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Rex Ryan’s book raises questions about Goodell’s role regarding Holmes

RexandSantonioGetty Getty Images

With Memorial Day weekend representing the news flow low point in the locked out NFL offseason, Jets coach Rex Ryan’s book has given us all a small gift, with the help of Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe.

Bedard points out, at page 174 of Play Like You Mean It, Ryan brags about the con he pulled on receiver Santonio Holmes after Holmes was traded to the Jets in April 2010.  Specifically, Ryan asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with the two men — and to rip Ryan in front of Holmes before ripping Holmes in front of Ryan.  The coach’s goal was “to bring Holmes closer to me,” by allowing the two men to commiserate after enduring a mutual ass-chewing from the Commish.

Bedard calls Goodell’s decision to comply with Ryan’s request “problematic.”  Bedard explains that he tried to interview Goodell about the situation during the recent ownership meetings in Indianapolis, a request which ultimately was granted in the form of a “71-second walk and talk.”  Though Goodell defended his involvement as something that “does help a player and does help a coach,” Bedard continues to believe that the gesture by the man who once worked for the Jets gave the Jets a competitive advantage.

“I don’t look at it that way,’’ Goodell told Bedard.  “I look at is as I was asked to try to help a young man who I like very much, and we’re going to continue to try to do whatever we can to make sure that he’s in the best position to continue his career and do the right things on and off the field.’’

Goodell denied that Holmes was misled by the manner in which the meeting was engineered.

“That’s not true,’’ Goodell said.  “Rex had had an issue publicly, and so did Santonio.  And he asked me to make sure I addressed both of them, which I did.  That’s what the personal conduct policy is about.  It applies to everybody.’’

Apart from the question of whether Goodell crossed a line that, in all fairness, is vague and fuzzy at best, Ryan’s candor could now hurt his relationship with Holmes, if Holmes now reflects on that meeting and concludes that he had been duped by his coach.

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61 Responses to “Rex Ryan’s book raises questions about Goodell’s role regarding Holmes”
  1. willycents says: May 29, 2011 8:42 PM

    nice conspiracy theory.

  2. david7590 says: May 29, 2011 8:55 PM

    Yeah, trying to help a guy with off the field issues to get comfortable with his new coach and team and turn over a new leaf, what a butt hole.

  3. thetooloftools says: May 29, 2011 8:56 PM

    Oh Hell… this is so stipud i cannot comment on it.

  4. panamon says: May 29, 2011 8:58 PM

    Are you suggesting that Goodell should only punish and not try to help players who break the law and violate the personal conduct policy?

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: May 29, 2011 9:01 PM

    I bet Santonio is crushed by this. Now I’m definitely not drafting him in fantasy…cough*

  6. siggy00 says: May 29, 2011 9:12 PM

    Just another example of why Goodell needs to go. A good commish stays out of the way. Goodell’s too busy being too involved, glad handing, and jock sniffing. He’s a friggin’ clown.

  7. abninf says: May 29, 2011 9:13 PM

    Why is a coach who never won a championship putting out a book?

  8. goombar2 says: May 29, 2011 9:17 PM

    Well, the preferential treatment stuff by the Commish is a driving force in a lot of the player anger toward him.

    In the beginning I was all for the personal conduct policy. Seemed like a good idea and things were getting out of hand.

    But the way it’s been used? Goodell has favorites and they get treated better than others. And he has no rhyme or reason behind his punishment. Now it’s been shown that the conduct policy hasn’t done anything to curb bad behavior.

    I’m not surprised that now Goodell has actually used this policy to help gel a team he used to work for… The end is neigh Goodell. Perhaps you might want to rethink your pay reduction due to the lockout.

  9. Deb says: May 29, 2011 9:23 PM

    For once, I don’t have a problem with Goodell’s handling of the situation and think Bedard must be desperate for a story. But the chance that Holmes or other players could feel manipulated is why it’s better that coaches don’t reveal these stories until after they’ve retired.

  10. pedd13 says: May 29, 2011 9:27 PM

    so my fav team, or any other team can call up goodell get him to fly out to there city. to play good cop bad cop, and he will?

  11. bears0492 says: May 29, 2011 9:33 PM

    I’m inclined to agree with Goodell here (can’t believe I just said that).

    If it was free agency, then perhaps the Jets would have gotten a competitive advantage out of the dual fry-sesh. But considering Ryan traded for Holmes, I don’t see how that gives Ryan an advantage.

  12. r8rsfan says: May 29, 2011 9:45 PM

    Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean that everyone’s not out to get you.

  13. siggy00 says: May 29, 2011 9:47 PM

    I’m sorry but that’s a major conflict of interest and bring into question Goodell’s integrity. He was (along with Ryan) a willing participant to “dupe” Santonio Holmes in order to bring Holmes and Ryan closer together. That’s wrong on so many levels.

    That’s Rex Ryan’s job. Not Roger Goodell’s.

    This should be the biggest story of the off-season next to the lockout. Goodell’s willing conduct could have a direct influence on the outcome of games.

  14. skoobyfl says: May 29, 2011 9:51 PM

    Board identity.

  15. trbowman says: May 29, 2011 9:59 PM

    Who is actually going to read this book?

  16. ampats says: May 29, 2011 10:06 PM

    Old News !!

    The meeting was held at 9 AM and Goodell, Ryan and Holmes “Waked and Baked”

  17. freedomispopular says: May 29, 2011 10:07 PM

    Like Rex or not, in this world of coaches, GMs, and owners consistently blowing smoke out their rears, you gotta appreciate his honesty.

  18. ampats says: May 29, 2011 10:10 PM

    Better title for the book should be predictions that never happened by:

    Harold Camping and Rex Ryan

  19. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: May 29, 2011 10:21 PM

    Assuming Rex Ryan’s recollection of his conversation with Roger Goodell is accurate, it’s not the job of the NFL Commissioner to help bring a player “closer” to a coach. While I don’t think Goodell’s participation in the meeting gave the Jets any measurable competitive advantage, I also don’t think it was good form on his part to agree to facilitate that meeting. He should have spoken to both men separately.

  20. gojets111111 says: May 29, 2011 10:36 PM

    can some one explain how holmes was duped .i dont understand?

  21. lance19 says: May 29, 2011 10:52 PM

    Like getting one player to literally start a fight with another, to copy Belichick’s old “bury the football” stunt, Ryan relies on cheap stunts.
    Which, I think, can work in the short run.
    (like promising Lombardi trophies).

    In the long run, though, fans, and players, just tune you out.

  22. pedd13 says: May 29, 2011 10:52 PM

    I’m sorry but that’s a major conflict of interest and bring into question Goodell’s integrity. He was (along with Ryan) a willing participant to “dupe” Santonio Holmes in order to bring Holmes and Ryan closer together. That’s wrong on so many levels.

    That’s Rex Ryan’s job. Not Roger Goodell’s.

    thats the point of the story, now goodell has to do the same thing for all teams

  23. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 29, 2011 10:59 PM

    Deb, nobody cares what you think.

    You don’t know anything about football, just know how to pretend to be a legal expert

  24. habsman says: May 29, 2011 11:04 PM

    Roger (Former Jets employee) Goodell.

    At a minimum, it was a stupid thing for the commissioner to do. And at its worst, it calls into question his integrity.

    How many of his decisions in the past were a result of his relationship with the Jets? Were the ridiculous sanctions in the “Spygate” affair the result of an over-reaction, or was he influenced by his past association with the Jets?

    In case you forgot, the Pats were fined 3/4 of a million dollars and lost a first round draft pick for video taping Jets sideline signals. Those signals were clearly visible to 80,000.

    But its probably just a coincidence, right?

  25. Kave Krew says: May 29, 2011 11:06 PM

    Based on this story, it looks like Belichick’s mistake was not asking Goodell to do the videotaping of the Jet’s signals……..sound Roger would’ve done it and then spin the story to cover his butt…..

  26. tfbuckfutter says: May 29, 2011 11:06 PM

    “gojets111111 says: May 29, 2011 10:36 PM
    can some one explain how holmes was duped .i dont understand?”

    Roger Goodell and Rex Ryan agreed, in advance, to put on a show in front of Santonio whereby Goodell yelled at both Rex and Santonio and then afterwards, Rex and Santonio could bond over a nice “what a butthole, amirite?” conversation.

    And if that didn’t work, Goodell was going to use even more subversive methods by outright telling Santanio “You absolutely should not sign with the Jets. It would be a terrible move that I would never agree with and you will be grounded hard if you do it.”

  27. jpmelon says: May 29, 2011 11:14 PM

    How does scolding a player and a coach in the same meeting help the Jets? Rex Ryan is the only person in the world dumb enough to think this would make a difference.

  28. siggy00 says: May 29, 2011 11:18 PM

    “can some one explain how holmes was duped .i dont understand?”

    By trying to bring them closer together because “BOTH” were chewed out by Goodell. They [Goodell and Rex] used a phony, pre-meditated “plan” to try and bring Holmes and Ryan closer together.

    That’s flat wrong.

  29. j0esixpack says: May 29, 2011 11:22 PM

    This is definitely newsworthy – and let’s not knock PFT for running something that Rex Ryan put in his book.

    I have less of a problem with Goodell doing a little play acting to show how a players actions have consequences for his coach

    I have a bigger problem with the idiocy of a coach who would detail that in a friggen book.

    I have a feeling that the next time Goodell speaks with Rex and rips him a new toe hole it won’t be play acting.

  30. ygkr85 says: May 29, 2011 11:41 PM

    Those suggesting the Commissioner develop no relationships with coaches and players are off base, IMO. However, the way the story is told by Rex Ryan…in his book…makes it seem like he is getting hooked up by the Commissioner and is this total (large foot-loving) dude.

    More likely, he asked Goodell for a favor- and the Commissioner complied. Solid coaching move, solid commissioner’ing’ –well done all around. Santonio has a big year and says out of trouble. Dollars pending…

    One step further– how much out of his day did the Commissioner take out of his day to deal with this situation? Thirty minutest tops? I actually question this Bedard guy as I picture his being some annoying journalist hanging around the ownership meetings looking to catch Goodell in an awkward moment while he has much better things to do…

  31. nyjalleffingday says: May 29, 2011 11:53 PM

    Jeez, Rex is the only person who even bothered to try it, I highly doubt Goodell cares, helping troubled players is good press that he desperately seeks.

    Stop reaching for stories

  32. improvmasta says: May 30, 2011 12:10 AM

    As a Pats fan, I have no problem admitting that Rex Ryan has a great football mind and is an asset to the league.

    As a football fan, I don’t understand why Goodell paricipated in this charade, or why either he or Ryan thought this was an appropriate thing to do. The only word that comes to mind is “weird”.

  33. pedd13 says: May 30, 2011 12:38 AM

    u guys are dumb, if u think this a non story..gooddell gave the jets a clear advantege,more than the pats had then spygate
    can goodell now ralk to any player without the player thinking im being scamed?

  34. themanchine says: May 30, 2011 12:49 AM

    abninf says:
    May 29, 2011 9:13 PM
    Why is a coach who never won a championship putting out a book?

    2000 Baltimore Ravens

  35. raiderspride says: May 30, 2011 12:52 AM

    I do not see anything wrong with Rex’s game plan. I see nothing wrong with the Goodell playing along.

    What is really wrong is Rex blabbing about it in a book.

    The man has a habit of shooting his mouth off. He is way too focused on Rex to ever have the focus to lead men into battle and gain the ultimate victory.

    Rex is George Armstrong Custer… If you have read your civil war history you will understand the parallel.

    Rex’s mouth and narcissistic attitude is going to be the demise of himself and all of the men he leads.

  36. nepatriots128154 says: May 30, 2011 12:56 AM

    I’m a Pats fan so I hate the Jets, but who cares. It was a neat idea by Ryan, and I highly doubt it provided any disadvantages to other teams. What a farce.

  37. stonedwhitetrash says: May 30, 2011 12:59 AM

    Why don’t the owners and players just cancel the entire season and see how everyone feels this time next year.

  38. stairwayto7 says: May 30, 2011 1:40 AM

    I guess Rex put his FOOT in his mouth again!

  39. TIM says: May 30, 2011 3:02 AM

    Ryan is very weird but that is beside the point. The point is that Goodell and the League dole out punishment for wayward players who do stupid things .What this shows is that Goodell cares about those players and not only punishes them to keep them in line but then goes the extra mile to try to see to it that they feel they have a good home with their team and Head Coach ,etc. ,so the player feels like he is part of the family and has a structure with his team that will stand with him and help him be a better citizen and more responsible member of society and the NFL.
    If holmes feels close to his HC then maybe he will come to his HC when he has further problems BEFORE he gets into trouble again ?
    The only thing I can see wrong with what Goodell and Ryan did in this case is they treated Holmes,a grown man, like a child. But I guess the fact is he was acting like a child already and that is why he was always getting into trouble.This probably shows that Goodell and Ryan look on Holmes as being about as responsible as a child and the Commish and all the other HC’s around the League (and most fans) probably share that opinion about many,many of the players around the League,and are fully justified in that opinion( as we all know by constantly reading about the bonehead and childlike attitudes of many players !).
    This little gesture probably helped in some small way to keep Holmes on the straight and narrow more than he might have been without the sharade.So maybe Goodell saved Holmes another fine or suspension and saved the Jets and the NFL from losing a top player to suspension ?

  40. jcdavey2011 says: May 30, 2011 5:25 AM

    actually this reads like “rex asked the commish to meet with both men”

    and that’s where it ends, the rest just looks like rex bragging again about something he more than likely didn’t ask for , the chewing out portion.

    in other words, it looks like rex is pulling a con on whoever reads his book, by taking credit for something.

    in essence he’s saying he asked for his boss to chew him out, after the fact, to make himself look in control

    and you guys fell for it lol

  41. cylondetector says: May 30, 2011 5:38 AM

    Yes, there is a massive conflict of interest regarding Goodells dealing with the Jets.

    Lest we forget the Jets were actually accused of videotaping the Patriots (Patriots staff caught them and told them to put the camera’s away) prior to Spygate.

    Thats got conveniently brushed under the carpet – and most people likely don’t recall it happening at all.

    The biggest story here is Rex Ryans continuous needy validation-seeking – sure it was a pretty clever ploy with Holmes – but do you really need to print it in your book about a year later?

    Holmes, if he has any IQ at all, will feel pretty foolish about being hoodwinked – and then having his coach tell the world about it.

  42. Spencer says: May 30, 2011 7:52 AM

    So Ryan used Goodell to help him manipulate one of his players? Wow.

  43. grpatriot says: May 30, 2011 8:11 AM

    The question should be how many other Coaches and players has the Commish play acted for?

    Seems like when these things pop up, somehow
    the Jets are involved? Now, please tell me that Sal Alosi made that decision on his own?

  44. jwil444 says: May 30, 2011 8:51 AM

    Rex Ryan has a book?

  45. tripg says: May 30, 2011 9:10 AM

    I’d call that an unfair competitive advantage! Fine Rex and the Comish $250K each! Strip the Jets of their 2012 1st round pick and put an asterisk by their….snicker… 1968 SuperBowl win! BWAAAAGHHHH!!!!

  46. bluefan204 says: May 30, 2011 9:11 AM

    Once again, Rex was utterly incapable of keeping his mouth shut. Shocking!

    This was an in-house issue that NEVER should have been directly brought to the attention of Goodell. If he had even a shred of integrity and/or intelligence, he would have told Rex to order up a platter of chili cheese fries, hunker down, and get even fatter with Holmes until they settled their differences.

  47. PFTiswhatitis says: May 30, 2011 9:18 AM

    Just wrong on so many levels.
    More material indicating that Goodell is a lousy commish. First off anyone working at that level thats worth a hill of beans would have met with the two men individually.

    Second, if I am the player I would have a problem with my coach playing head games like that and after I read about the antics in his book I lose trust in the guy. Just can’t trust what he says is sincere and honest.

    Third, WTH is Ryan disclosing this stuff for now. Wait until you are out of the game idiot. His mouth made him and ultimately will ruin him. Not entertained.

  48. bucfandango says: May 30, 2011 9:27 AM

    Any final requests?

    Yeah sure, a Cigarette and a Cupcake, with a Bud to wash it down.

  49. bucfandango says: May 30, 2011 9:28 AM

    Oh, and one for little buddy here.

  50. descendency says: May 30, 2011 9:53 AM

    This is a non-story, but even if you want to treat it like a story you have to at least give it both sides.

    Holmes is a troubled WR and Rex came up with a plan to try and keep him out of trouble. He asked the commissioner to help.

    Goddell, showing he doesn’t want to only be a punisher, obliged.

    Rex realizes he has to pull out all of the stops to beat Belichick.

  51. mswravens says: May 30, 2011 9:58 AM

    That’s the problem with a big mouth self promoter like Rex Ryan…he doesn’t know when to shut his pie hole & will continue to make remarks that come around to hurt him in the end.

    @manchine – Rex was the D line coach on the 2000 Ravens. That justifies writing a book? He wasn’t even the freakin’ D coordinator! Lets see, he also had Marvin Lewis (HC Bengals), Jack Del Rio (HC Jaguars), and Mike Smith (HC Falcons) on that staff. Lot of talent in addition to Rex…not to mention Ray Ray playing about as great a season as any MLB has ever enjoyed.

  52. grogansheroes says: May 30, 2011 10:41 AM

    I’m with everyone else that thinks it is a story. Why? Because Rex put it in a book. I also think, as a Pats fan, that there is something to this that doesn’t sit right. If the Pats had been caught taping say, the Dolphins or the Bills, would their punishment be so severe? I think everyone would agree that no, it would not. And when you look at all the issues the Jets had last year, like the tripping, and the illegal passing camp, the comments on the Pats, and very little done about it from the commish, it has to make you wonder about the guy, I have said since spygate, this guy is in over his head and does not deserve the job. He is maybe, just maybe, a good second fiddle, not a leader. the NFL will be a much better entity once this guy is gone, and that’s a fact!!

  53. nyjalleffingday says: May 30, 2011 11:19 AM

    And one more thing, who dragged this “story” to light? A writer from the Boston Globe. I wouldn’t say he’s biased at all, would you?

    You guys are dumb as bricks and prove it on a daily basis.

  54. corvusrex96 says: May 30, 2011 11:27 AM

    Commisioner playing favorites ??? we have seen this before……Paul Tagliabue long time DC resident, admitted fan of the redskins, and friend of Washington owner Jack Kent Cooke, blocks expansion team in B-More b/c the Redskins claim Baltimore is part of their market.

  55. redsghost says: May 30, 2011 12:04 PM

    “gojets111111 says:May 29, 2011 10:36 PM
    can some one explain how holmes was duped .i dont understand?”

    1) A Jet’s fan
    2) Doesn’t understand
    3) Huh, whoever would’ve seen that one coming.

  56. redsghost says: May 30, 2011 12:26 PM

    More likely, he asked Goodell for a favor- and the Commissioner complied. Solid coaching move, solid commissioner’ing’ –well done all around. Santonio has a big year and says out of trouble. Dollars pending…

    So, even a Jet’s fan acknowledges that the Jet’s cheated on this one.
    A Jet’s employee asked a former Jet’s employee who now is in the greatest postion of power in the NFL for a “favor”.
    Goodell complies with said request for a “favor”. As said above, Santonio has a big year and stays out of trouble- this isn’t a competitive advantage?
    I have a problem with this. The Commish shouldn’t even show an inkling of participating in this scam against Holmes. Like any person of authority, i.e Police commissioners/policemen, Mayors/politicians, not only does he have to avoid illegalities but he must avoid even the scent of one, otherwsie he brings doubts to the office and his actions beforehand and postRex.

  57. andrewfbrowne says: May 30, 2011 1:37 PM

    People really get fired up about things that are not that important, if you look at it from the perspective of Goodell, he is trying to get a young man to commiserate with his head coach so that he can stay out of trouble.

    The Jets traded for Holmes, he had baggage, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers couldn’t make it work, Holmes got a talking to and suspended and since he went to the Jets the kid has kept his nose clean. Mission Accomplished.

    Ask Mike Vick if the conduct policy works. That is one of the most remarkable turnarounds in any avenue of life. Ask Marshawn Lynch if it works while he was streamrolling Saints last year in the playoffs after he streamrolled some lady with his car in Buffalo.

    How many more guys have been arrested this year? Conduct policy works and so far it is the best part of Goodell’s legacy.

    This is Much Ado about Nothing.

  58. inandywetrust2011 says: May 30, 2011 2:25 PM

    In this case. Goodel shows remarkable capitolzation of his powers. he saw that by backing Rex, the player would realize that the Jet situation would benefit his life. And it did! Brilliant move by Goddel and Rex!

  59. bsandcs says: May 30, 2011 2:42 PM

    andrewfbrowne says:
    May 30, 2011 1:37 PM

    How many more guys have been arrested this year? Conduct policy works and so far it is the best part of Goodell’s legacy.

    ——————————————————-
    46 current player arrests in 2010
    19 current player arrests so far in 2011

    i have no idea if that’s considered good or not

  60. lance19 says: May 30, 2011 3:47 PM

    Rex asking commissioner to be in a play = a little weird

    Commissioner agreeing to be in a staged play, to help a particular coach = weirder

    Attention-starved coach so hungry for people to think he’s clever, publicly revealing the player he fooled, thus undoing his own trick = ridiculous

  61. mempusa says: May 30, 2011 5:38 PM

    I’m with Goody here

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