Jets Get Their Own Double Press

The Jets responded to the swarm of media criticism on Monday, following the tripping incident which involved strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi.

December 13, 2010 – Hours after he held a press conference in which he apologized for his "illogical act," Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi was suspended from the team for the remainder of the regular season, including the playoffs. In addition to the suspension, Alosi was fined $25,000 dollars for an incident on Sunday where he tripped a Miami Dolphins player who had run out of bounds on punt coverage.

"After reviewing the facts and consulting with the league office, we determined that this was the most appropriate discipline," said Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum in a statement released by the organization. "I have spoken with Sal. He understands the severity of his actions and has apologized to all parties involved in the incident. There is no place in the game for this type of behavior and his conduct falls disappointingly short of our expectations for anyone associated with the New York Jets. I have also reminded all members of the organization with sideline access that it is both a priority and their responsibility to maintain a safe environment."

In response to the disciplinary action, Alosi responded via the same Jets release stating that "I accept responsibility for my actions and respect the team's decision."

Alosi confronted the media on Monday, an apologetic man who seemed to bristle every so slightly at the somewhat terse situation as flashes from cameras went on around him. After reading his opening statement, Alosi squirmed and shifted as he clung to the podium in front of him, fielding questions from the assembled media at the team's practice facility.

For the strength and conditioning coach, it was most certainly the first time in his career he found himself answering questions in a press conference setting. Alosi's first question: "What were you thinking?"

"Nothing went through my head," Alosi said in response to the question. "I wasn't thinking."

During the roughly 10 minutes during which he spoke and answered questions, Alosi said that on Sunday night he spoke with Carroll and Miami head coach Tony Sparano about the situation and offered his apology. At the time he addressed the media, the longtime coach said he hasn't offered a resignation for what he called an "illogical act."

The suspension comes off a play that may go down as one of the dumbest in the history of the team, if not the league.

"That's a thing that has no business in this league," Ryan said. "I can't remember anything like this ever happening."

Monday's press conference is just the latest mea culpa in the Jets damage control spin mode. The Jets have not yet announced what disciplinary action, if any, will be taken against Alosi.

"It's been terrible, it's been horrible," Alosi said. "What I've put my family through, what' I've put this organization through; I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

It was a bizarre action from a coach whom many of the players on the Jets call a "professional."

Alosi has been with the Jets for eight seasons and in the NFL for a total of nine years. The sideline action was greeted with some eye-rolling on Sunday from the Dolphins, who essentially said that an action like a sideline trip shouldn't be a surprise. Consider the source, said linebacker Karlos Dansby.

"You just take it up with the head coach. It all trickles down here. That's how I look at it," Dansby said, referencing Jets head coach Rex Ryan. "The head coach, he opened a can of worms over that and now he has to fix it."

Alosi first apologized within hours of the story breaking nationally.

About two hours after the game was completed, Alosi had issued a statement through the Jets Media Relations. Alosi's statement read much like his Monday afternoon press conference, saying that "I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment. My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for."

Unfortunately for the Jets, "what this organization stands for" is quickly becoming sinking sand. It isn't the first time this year that the Jets are in the position of needing to fix something on the field.

Following a much ballyhooed summer holdout with All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis which turned into a media fiasco and something somewhat ugly, the Jets organization as a whole has come under scrutiny. There was the claim in September that TV Azteca television reporter Ines Sainz was harassed in the Jets locker room with crude calls and whistles, including sources saying that head coach Rex Ryan had purposefully overthrown balls in practice so that Jets players could get a closer look at the voluptuous reporter. Then, several days after "Azteca-Gate" surfaced, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested in Manhattan for driving under the influence in a SUV where two other of his teammates were passengers. More back page fodder swirled in October when a report surfaced that two years ago, former Jets quarterback Brett Favre had sent suggestive text messages and photos of his genitalia to then Jets employee Jenn Sterger.

Yet, it might not be as big of a distraction as some might think. Nose tackle Sione Pouha, who led the Jets on Sunday with seven tackles, was one of just eight Jets players brave enough to enter the locker room on Monday with a horde of media waiting to descend. Most players avoided the locker room altogether, as some just ducked in and out quickly or claimed they had to attend a positional meeting. If Alosi is a distraction, then consider Pouha distraction-free till Monday morning.

"I didn't even know about it till this morning," Pouha said.

Alosi is not permitted to return to the team's facility until the day after the Jets finish the 2010 season. Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012


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