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Sunday, January 8, 2012

On The New York Jets, Does Wearing The "C" On Your Chest Have Any Meaning? Only Head Coach Ryan Knows...

Quickly, name the word that starts with the letters DIS and can be used to describe the 2011 New York Jets season…DISAPPOINTING – yes, the Jets season was disappointing, especially after finishing the two previous seasons making the playoffs and coming within one game of getting to the Super Bowl.  DISGUSTING – yes, the Jets season was disgusting, especially after starting the season with such hype and hope only to lose the last three games of the season after having control over their destiny as late as  Week 15.   But the word that starts with the letters DIS that I was thinking about was DISARRAY.  Throughout the 2011 season, the New York Jets seemed out of sync and not just on the field, and during last two weeks of the season it all came to the surface.   Confrontations in team meetings, arguing in the huddle, and players being benched, the Jets last two weeks were a reality show's dream come true. One of the key players that seemed to be at the center of the chaos called the New York Jets Football Team was wide receiver and CAPTAIN, Santonio Holmes.  Let me state that again, one of the key players that seemed to be at the center of the chaos was CAPTAIN Santonio Holmes. 

I used to think they gave the “C” to the player who demonstrated the ability to be a team leader. Who understands the concept of  teamwork.  Who led by his work ethic on and off the field and not with his mouth.  And most of all, who pointed the finger only at himself when things went wrong.   Does this sound like Santonio Holmes?  Do you give the responsibility of being a team leader to a guy who couldn’t lead himself out of a forest, even if you gave him a map, a Magellan and left cookie crumbs for him to follow out of the woods? 

I don’t know about you, but when I first heard that Head Coach Rex Ryan, gave the “C” to Holmes, I had to read it twice.  What was Ryan thinking?  How in the world do you use the leadership of a professional team, or any team for that matter, as a “teachable moment?”  Are you expecting Holmes to change his ways?  This was a guy who the Pittsburgh Steelers unloaded only one season after they won the Super Bowl to the Jets for a middle round draft pick.  This was a guy whose arrest record includes domestic violence, assault and marijuana possession.  That’s right, Rex, this guy has TEAM LEADER written all over him!  Yes, Holmes is a former Super  Bowl MVP, who at times can perform brilliantly on the gridiron.  And in 2010, his first year on the NY Jets, Holmes was on his best behavior playing for his contract.   (In 2011, besides making him a team captain, Team Chaos also gave him a five year, $45 million dollar contract.)  Since when is team leadership given out as a reward, and what does that tell you about Coach Ryan and his team building skills. 

I truly believe Coach Ryan felt he could change Santonio Holmes, rehab the bad boy image, and make him into a model citizen.  I can see it now, Rex rocking back and forth in his chair that sits in his office,  his coaching staff leaning forward, eagerly awaiting the next word that comes out their fearless leader’s mouth.   “Yeah, I have an idea…how about we take Holmes and make him one of our captains.  He’s not that bad a guy.  Leave it to me, this will motivate him and show him how much faith we have in him.  He just needs someone to show him some love.”   Obviously, this was a poor decision, and no doubt, Coach Ryan will take responsibility for it, and make amends. He has stated the 2012 Jets will not have any captains.  I guess if you can’t pick the right individual to be the team leader, the best thing to do is not pick anyone!  Rex, admit it - not only can you not predict Super Bowl Champions, but you also are challenged at identifying true leaders.   

Here is one more word that begins with DIS we can use to describe the New York Jets 2011 season…DISASTROUS.