In separate radio interviews Wednesday, New York Jets quarterbacks past and present unloaded on the team for fostering a culture of dysfunction and selfishness. And neither of them was Joe Namath.
Rookie Greg McElroy, when asked about the mood in the Jets’ locker room after Santonio Holmes’ scuffle with teammates during Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, told WZNN-FM in Birmingham, Ala., that a ‘‘corrupt mind-set’’ existed, which made the locker room ‘‘definitely not a fun place to be, I can assure you.’’
McElroy, who spent the season on injured reserve, praised coach Rex Ryan’s approach and said he hoped that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer returned. But he sounded distressed at sharing a locker room with ‘‘extremely selfish individuals.’’ He said they ‘‘didn’t care whether we win or lost as long as they got theirs,’’ a response that reinforces Ryan’s appraisal Monday that he did not have the pulse of his team.
McElroy added: ‘‘It’s going to take a lot to kind of come together next year. I know that we’ll be a better team because of the trials and tribulations this year.’’
Watching his former team’s implosion from afar, Boomer Esiason told WEEI-FM in Boston that Ryan’s decision to install Holmes as an offensive captain was ‘‘an absolute embarrassment’’ and a ‘‘slap in the face of all the good guys in that locker room.’’ Esiason said general manager Mike Tannenbaum was responsible for putting ‘‘a lot of bad guys together in this locker room.’’
‘‘There’s a good core of players for the New York Jets,’’ Esiason said. ‘‘But unfortunately, all it takes is one guy.’’
That guy was Holmes, although Esiason saved some of his harshest criticism for Mark Sanchez, whom he compared to a ‘‘Chihuahua standing on Madison Avenue and 36th Street entering the Midtown Tunnel, eyes bigger than you-know-what, and just so shaky.’’
During the Jets’ three-game losing streak, Sanchez accounted for nine turnovers, including three interceptions in the loss to Miami on Sunday.
Esiason also said he thought the Jets were trying to find their Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers and that he expected the team to pursue Peyton Manning if Indianapolis, as expected, selects Andrew Luck with the top pick in the draft. On Monday, Tannenbaum guaranteed that Sanchez would return as the Jets’ starting quarterback next season.