FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Drop and gimme 10!
The entire New York Jets organization is doing push-ups for penalties — from the players to the owner — in an effort to help the team cut down on mental mistakes in games.
Coach Rex Ryan has been making his players and coaches — except for the penalized and consequently embarrassed player — do 10 push-ups for each infraction committed in practice. The Jets have already been flagged an alarming 63 times this season, including 11 in their 23-20 overtime win at Detroit last Sunday.
“You name it, we’re doing it,” Ryan said. “The whole organization is committed to finding a way to get better at this.”
When the team hit the grass after a penalty Wednesday, owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum joined in.
“We were talking this morning, saying it sure would be nice if everyone, in an act of solidarity, in the entire organization did push-ups, too,” Matt Higgins, the Jets’ executive vice president for business operations, told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
“So, we kicked around the idea of it and mentioned it to some of the staff but then it spread like wildfire,” Higgins added, “which really is a reflection of the extent to which Rex really makes you want to run through a wall.”
Higgins sent out an organization-wide e-mail Thursday, saying that everyone would be doing push-ups on the practice field after the team was done. At 3:45 p.m., about 60 staff members gathered, lined up and did 60 push-ups — 10 each for the three penalties at practice.
“It was kind of like a scene out of ‘Rudy,'” Higgins said.
ESPNNewYork.com first reported the organization-wide push-ups.
Higgins added that about 10 sales employees at the New Meadowlands Stadium also got the e-mail and did their push-ups there.
“This is a commitment,” Higgins said. “We’re all committed to standing behind the team to get the penalties under control. This will continue throughout the season.”
The penalty push-ups have gotten lots of buzz on Twitter, and Higgins said fans have even offered to join in.
“Our fans do a lot, so certainly we wouldn’t require it from them,” Higgins said with a laugh, “but by all means the social pressure of our fans also doing the push-ups can only help the cause.”
While it will make for an unusual scene at the team’s practice facility, Ryan would prefer that no one has to do any push-ups.
“That would be the ideal,” Higgins said, “that it will be a penalty-free day on Friday.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
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