"It is as bad as I've ever been around, honestly," the future Hall of Fame running back said this week on Showtime's "Inside the NFL." "And I've been around some locker rooms and quarterback-receiver situations and whatnot. But it was as bad as I've been around. You know it was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. There was nothing that the players could do.
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"So when it gets to that point, there are certain changes that need to happen. Can it be fixed? I think absolutely it can be. But they're going to have to make some tough decisions."
Tomlinson said some players even poked fun at the situation centering around their wide receiver and franchise quarterback. They called it "East Coast-West Coast beef," a playful reference to a hip- hop period of the 1990s when rappers on the East Coast clashed with those in the west.
Asked if he would bring back both Sanchez and Holmes for next season, Tomlinson hesitated.
"Whew, that is a tough one," he said. "I would really have to sit down with them and see if they can coexist, honestly. That is a decision that I'd really have to make. And if I really feel like they can't, then you have to make a move."
"[The Jets] created this," Tomlinson said. "This is the type of football team that they wanted. Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan are both brash, in-your-face type of style, say whatever you want, just get it done on the field. And then it leads to other things, as guys are calling each other out and saying I'm not getting the ball or whatever it may be.''
Tomlinson also thinks Ryan's bold talk leads to a constant bull's-eye.
"I would prefer him not to say it as much as he did," Tomlinson said.
"I don't mind every now and again saying we are going to win a championship. Maybe at the beginning of the year just saying, 'Hey, our goal is to win a championship.' But at the same time every week if you are calling out a team on certain things, I think it puts a little extra on your team.
"Guys really want to go out there and say, 'Let's shut this guy up. Let's shut these Jets up, just end their season.' I think that adds to that when Rex speaks up like that because, you know, everybody doesn't like that type of style, and they're not supposed to."