Did Jets set up wall to try and trip Nolan Carroll on purpose?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - 2009:  Sal Alosi of the New York Jets poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by NFL Photos)

Television cameras caught Jets’ strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi purposely tripping Dolphins’ gunner Nolan Carroll along the sidelines during a punt in New York’s 10-6 loss on Sunday.

And depending on whom you ask, the cameras also caught how Alosi and several members of the Jets had intentionally lined up to interfere with Carroll before Alosi stuck his knee out.

One person who thought the act was staged is former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, who told a Miami radio station on Tuesday that there’s evidence to suggest the Alosi didn’t act alone (that there was, in fact, a second kneeman).

From ESPN.com:

“They had to be ordered to stand there because they’re foot to foot,” Thomas said Tuesday on Miami radio station WQAM. “There’s four of them, side to side — five of them, I mean — on the edge of the coach’s zone. They’re only out there to restrict the space of the gunner.

“But there’s more to it because I’m telling you, the only thing [Alosi] did wrong was intentionally put that knee out there. If he just stood there, there would never have been a problem, even if the guy got tripped. But there’s more to this. He was ordered to stand there. No one is foot to foot on the sideline in the coach’s box.”

Actually, it was a six-man line, starting with Alosi and defensive lineman Marcus Dixon (inactive). It’s believed the other four also were inactive players. They were in a tight formation, almost like soccer players preparing to defend a direct kick. Their toes were right up against the boundary, with Alosi positioned in the corner of the coaches’ box.

Coincidence? When Carroll approached at full speed, not one of them flinched, suggesting it was a show of force that appeared to be orchestrated. Alosi and Jets officials denied that, claiming they don’t coach that tactic — an unsavory technique that is semi-prevalent around the league.

A close examination of the TV replay shows that Dixon was leaning in with his left shoulder, perhaps preparing for contact as well.
“Something is fishy,” said an opposing personnel executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The executive said the Jets have shown a penchant in recent weeks for using sideline personnel as a deterrent to gunners — players sprinting the sideline in an attempt to get to the returner quickly — adding that the Jets’ sideline is conspicuously clear when their team is doing the punting.

I’m sure the Jets aren’t the only ones to have ever employed this technique because after all, they had to have gotten it from somewhere. But how dirty can you get? And not only that, but how stupid?

What would have happened had Carroll blown out his knee and was unable to play again? Was it worth it to Alosi and his band of clowns to possibly end a player’s career just so they could cheat on a punt return? I get that the Jets can’t win on their own right now, but this is low – especially if the act was premeditated.

I wonder when it’ll come out that Rex Ryan or someone on the Jets’ coaching staff told Alosi and the rest of the inactive players to set up a wall. Alosi is obviously an idiot for thinking he could do something like that and not have one of the 600 cameras in the stadium catch him, but I doubt he acted alone. Someone on that coaching staff must have told him what to do.

For once, it would be nice if a member of the AFC East not tried to video tape their opponent’s practice or trip a player as he’s running down field to cover a punt.

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Cowboys sign LB Keith Brooking

Keith BrookingAccording to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Cowboys have agreed to a three-year deal with linebacker Keith Brooking, who will play inside in Dallas’s 3-4 defense.

Before this signing, Brooking had played his entire football career in the state of Georgia. He went to high school in the state, then went on to Georgia Tech before being drafted by the Falcons in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft.

Brooking has experience in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, so this signing makes sense on the surface. But he has clearly lost a step over the past three years and for being such an intense player, he’s not that physical. He doesn’t meet blockers head on, instead choosing to use his speed to get around linemen and make tackles on the run.

This certainly wasn’t a bad signing for Dallas because Brooking does have experience in this defense, is an outstanding leader and will do absolutely anything for the good of the team. He truly is one of the most professional players in the league and he did everything and anything the Falcons asked him to, including switching positions multiple times because of injuries to other players. He was also the last remaining player of the Falcons’ 1998 Super Bowl team.

But at this point in his career, Brooking probably won’t be much better than Zach Thomas was last year for the Cowboys. It’s highly doubtful he sees the final year of his three-year contract.

Parcells, Dolphins control their own destiny

Chad PenningtonIt’s amazing how just one offseason can turn around the fortunes of an entire franchise. This time last year, the Miami Dolphins had just one win to its name. One season later, they now control their own destiny in the AFC East after beating the Kansas City Chiefs 38-31 in dramatic fashion.

For all the Raiders, Lions, Rams and Chiefs fans out there – it can happen. Your team can turn things around in just one offseason. But they’ll have to use the Dolphins as a blueprint. They hired someone with a football background in Bill Parcells, who had turned losing teams into winners before. Then they allowed him to do what he does best – put the best people in place to succeed.

He hired a no name in Tony Sparano, who didn’t have a great resume or wasn’t a big name, but Parcells knew he was a football coach through in through. Then the Big Tuna had a solid draft, which focused on rebuilding the offensive line after Miami selected Jake Long with their first overall pick. Then Parcells parted ways with players that no longer fit the long-term plans in Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Then he found a veteran quarterback that knew the offensive system and could succeed right away.

Now the Dolphins are 10-5 and after everything mentioned in the above paragraph, can we really be that surprised? Well okay, sure we can. The players still had to execute and Parcells’ master plan still had to come together. But regardless, we shouldn’t be too surprised that Parcells changed the fortunes of a franchise as quickly as it does for him to leave it in the lurch a couple years later – because he’s a born winner.

What was most impressive about Miami’s victory on Sunday was that they won after they received push back. Kansas City challenged them for four quarters and the Dolphins survived. Considering the Chiefs’ dud season and Miami’s desire to be a playoff team, the Dolphins should have cruised to victory. But winning isn’t easy in the NFL and Miami won a game they were supposed to. Case closed.

The Dolphins have just one more victory to earn if they want to put the icing on the cake. A win over the Jets next week in the Meadowlands would allow them to clinch the AFC East crown, which is amazing considering they were the doormats of the division just one season ago. Their magical ride isn’t over, but they’ve certainly put themselves in position to succeed – just like Parcells did in the offseason.

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