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The Culture of No Accountability

Dilip Vishwanat

I'd like to link a video posted by our friends at The Jets Blog. The SNY postgame crew gave grades to the Jets after the disaster at the Meadowlands.

Near the end of the video, Adam Schein suggests the Jets cut Bart Scott to send a message to the locker room. Ray Lucas suggests benching Mark Sanchez. These two and Kris Jenkins agree the players feel too safe in their jobs. Lucas compares it to playing for Bill Parcells, who made it clear nobody's job was safe and would regularly cut players to send that message.

It's one thing for me to complain about the lack of accountability, but it's another to hear it from former players like Lucas and especially one like Jenkins who played in the same locker room with a lot of the same players. They seem to argue that knowing your job is on the line gets you to work harder and play with more urgency.

Looking at the last few years, it's difficult to argue with them. Mark Sanchez shows no progress as a player in 2011 and is rewarded with a contract extension getting paid elite quarterback money even though he's never been an elite quarterback. He can't get benched. I'm not even talking about losing his starting job. I'm talking about being benched for a series to send a message. Eric Smith gets beaten like a drum constantly. All we hear about is how smart he is. He never gets benched. Wayne Hunter is one of the worst tackles in the league. He gets his contract guaranteed, and we hear for an offseason about how great he is and how the position coach will need to be shot for Hunter to lose his job. Santonio Holmes quits on the teams. He's welcomed back. Greg McElroy airs the locker room's dirty laundry. No consequences. Brian Schottenheimer deserves to be fired. But the Jets delay the search for his replacement and wait a week to fire him because they want to be nice and help him get the Jaguars head coaching job.

These guys might be onto something. There are sure plenty of examples of people being rewarded for being bad at their job. There's no sense of urgency when you know you have job security.