New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, commenting for the first time on the team's locker-room turmoil, said Thursday the problems went "real deep." He suggested a clearing-the-air session when the team returns for the start of offseason training.
"When we come in there in OTAs, just have a player meeting," Revis told the NFL Network in Hawaii, site of the Pro Bowl. "The leaders need to step up, talk to everybody in the building and say, 'Hey, man, this is our goal this year. This is what we need to accomplish.' Let's not get into the bickering or the frustrations, because it brings a team down."
A clearly annoyed Revis declined to address reporters the day after the season ended, when Santonio Holmes was benched in the final game for jawing with teammates -- triggering extraordinary fallout that centered on the dysfunctional locker room. At the time, coach Rex Ryan said he didn't have "the pulse" of the team, admitting he didn't know the scope of the discord.
Revis said he talked to Ryan after the season.
"Basically, he didn't know a lot of things that were going on behind the scenes," Revis said. "It was just so much stuff. I'm really not going to get into it because some of the stuff is real deep, but he didn't know a lot of the things. He wanted people to say things to him. But obviously it didn't come out. It came out on the field."
Since then, several current and former players have commented on the fractured locker room, which includes a rift between Holmes and quarterback Mark Sanchez. Neither player has yet to comment publicly. Ryan has said that bringing harmony back to the locker room is one of the top objectives in the offseason.
Revis told ESPN at a Pro Bowl practice that
the team's mindset should be "not destroying ourselves, let's try to destroy the other teams by game planning and doing what we need to do."
The four-time Pro Bowl selection said he was frustrated by the way the season ended -- 8-8 and no playoffs. He supported Ryan but sounded like he wouldn't mind if the coach toned down the bravado.
"I think we need to find ways to win games, instead of just going out there talking and just saying whatever you want to say," he said.
Much of the criticism has fallen upon Sanchez, who regressed in his third season after leading the Jets to back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game.
"We have a lot of confidence in him, we just need to get the right guys around him and just build around the guy," Revis said.
Asked if the team would be receptive to acquiring Manning, Mangold said: "You can say that about ... What if Tom Brady came out? What if Dan Marino in his prime came out? I think everybody would want them. But Mark's my guy. He's the guy I'm going to battle with."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.