When Jets strength coach Sal Alosi claimed he and he alone designed and implemented the sideline phalanx aimed at impeding gunners on the opposing punt team, we suspected that Alosi was taking the fall for a practice that was actually designed and implemented by special-team coordinator Mike Westhoff and/or head coach Rex Ryan. Given that Alosi had previously lied to the team about whether a coordinated effort was made to limit the amount of room with which the opposing gunners had to work, most organizations would have fired Alosi on the spot.
When Alosi wasn’t fired, we predicted two outcomes. First, the Jets would find a way to keep him. Second, Alosi would leave the employment of the team and receive a severance package that included a written commitment not to talk to the media or anyone else about what Westhoff and Ryan knew, and when they knew it.
As to the latter possibility, Alosi no longer is employed by the Jets. Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that a Jets spokesman declined to say whether Alosi received a severance package or signed a confidentiality agreement.
If Alosi actually did not sign a confidentiality agreement, it would be in the team’ best interests to say so. Under these circumstances, “no comment” arguably amounts to implied confirmation that he received something of value in exchange for a willingness to adopt the demeanor of Sgt. Schulz.
From the Jets’ perspective, it’s good business. They pay Alosi for three or four months and he agrees never to say anything to anyone about what he knows. And he received the opportunity to resign, which makes it much easier to land a new job than saying, “I got fired.”
Bottom line? Strength coaches usually aren’t involved in developing or implementing strategy. It would be strange for Alosi to have been acting on his own, especially since the video of the incident that exposed the practice shows coach Rex Ryan standing next to the alignment of Alosi and others standing shoulder-to-shoulder and toe-to-toe.
In the end, the Jets did something to merit a $100,000 fine. And that seems to be a very stiff punishment for something as simple as a strength coach gone rogue.