the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal is whether it will have an impact on locker rooms across the NFL, perhaps causing teams to become more vigilante. In terms of the New York Jets, the answer is no.
"Obviously, to us, work place environment is very important," general manager John Idzik said at the scouting combine. "That’s how you nurture a true team concept, true togetherness, so that’s always been a part of what we do. I think (the Miami situation) just added a little bit more national attention to that aspect of what clubs do, but it hasn’t really changed our attention to it."
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who somehow survived the fallout, has been heavily criticized for claiming he didn't know the fraternity-house behavior was happening in his locker room. How could a coach, responsible for creating and monitoring the work-place enviroment, not know?
Well, Rex Ryan offered some insight in that respect. At the end of the 2011 season, Ryan admitted he "lost the pulse" of his locker room, which was torn by dissension. The biggest clash occurred between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, the focal point of the dysfunction. Who can forget that infamous moment in Miami, when Holmes fought with teammates in the huddle and was benched?
Two years later, Ryan empathized with Philbin, relating it to his own situation.
"Even though I think I'd have as good a pulse as any coach in this league on his locker room, even in that case, I thought a problem was resolved and obviously it wasn’t," Ryan said. "Those things can happen."
Ryan said he's not worried about bullying in his locker room.
"I believe our locker room is strong," he said. "I don’t know all the particulars in (the Dolphins') situation, but … You don’t have to like all your teammates, but you have to respect everybody. That’s the way our locker room is handled."