The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Coach's Call

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In the NFL, the coach is responsible. If the team is winning, the coach is the one getting the Gatorade shower. As soon as the team starts losing, it is the coach that is the first one fired. So, when your team is accused of player injury procedure misconduct, the coach is always responsible.

But are professional athletes always honest with coaches and trainers about the extent of the injuries? Perhaps not.

On Wednesday, Roger Gooddell found enough evidence to fine Eric Mangini, former head coach of the Jets, for failing to follow the correct procedure for reporting player injuries.

One can understand why the Belichick-acolyte might have overlooked Brett Favre's injury. To reveal that your graying quarterback was carrying a major injury would have been a red flag to pass rushers that Brett wasn't a threat to throw deep.

Roger Goodell has been clear that neither player nor coach nor owner is above the law (he fined Jerry Jones earlier this week for disclosing a little tidbit about the future of revenue sharing). Kudos to him for not being afraid to go after big egos like Jones or year-old charges like those against Mangini.

But on some level, the question before a coach is "will starting this player hurt the team or help the team." There's a big difference between being hurt and being injured. Brett Favre was hurt much of last year, but he was still able to throw for six touchdowns in September.

Mangini would have put Favre on the field even if he was in a wheelchair. And Favre would do it too. He'd probably still would have accomplished more than last year's benchwarmers.

By Jason Maloni  |  September 18, 2009; 7:17 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Cleveland Browns , Coaching , New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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I understand that Bill Belichick's grandmother once broke the law by removing the tag from a mattress. This culture of lawlessness and rule-breaking in the NFL can be traced back directly to her!

This cartful of horse manure stinks to high heaven. The Patriots didn't cheat last season -- the New York Jets did, by hiding a serious injury to their star quarterback for half a season. This is an intentional violation of NFL policy, so the Jets are CHEATERS.

Saint Maloni also pretends not to remember that the Jets' NEW management is ALSO accused of cheating -- THIS SEASON -- by tampering with Crabtree.

This forum is pretty pathetic if it can't find anyone who is willing to put the blame for this incident of cheating where it belongs -- on the New York Jets. Quit your whining and take a look in the mirror, you gutless losers...

Posted by: jerkhoff | September 25, 2009 1:14 PM

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