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When he was hired . . .
as Jets GM, Joe Douglas said, “The plan is to create the best culture in sports. Every great team has that culture. It’s gonna take people with the right level of commitment, character and competence.”
For the most part, he’s done a pretty good job trying to build this.
It’s a good locker room – a lot of guys wired right. Will give you two examples off the beaten path:
Late in the season, I interviewed linebacker Jamien Sherwood and safety Tony Adams, and walked away thinking, “These kids really have their acts together – they really get it – both smart, driven and focused.”
You find that a lot in this locker room. Douglas and his staff generally do a great job vetting prospects.
But no vetting system is perfect.
The Athletic’s story this week about what Elijah Moore said to former OC Mike LaFleur a few days after the Jets’ win over the Green Bay Packers, certainly isn’t good for the culture.
Zach Rosenblatt reported this week that Moore, at the Thursday practice following the Jets’ 27-10 win over the Packers on Oct. 16, told the team’s then-OC Mike LaFleur to “go f–k yourself” and “you suck.”
How could anybody, in their right mind, say this is good for culture?
We have known about this outburst for a while, but this week it finally came out what Moore said to LaFleur.
This was worse than we thought. Telling one of your bosses to “go f–k yourself” and “you suck” after a win over the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field?
And then after the outburst, he asked for a trade? So clearly he took no ownership.
Remember, there were character concerns about the player coming out of Ole Miss.
“He might have been best known for infamously celebrating his touchdown catch with just four seconds remaining catch against rival Mississippi State by mimicking a urinating dog in the end zone,” wrote draft analyst Chad Reuter for NFL.com. “His celebration drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty, which pushed back an extra point attempt that was no good and allowed MSU to win the annual Egg Bowl by one point.”
And now this, the player telling his then-OC to “go f–k yourself.”
After the incident, before the public knew about what Moore said, Saleh said, “I’ve got no problem with Elijah. He’s one of our high-character individuals.”
Look, we understand a coach standing up for his players in a press conference, but some people might argue that a player speaking this way to his OC, after a win over Green Bay in Lambeau, isn’t a sign of high character.
After Moore’s blowup, LaFleur said, “We want those guys to be ultracompetitive and want the ball.”
This is the spin you often hear in the NFL after a player complains about not getting the ball.
Everyone wants to ball more, but some guys go public with it, and others take the high road, and say nothing publicly, for the sake of the culture.
So while, for the most part, Douglas has done a good job adding the right culture players, there is way anybody can argue that a player telling an assistant coach to “go f–k yourself,” is a move that fits in well with a cultural rebuild.
And I challenge anybody to counter this.
So the Jets need to do a deep dive and figure out whether this player is an ideal fit for their culture, or maybe it’s time to honor his trade request if they get a great offer (they can’t give him away).
January 20, 2023
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