Players try to push controversies, leaks aside

As the clear out their lockers after a dissapointing season, New York Jets players talk about how they feel the team will make the right moves to help the franchise. Videojournalist: Patrick McCarthy (Dec. 31, 2012)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The circus atmosphere around the Jets carried through breakup day, with statements issued only by the owner and the fired general manager, while the retained head coach remained silent.

But several Jets players said the distractions and leaked information are more of a problem for fans and reporters than for them.

"I'm not going to get into any of that stuff," Mark Sanchez said. "I was just proud of the way guys stuck together and really supported each other. As far as media policy, that's the coach's decision and management decision on how they want to handle that. I do my best to be positive about other guys and look at the glass half- full."

There was no official word regarding the future of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson said the players were not told whether Sparano has been fired. That should keep the Jets chatter going into this first week of their offseason.

The intrigue began with a report anonymously criticizing Tim Tebow's ability just as the Jets' midseason swoon began. As the losses mounted, so did the daily fires that Rex Ryan needed to extinguish.

Being asked questions about the reports took somewhat of a toll, at least one Jet said.

"Sometimes it got to us, but I don't think we were distracted; we just fell off course," Joe McKnight said. "We talked about it -- it kind of messed with us a little bit, but we moved on from it after we finished talking about it."

LaRon Landry said: "Just being in the midst of it all, I don't really see anything as drama. We're a family; we keep everything in-house. So everything that leaks out is all hearsay. We know what goes on in this organization, within this family. It ain't as big as y'all making it out to be."

Darrelle Revis perhaps had a unique perspective on his team's ups and downs, given that he rarely was around the team for the bulk of the season while rehabbing his torn ACL. He had some advice for his teammates.

"Anonymous sources, that's good to bring that up," Revis said. "I don't know, maybe guys just need to be quiet, just shut up . . . We've got to stick together. If you don't . . . then it can affect the football team if you are negative. We probably need to do a little bit better job of that. Just sticking together, man. Just play football and lift your teammates up. Instead of going down the wrong road and making it negative, because it can affect the locker room. It can affect a lot of people."

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