Santonio Holmes hasn’t been shy about expressing his frustration with the New York Jets offensive line in recent weeks. Veteran Brandon Moore took a stand today against Holmes, clearly stating his anger with his commentary and the freedom he is receiving from the organization’s hierarchy to come after Moore and his peers on the line. Red flags are flying up everywhere as most people see the Jets quickly disintegrating into a circus that is coming apart at the seams. There is no question that turmoil is present when analyzing the current state of the locker room.
Holmes is a competitor and we love that about him. He is a clutch playmaker who is accustomed to winning. With that being said, the decision to make him a captain was somewhat head turning. He has a reputation for immaturity and occasional selfishness. Rex Ryan put the “C” on his chest after only logging 12 regular season games for the Jets last year because of a suspension. The decision could be looked at as a mildly juvenile one. Hey, we just convinced this big time receiver to come back with us long term and I think he is our biggest playmaker, let’s throw a captaincy his way.
In reality, a captaincy likely would have made more sense for one of your All-Pro offensive lineman, Nick Mangold or D’Brickashaw Ferguson. A pair of players who were drafted by the team in 2006 and have been a major part of the organization’s winning ways since then. Actually, it probably would have made even more sense for Brandon Moore who is the longest tenured player on the offense. A player who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2002, starting out as a defensive lineman before moving to guard to start 110 consecutive games and counting for the Jets. Moore has consistently been one of the better guards in football and represents the organization well off the field as the player’s union rep, furthering his knowledge by taking management courses at Harvard.
Put yourself in Moore’s shoes, hearing your work criticized in public by a player who has been in your organization for less than two full seasons. Your offensive line has carried your unit to the AFC Championship Game in back to back years and now you have to read tabloids from your receiver questioning your ability. Moore, Ferguson, Mangold, Matt Slauson, and Wayne Hunter do the dirty work that allows Holmes to put himself on the highlights reels.
I have never been inside in the Jets locker room but I venture a safe guess that Moore is more respected than Holmes because of his tenure and the way he carries himself. Holmes is a captain for the first time in his life and maybe is still struggling to sort out what kind of voice that gives him. A “C” on your chest is only a letter, it doesn’t mean anything if your teammates don’t follow or respect you. Part of the blame falls on Ryan for making Holmes a captain when he may have not deserved it and you can cut Holmes some slack since he is new to the role. Yet, he needs to look in the mirror and ask himself what he thinks he is gaining by calling out his offensive line to the New York media.
Talk to Moore and your linemen as teammates behind closed doors. Better yet, think twice to criticize them when you are struggling because I don’t recall you praising them when you were scoring touchdowns and the team was winning.
Losing is an ugly thing, especially in a team sport like football. It is a virus that infects the entire environment of an organization. You can only rise above it as a team, never as an individuals.