Excuse me, but isn't this what coaches are for? If so, then why is Rex Ryan getting all kinds of credit for what is written in the job description of all 32 NFL Head Coaches?
To what am I referring? Santonio Holmes. Maybe Antonio Cromartie as well. Perhaps Braylon Edwards. So much is being made of Rex Ryan at this point, as if he is walking some tenuous tightrope situation in New York with guys who might threaten someone's life in a locker room. It's ridiculous. Even worse, he's eating it up.
Let me explain: Last time I checked, it was the head coach's job to have his team together and ready to play. It's the head coach's job to establish the proper tone in the locker room. It's the head coach's job to keep heads held high through tough times and to keep players grounded when spirits are soaring. This means that every single head coach in the National Football League should be able to properly handle a "possible problem." If not, you have to question that coach's ability.
A quick disclaimer is needed. The Steelers have a PR issue on their hands. Two star players. Two soap operas. I get it. Something has to be done. That's not an issue with Mike Tomlin. It's about saving face and worrying about talent issues later. But every team in the league had a chance to get a young receiver in his prime who had 1,200+ yards last year and stellar performances in clutch situations. There's probably 10 or so guys in the league who could do the same. And he was just had for a fifth round pick.
Sure, some guys are just deluxe head cases so messed up no one can handle them. But those are the guys who can't find a job (or at least not a good one). Pacman Jones is still sitting after flirting with signing with the Lions. Matt Jones had to sit for a long time before hopefully resurrecting his career in Cincy. Marvin Harrison, been nice knowin' ya. But some of the guys the media's discussed lately have just made some dumb choices (Cromartie has seven kids, which has zero to do with on-the-field product).
Some franchises say they need to protect the culture. But I believe a head coach creates a culture. And unless you're dealing with a chronic head case, there's just no reason to shy away from someone who made a bad decision, got into trouble once or twice or might be a distraction. That's why you pay the guys in headsets to do what they do. And I believe after this 2010 season plays out, 31 other teams will be wishing they would have challenged their own head coach to do the same as Rex Ryan will this season.