The constant attention around the media-loving Jets may have been their undoing this season, say several players on the team.
From their trade for high-profile quarterback Tim Tebow to a head coach with a penchant for outlandish statements, New York’s second football team is always grabbing headlines for the wrong reason. Following a 6-10 season, the bright lights of the media that team ownership desperately craves may be why the team is headed to the golf course while general manager Mike Tannebaum was fired.
“Perception is reality, and what other people view of you is maybe different than what you think of yourself,” wide receiver Chaz Schilens said Monday as the team cleaned out their lockers. “Good or bad, [it’s] something to learn from.”
Playing in the league’s largest media market, the scrutiny shouldn’t be a surprise.
“I don’t really think it was a circus. When Tim [Tebow] came, everything exploded to more media. That’s OK. Everybody has media in every locker room,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “I think for us as a team, it’s not falling into those distractions and traps. We try to do the best we can, try to keep the locker room positive.”
The other issue the past two seasons with the Jets is their organization-wide issue with anonymous sources. In a report that surfaced in November via the New York Daily News, one anonymous player ripped Tebow and called him “terrible.” Other stories from the same outlet, some referring to more anonymous players, also surfaced throughout the season. Almost all the stories cited anonymous sources and painted an unflattering picture of the locker room and organization as a whole.
“Anonymous sources, that’s good to bring that up. Maybe guys need to be quiet, say what you need to say, just try to keep this locker room positive,” Revis sad. “We all got to stick together as a team no matter if you’re the best player on the team or a punter or a kicker. Everybody has to play their part; we have to stick together. If you don’t, if that happens, it can affect the football team.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.