Frustration isn’t an excuse to publicly call out teammates
During the Philadelphia Eagles’ 31-7 blowout of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Quinnen Williams took a jab at his own offense by comparing his efforts to those of the 49ers’ Nick Bosa, the likely Defensive Player of the Year.
Although Williams quickly deleted the tweet, he must understand that once something is in the Twitterverse, particularly when it’s been posted by such a famous star, it lives forever.
Quinnen Williams said “give me Aaron Rodgers.” pic.twitter.com/4fFTzD6TRa
— Jake Brown (@JakeBrownRadio) January 30, 2023
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This did not land well.
Jets fans can surely understand Williams’s resentment. After all, they lose five games in which they allowed one defensive touchdown or fewer. That is an outrageous number. In the team’s losses, they averaged just 10.7 points scored per game, making their 20.3 points allowed per game in those contests ring hollow despite its status as one of the best marks in the league. We don’t need to list all the stats to demonstrate how futile the Jets’ offense was in 2022.
Still, this is not acceptable for a player who is viewed as a team leader and who is seeking a contract extension from the team. I wrote an article explaining why Williams is a safe bet to lock up, and one of the points I mentioned is his status as a hard-working leader of the team. This is a me-first comment that emphasizes his own personal achievements while denigrating his teammates’ lack of reciprocation.
Several Jets offensive players have indicated their preference for Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback, including Sauce Gardner and Breece Hall (who liked a tweet saying that Rodgers could turn Garrett Wilson into Davante Adams). However, that is largely in lockstep with Robert Saleh‘s statement in a press conference that the Jets are going to look to bring in a veteran quarterback.
Williams’s tweet, on the other hand, was more similar to some of the behavior we saw from Jets players throughout the season. Garrett Wilson and Denzel Mims throwing up their hands in frustration when a throw was off-target or they didn’t get the ball, Elijah Moore’s public antics and trade request, and even Sauce Gardner and John Franklin-Myers liking tweets about Zach Wilson’s lack of accountability are all me-first actions. They erode the concept of team, a word that notably contains no “I.”
While the sentiment was understandable, the delivery was not. For all the talk of the culture Saleh has brought to the Jets, there seems to have been an awful lot of controversy this season stemming from the reverse. It would behoove Saleh to nip this in the bud before it frays the edges of yet another season.
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