The NFL told us Monday that it wouldn’t investigate whether the Jets formed a wall of sideline personnel aimed at creating an artificial barrier to the ability of Dolphins gunner to run out of bounds while covering a punt. The Jets apparently decided to conduct their own investigations, and they’ve concluded that the so-called Alosi alignment was created by strength coach Sal Alosi himself.
And so the Jets have suspended Alosi indefinitely, changing their suspension of him that previously would have expired after the 2010 regular season and postseason, if there is one for the Jets.
The announcement came in a conference call with G.M. Mike Tannenbaum, who per Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger said that the Jets “discovered” that Alosi instructed players to form a wall on the sideline. Tannenbaum explained that players interviewed on Tuesday said that Alosi told them to stand next to each other.
The strategy imploded when Alosi decided to stick a knee in the direction of Carroll, tripping him up and exposing the scheme.
The process apparently ends with Alosi. Tannenbaum said that no other coaches told Alosi to do it. On Monday, head coach Rex Ryan denied knowledge of any such plan, even though video of the incident shows Ryan standing in a spot where he could plainly see Alosi and the others. On Tuesday, specials-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff likewise denied responsibility for the incident.
Left unanswered for now is whether Alosi had used this approach in the past, or whether it was unveiled for the first time on Sunday. Tannenbaum said that the team is investigating whether it happened in other games.
It also appears that Alosi was dishonest with the media and, presumably, the team. “No, it wasn’t anything that was instructed,” Alosi said in a Monday press conference. “Our inactive players, our guys that don’t play, we try to keep those guys focused on the game. Root their players on. There was a double-vice that was right there on our sideline and we wanted to cheer on our guys.”
Tannenbaum said today that it’s a “big concern” that Alosi didn’t share all information with them on Monday. That’s a nice way of saying Alosi lied and, frankly, he needs to be fired because of it.
Employers need to be able to expect honesty from employees when investigating potential wrongdoing. When an employee is caught lying in connection with such matters, the decision unfortunately becomes very easy.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether Alosi admits that it was all his idea, or whether he’ll point a finger at Ryan or Westhoff. Regardless of how it all turns out, we find it hard to believe that no one noticed what was happening, if Alosi was doing it for multiple games.
Of course, Alosi’s candor will depend on his ultimate penalty. If he saves his job, it’s likely that he’ll shut his mouth.