NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Stories about dissension in the ranks when a team is enduring a terrible season are nothing new.
But when it comes to the Jets, they are usually too juicy to sweep under the rug.
As is the case with a report that appeared on SBNation.com this week that suggests that the big, happy family the Jets claim to be is anything but.
The story’s reporter, Thomas George, wrote that a serious difference in philosophy between head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has helped plunge the 2-10 club into a “toxic” environment, featuring back-biting and unnecessary friction.
In an excerpt from the story, the writer claims a team management source told him that Ryan on more than one occasion considered firing Mornhinweg over the coordinator’s refusal to see things Ryan’s way and employ more of a run-first offense, as opposed to the passing attack Morhinweg prefers.
In addition, the piece, which is chock-full of quotes from anonymous Jets players, takes aim at the John Idzik-Ryan dynamic, stating the general manager and head coach have not seen eye to eye on the handling of second-year quarterback Geno Smith, especially this past Monday night against Miami.
The writer asserts that Ryan was forced to start Smith, and that Mornhinweg then decided to run the ball 49 times (as opposed to a total of just 13 pass attempts) to “stick it to” Ryan, or relay in no uncertain terms that a purely run-dominated offense simply does not work in today’s NFL.
The Jets ran for well over 200 yards, but lost the game 16-13.
Ryan and Jets players were asked about the report on Friday and they quickly became a united front, saying the piece was a lot more fiction than fact.
“Not once, not once, have I thought about replacing any coach,” Ryan said.
Michael Vick backed up Ryan, saying any idea of Ryan wanting to fire Mornhinweg is “a false accusation.”
Ryan added, “The 2-10 record is the only thing that doesn’t make sense to us… This is a tight group. It’s a hard-working group.”
Added veteran linebacker Calvin Pace: “This is not a dysfunctional organization. There is no bickering.”
Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was acquired by the Jets from the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 17, said his first impressions of his new team have been overwhelmingly positive, adding charges of a toxic atmosphere are “1,000 percent false.”
The Jets will take on the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday looking to end a two-game slide.
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