The fallout from the New York Jets failing to make the NFL playoffs is in full swing, with members of coach Rex Ryan’s staff leaving, players taking shots at quarterback Mark Sanchez and other players defending him.
In less than 24 hours, the coaching staff was shaken up with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer walking away, former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano replacing him, and a few assistants saying they won’t be back.
Now the latest controversy involves the shaky status of Sanchez.
Some of his teammates say he lacks the work ethic and leadership skills to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl. And with a new offensive coordinator in charge, the window for Sanchez to do so might have gotten a lot smaller.
“Mark is heading in the right direction,” left guard Matt Slauson said during a telephone interview Wednesday. “He is going to be a great quarterback and I really believe he can lead us to a championship. His rookie year, we went to the AFC championship and again last year. The guy can do it. He can get it done. The rest of the team has to do their part, too.”
The Daily News quoted one player, who was not identified, as saying Sanchez was “lazy and content.”
Another player suggested the Jets should do all they can to try to bring in Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, if he’s healthy, because Sanchez isn’t improving.
“Whoever said all that, they’re out of their minds and just trippin’,” defensive lineman Marcus Dixon said.
Around the league
The Chicago Bears have received permission to interview four candidates for their general manager job.
The team reported on its that it will interview Kansas City Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery, New England Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht, San Diego Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye and New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross. … Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck is retiring, ending a 45-year coaching career that included 29 in the NFL. The Cowboys are hiring Bill Callahan as Houck’s replacement. … “American Idol” Kelly Clarkson is set to perform at America’s most popular sporting event: the Super Bowl. Clarkson has been chosen to sing the national anthem before the NFL championship game at Indianapolis on Feb. 5, a person familiar with Super Bowl entertainment plans told The Associated Press.