Just how high was the level of toxicity in the New York Jets’ locker room?
Rookie quarterback Greg McElroy used words like “selfish” and ”corrupt mindset” and “disappointing” to describe the mess as the team limped to an 8-8 finish with wide receiver Santonio Holmes accused of quitting by teammates in the Jets’ 19-17 loss Sunday in Miami.
“It's definitely not a fun place to be, I can assure you,” McElroy, who played collegiately at Alabama, said in an interview with 97.3 The Zone. “It’s the first time I've ever been around extremely selfish individuals, and I think that’s maybe the nature of the NFL. But there were people within our locker room that didn’t care whether we won or lost, as long as they got their ... they really had good games individually. That's the disappointing thing, and it's going to take a lot to kind of come together.”
McElroy was a seventh-round pick by the Jets, after leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2010. He dislocated his thumb before the season began and was placed on the injured reserve list. However, he attended meetings and was in the team’s facility all season.
“I think the fact that we struggled at times this year really led to a really just corrupt mindset within the locker room,” McElroy said. “But I think we’re going to regroup, and I know we’re going to be a better team because of the trials and tribulations this year.”
McElroy agreed with Coach Rex Ryan that a Super Bowl appearance was within the team’s grasp. “Quite frankly, if you go down the roster this year, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have made a Super Bowl run. The talent top to bottom is pretty remarkable. It’s a diasppointing thing, is the fact that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have, if you don’t come together as a group, and kind of just figure things out, and try to withstand the difficulties of the season, then you are just never going to amount to anything,” McElroy said. “[Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban preached that over and over again, and I think this is probably the first time that it ever really applied because you had people that refused to buy in. And I don’t know if those people are going to be here next year.”