Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rex Ryan's coin-toss crass acts

Getty Images

Getty Images

Rex Ryan has a unique tradition of appointing team captains for individual games based on whether any of his players previously played for the opposing team, or if there is some sort of symbolism associated with the opposition.

This time, though, he has gone too far.

A few weeks ago, he had the entire offensive line go out for the coin toss against the Jaguars in London because former Bills coach Doug Marrone now coaches for Jacksonville. In September, he had former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, a central figure in a bullying scandal two years ago, join former Miami players Dan Carpenter and Charles Clay as team captains for a road game against the Dolphins. On Sunday, he appointed the same captains when Buffalo hosted the Dolphins.

In poor taste? Yes, especially because Incognito caused such a national uproar regarding his behavior toward former teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito himself has been chastened by the experience and appears to be a more mature individual, but there still was no need for the gratuitous reminder. Especially because this is Incognito's first season back since being suspended in 2013.

But Ryan's latest decision to appoint IK Enemkpali the team captain for Thursday night's game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium has crossed the line of decency, and the coach needs to grow up and change his mind.

Enemkpali is the player who blew apart the Jets' locker room on Aug. 11, when he got into an argument with quarterback Geno Smith over a $600 airline ticket and promptly slugged the third-year quarterback in the jaw. Smith, who was Ryan's quarterback in the coach's last two years with the Jets, has not started a game since, with Ryan Fitzpatrick taking over and leading the Jets to a 5-3 record heading into Ryan's first meeting against his old team.

What a terrible show of sportsmanship from the former Jets coach. Disgraceful, in fact.

Smith's career may never be the same because of what happened that morning at the Jets' training facility, and for Ryan to so willfully and cavalierly anoint Enemkpali for the ceremonial captaincy is an affront to common decency. It also is a right to the jaw of the NFL's latest efforts to address domestic violence and workplace harassment.

The Enemkpali-Smith altercation is surely a violation of the league's workplace regulations and goes against the very essence of what the league is trying to accomplish in raising awareness about inappropriate behavior. As such, Enemkpali was banned for the first four games of the season. This after Ryan claimed him on waivers the same day the linebacker punched Smith.

Ryan deserved to be called out for bringing in Enemkpali so soon, and he was rightly criticized. And he deserves more outrage by naming Enemkpali a team captain.

"I'll get ripped, whatever," Ryan said in divulging that Enemkpali will be a captain. He added that tight end Matt Mulligan, who used to play for the Jets, also will be a captain. "For them to be out there, you recognize their former teammates," he said.

Baloney. It's a cheap ploy to motivate his team, and in this case, it's a bush-league move.

While he's at it, Ryan might as well appoint one more former Jet as a captain for Thursday night's game: himself. After all, that's who this is really all about. — Newsday

Rex Ryan's coin-toss crass acts 11/10/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.