PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Rex Ryan greets Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 19 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Certain aspects of Rex Ryan's book have been getting attention since it was released. One that has generated a few headlines over the weekend was a request Rex made of the commissioner to rip both him and Santonio Holmes in front of each other. The idea was to bring the two closer together. Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe had strong words yesterday.
There is no problem with Goodell ripping Ryan, even if doing so in front of a player is unusual. The coach was right: He had it coming.
There is nothing wrong with Goodell taking Holmes to the woodshed, even in front of Ryan.
But combining the two as a scheme devised by a coach?
Ryan is not at fault. It was a smart move on his part and, as he said, it did work.
But what business is it of the commissioner to help "bring a player closer’’ to his coach?
It is easy to write this off as a bitter Boston writer complaining. In all honesty, I think there is a lot to suggest it is just that. He brings up an interesting point, though. Was Goodell in the wrong?
My take is as follows. It seems like Goodell was going to speak with both Ryan and Holmes about their behavior, Rex for the incident in Miami where he gave some hecklers the finger and Santonio for all of the off field conduct that got him in trouble with the league. Goodell's thinking probably wasn't to try and help the Jets. He probably just saw it as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and get a pair of unpleasant conversations out of the way at once instead of making separate appointments. We all do stuff like this at work. It seems much more about saving time than about any sort of underhanded deed. It's easy to twist this kind of thing in hindsight. It is only bad for Goodell if his intention was to give the Jets an edge, and there is no indication any sort of thing like this took place.
So to answer Bedard's question, the commissioner was doing his job to reprimand two people who had done things that merited a reprimand. He wasn't trying to bring a player closer to his coach.