Coach Rex Ryan was unaware of the issues that split the New York Jets’ locker room as the team tumbled from a conference-championship appearance to a .500 record, All Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis said.
“After the season, we talked and basically, he didn’t know a lot of things that were going on behind the scenes,” Revis told the NFL Network in an interview. “I’m really not going to get into it, because some of the stuff is real deep.”
Revis, in his first public comments since reports of team turmoil surfaced at the end of the National Football League season, also said the team could have worked its way through the issues by addressing them early in the season. The Jets finished at 8-8, losing their final three games to miss the postseason for the first time with Ryan as coach.
“I think if we had addressed it when the time being, then everything would have been cool,” said Revis, who had four interceptions this season. “But obviously we didn’t and it the season kind of spiraled late.”
Revis, 26, was interviewed in Honolulu, where he is preparing for the Pro Bowl all-star game on Jan. 29.
Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson, an 11-year NFL veteran, said in a Jan. 18 interview with Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” program that the drama in the team’s locker room was as bad as he’s seen in his career.
“I’ve been around some locker rooms and quarterback-receiver situations and what not,” said Tomlinson. “But it was as bad as I’ve been around. It was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. So, when it gets to that point, there are certain changes that need to happen.”
While Tomlinson said quarterback Mark Sanchez was pampered by the coaching staff because he had no competition, Revis supported Sanchez and said the team needs to continue to build around him.
He also said the team is still behind Ryan, who said publicly before the season that he expected the Jets to reach the Super Bowl. Instead, it’s the New York Giants, who share MetLife Stadium with the Jets, who reached the championship game.
“If he says ‘Super Bowl,’ that’s cool,” Revis said. “That’s why we play this game, but if we’re not winning games then we need to figure out how to win games instead of just talking and saying whatever you want to say.”
Ryan said at a Jan. 2 news conference that the players weren’t as close as a team as they were the two previous seasons, which both ended with trips to the American Football Conference title game.
Revis said there should be a player meeting to clear the air as soon as the team gets together again for offseason workouts.
“The leaders need to step up, talk to everybody in the building and just say, ‘Hey man, look, this is our goal this year,’” he said. “‘This is what we need to accomplish. Let’s not get into the bickering or the frustration because it brings the team down.’ We failed. We failed. We were here. Expectations were high and it trickled down to us not making the playoffs.”