LaDainian Tomlinson: Jets Locker Room Problems as Bad as He’s Been Around
On Sunday LaDainian Tomlinson pinned the Jets’ locker room problems on a rift between Mark Sanchez and the wide receivers. He took his statements even further during an interview on Inside the NFL.
“And I’ve been around some locker rooms and quarterback-receiver situations and what-not,” Tomlinson said. “But it was as bad as I’ve been around. You know it was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. There was nothing that the players could do. So when it gets to that point there are certain changes that need to happen.”
Tomlinson says the Santonio Holmes-Mark Sanchez feud was really bad.
“It got out-of-hand toward the end of the season,” he said. “That is why it got out in the media. This is something that happened (in the) third or fourth week of the season, that was going on, and nobody knew about it because the players kept it under wraps. Until we went on that losing streak and guys started to speak up and speak out about certain things.”
As if that’s not bad enough, LT blames the Jets organization for what happened.
“They (the organization) created this,” Tomlinson said. “This is the type of football team that they wanted. Mike Tannenbaum (and) Rex Ryan are both brash, in-your-face type of style, say whatever you want, just get it done on the field. And then it leads to other things (like) guys are calling each other out and saying I’m not getting the ball or whatever it may be.”
Tomlinson also wasn’t fond of Rex Ryan’s bold predictions.
“I would prefer him not to say it as much as he did,” Tomlinson said. “I don’t mind every now and again saying we are going to win a championship. Maybe at the beginning of the year just saying, ‘Hey, our goal is to win a championship.’ But at the same time every week if you are calling out a team on certain things, I think it puts a little extra on your team. Guys really want to go out there and say, ‘Let’s shut this guy up. Let’s shut these Jets up, just end their season.’ I think that adds to that when Rex speaks up like that because, you know, everybody doesn’t like that type of style, and they’re not supposed to. But at the same time there are certain things that you can do to not have it come off like that.”
What’s funny is how pleased Tomlinson seemed to be in 2010, his first year with the team. Back then he loved Rex Ryan’s approach and loved his new organization. Here’s what he said in October, 2010:
“People get on us for talking about winning the championship and things that we want to do here,” Tomlinson said. “But for me, if we’re going to talk about it — and I see the type of talent we have here — I want the guys to know what a guy like Vince Lombardi said about what it takes to be No. 1.”
He didn’t seem to mind talking about winning it all back then. So the issue remains: is it bad characters that led to the locker room problems, or is it losing? It’s always been said that winning cures all issues, and it’s hard to disagree with that.