Tony Dungy: I Would Have Deactivated Braylon Edwards After DUI
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards became the headline story for the Jets this week when he got popped for a DUI with his car full of teammates. Media members and the front office debated how the team should handle the situation, and we said the Jets should have shown him a lesson by benching him for the big Sunday night game against the Dolphins. They ultimately decided to bench Braylon for the first quarter of the game, with coach Rex Ryan explaining that Edwards had already been embarrassed enough by his teammates and media so there was no need to pile on. Fair enough.
NBC analyst and former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who met with Ryan to settle their cussing differences, says he would have acted differently. During Football Night in America on NBC, Dungy said “I think you have to discipline players. You have to let them you know what you expect. When I coached, I wasn’t worried about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I told our guys I’ve got two rules: if you’re out after 1am, if there’s drugs or alcohol involved, if you’ve got a gun, you’re not going to get the benefit of the doubt. I don’t care about the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I would have [deactivated Braylon Edwards] and the players would have known about it.”
I’m glad that Dungy stands for discipline and doesn’t tolerate drugs, alcohol, or guns, but I wonder if he would have done what he said had he been in Rex Ryan’s shoes. I’m sure Ryan wants to discipline Edwards, but it’s hard to make that move when you’re 1-1 and facing a divisional opponent who’s 2-0. Moreover, it’s a lot easier to say that when Peyton Manning is your quarterback. Dungy is saying the right thing, but I honestly wonder if he would have carried out his words had he been in Rex’s situation.