Accountability so important in NFL

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In team sports, accountability is very, very important, and it comes in many different forms. And while you don’t want to be a martinet these days, you also can’t be too laissez-faire with your approach . . .

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy clearly can’t get over getting traded by his home-state Philadelphia Eagles. He basically called Eagles coach Chip Kelly a racist in the latest issue of ESPN Magazine.

“You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest,” McCoy said. “But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.”

That is so ridiculous, and so wrong. To play the race card with Kelly is preposterous. His teams at Oregon, and with the Eagles, are loaded with black players.

Kelly got rid of McCoy and DeSean Jackson because they are prima donnas, not because of the color of their skin.
This allegation is slanderous, and below-the-belt, in my opinion.

So what does new Bills coach Rex Ryan think of what McCoy said?

He said he won’t “muzzle” his players.

“I’d rather just be ourselves,” Ryan said following the team’s voluntary conditioning session Wednesday. “I think the players are more comfortable doing that. I know I’m more comfortable doing that. And I think that’s the way it is. I think you’ll get a real feel for who we are.”

I already have a feeling for who you are? And accountability looks like it might a problem for your program in Buffalo, like it was with the Jets.

Was Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett “muzzling” Greg Hardy when he made an irresponsible comment about the Twin Towers in relation to the Carolina Panthers tall receivers? Not at all. They had a little chat.

Rex isn’t a big fan of these little chats, whether it’s after a player commits a dumb penalty or makes a dumb comment.

He’s non-confrontational. He likes to be liked.

This line caught my attention – “I think the players are more comfortable doing that.”

Is a football coach’s job to make the players comfortable?

It seems to me, the great coaches, don’t allow players to get comfortable – they put in strict rules and constantly make them uneasy about job security. Making players uncomfortable, in a good way, can bring out the best in them.

I heard a former player on ESPN, when asked about Rex’s comment about not muzzling players, talking about what a great players coach Rex is.

I’m getting a little tired of this.

Not holding guys accountable makes somebody a great players coach?

I’m sorry, I have a big problem with McCoy playing the race card with Kelly, and I if were his coach, I would tell him to “cool it.” Or at least say to him, “we need you to focus 100 percent on Buffalo and move on from Philly. Put it in the rear-view mirror. You are a great player, we need this to be all about Buffalo now.”

The reason I keep bringing up Rex is to juxtapose him with the Jets’ new coach Todd Bowles. I’m not putting Todd in Canton, but I’m telling you, he’s really, really big on accountability, which is something the Jets desperately need at this juncture.

May 6, 2015

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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