Jets Suffered Because of Selfish Players, Rookie Quarterback McElroy Says

The New York Jets had their worst season since 2007 because players cared more about their own performances than winning, backup quarterback Greg McElroy said.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been around extremely selfish individuals,” McElroy told the Eli Gold and Stan White show on radio station 97.3 The Zone in Birmingham, Alabama. “There were people within our locker room that didn’t care whether we won or lost as long as they had good games individually. And that’s the disappointing thing.”

The Jets lost their final three games to finish the National Football League season with an 8-8 record. The team missed the playoffs after reaching the American Football Conference championship game in coach Rex Ryan’s first two seasons in charge.

“I don’t think we were as close as a football team as we were the first two years and now we’re sitting on the outside looking in,” Ryan said Jan. 2.

The slump was capped by the benching of captain Santonio Holmes following a verbal altercation with teammates during the fourth quarter of a season-ending loss in Miami.

McElroy, without naming individual players, said the team may have difficulty uniting next year.

“The fact that we struggled at times this year really led to a really just corrupt mindset within the locker room,” said McElroy, who spent the season on injured reserve after hurting his thumb in training camp. “We had people that refused to buy in and I don’t know if those people are going to be here next year.”

The rookie, who was drafted in 2011 from the University of Alabama, said the Jets have the talent to make a run for the Super Bowl. Ryan said three days ago he doesn’t expect drastic changes during the offseason and that Holmes will be back.

“We’re going to regroup,” McElroy told the radio station. “I know we’ll be a better team because of the trials and tribulations this year.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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