Who Ordered The Jets “Sideline Wall?”

This goes a little outside the usual realm of this blog, but I’m not seeing much discussion of this in the media.

Check out this photo of the Jets sideline:

Note the blue line. As far as I know, that indicates the furthest spot that sideline personnel are allowed to stand.

I heard a WFAN  caller (the infamous incarcerated bob) claim that two Jets players said that the Jets were angry that the Dolphins gunner had been going out of bounds during kickoffs, and that this formation was done to stop that.

Should they have been there?

From the NFL Rulebook:

Rule 13, Article 5 Coaches and other non-participating  team personnel  (including uniformed players not in the game at the time) are prohibited from moving laterally along the sidelines any further than the points that are 18 yards from the middle of the bench area (i.e., 32-yard  lines  to  left and  right of bench areas when benches are placed on opposite sides of the field). Lateral movement within the bench area must be behind the solid six-foot white border

The rule book also contains a diagram:

So, Jets strength coach Sal Alosi and his cronies (practice squad players?) were standing the zone marked for “Coaches and substitution players only” and they were lined up as close to the edge – both to the playing field and edge of the bench area zone as humanly possible.

Definitely a planned lineup, no? Who had them do this?

I don’t think the plan was for Alosi to stick his knee out and knock the player down, but he was put into that position. By whom?

After the game, Rex Ryan professed to be unaware of the situation until the team’s director of media operations informed him.

So many questions here.

  • Did Rex Ryan order this formation?
  • Is it common to do this?
  • Do other teams do it?
  • Is it only a big deal because Alosi stupidly stuck his knee out?
  • Is this rule even enforced?

What Alosi did was a penalty:

Palpably Unfair Act (Non-Player)
Rule 13, Section 1, Article 8

Article 8 Non-player personnel of a club (e.g., management personnel, coaches, trainers, equipment men) are prohibited from making unnecessary physical contact with or directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures at opponents, game officials, or representatives of the League.

Penalty: Loss of 15 yards. (Unsportsmanlike conduct.) Enforcement is from:
a) succeeding spot if the ball is dead;
b) previous spot if the ball was in play; or
c) whatever spot the spot Referee, after consulting with the crew, deems equitable.

Should it be more?

Also see:

Legal Consequences of Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi tripping Miami Dolphins DB Nolan Carroll

Update:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/Jay_Glazer/status/14471176218742784″]

Adam Schefter adds the details that he is being fined $25,000 and that it is the Jets who took this action, not the league.

  • Greg

    Definitely planned. That is an unusual human wall set up. Was it ordered from above? I think Goodell needs to investigate "Trip Gate"

  • Classless

    is this standard practice to be so close to the sideline, especially if you're a lowly trainer?

  • Michael Gee

    Am I the only person to note that this line gave the Dolphins player a missed opportunity to recreate the scene in "Slapshot" where the Hanson brother skates by the other team's bench during warmups?

    • mandb97

      If only Carroll had a hockey stick

  • mandb97

    Great catch Bruce and you are exactly right, if the Patriots committed this offense then we would be hearing about it on NFL Primetime over Favre. No question about it.

  • norest

    So who are the other 4 people? Is it possible they are all coaches??!?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

    • SJH

      Some of the other guys are practice squad players, in all likelihood. The tall guy next to Alosi might be old friend Shawn Crable.

  • Brian

    on the video, goon number 4 actually appears to lower his shoulder into the Miami player as well. Filth, pure filth! If they had blue, red and silver on, the media would have torches and pitchforks at Gillette!

  • Timbuk3

    All I can say is "Ha ha ha…" Planned? maybe. Poor sportsmanship? Definitely, Drama in the Jets locker room? priceless.

    probably some coach said "get some coaches over there to stand one the edge so their players don't run out of bounds…" and then after "holy crap, that's not what I meant".

    The only thing that will make this even better is if old Sal gets fired and then confesses "Ryan told us to do that, and now I'm taking the fall…" That would be truly precious but I don't bet on it.

    Probably one or two game suspension with pay. It's not really that big of a deal IMO.

  • Happy

    This was a set up from higher up in the Jets organization. It was planned and executed. They are lined up like soldiers with orders to get in his way if he ran OB again. The NFL needs to investigate this. This is a bigger issue than just 1 guy. Of course they won’t fire him or he would talk.

  • Happy

    There are actually 6 of them lined up feet to feet not 5. There is one more to the left not in this shot.

  • Happy

    Watch the video again. In the still, the man on the far right isnt shown but he is there. 6 men in a row to mess him up. Rex is 6 feet away from the last man. Yea, he set this up. See at 27 on the utube video. Rex is looking right at it while the ball is on the other end of the field!!!!!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxqN_t9XI64

    • shmessy

      Happy, you are 100% right! Smoking Gun!!!!!

      1) Rex is right there to the left and BEHIND the gauntlet (never done, no one stands in front of the line of vision of a HC in the NFL)
      2) Rex isn't watching the play, just Nolan Carroll who is nowhere near the play
      3) Rex aftetr the game feigns ignorance to the press when they ask him about the Carroll play

    • Tony

      Hey youre right thanks for posting did you notice that holmes ran to the same side that human wall was on I bet thats what they do to try to break a big run…

  • Happy

    Wow it is tough to believe Rex when he said he didn’t know about it when he was clearly watching it, not the ball, and then walked over to the guy when he was down. It’s all on video.

  • Sum Guy

    Tom Cruise – Rex Ryan did you order a Code Red?!

    Rexy – You're GD right I did!

  • Rich

    Tom Cruise – Rex Ryan did you order a Code Red?!

    Rexy – You're GD right I did! NOW LETS GO EAT A GD SNACK!!

  • Brian

    The New York Times' Fifth Down Blog mentioned this yesterday. Here is the link: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/wer

  • TC guy

    What's with the conspiracy theory? From your comments the positioning of coaches and players was legal. The Dolphins were taking questionable advantage of the sidelines and the Jets wanted to stop it. The problem was when the coach stuck out his leg to trip the gunner. It would not have been a problem if the ref had flagged the gunner for going out of bounds on purpose.
    Punish the coach who stuck out his leg and let's move on.
    Maybe we should talk about the idiotic PK MMQB who brought up spygate again in yesterday's post.

    • Greg

      Incorrect. Practice squad players are not allowed in the area designated for "coaches and substitution players." They're inactive thus the wall itself was against the rule. And Carroll was blocked over there if you watch the video. Looks to me the second guy in the line was turning his shoulder and leaning forward to finish the job if Alosi hadn't succeeded too. The Dolphins should sign one of the guys off the Jets practice squad and quesiton him about it and then report it to the NFL if it turns out it was by direction.

    • Sum Guy

      "From your comments the positioning of coaches and players was legal."

      Umm, no. Read the chart he has up there from the NFL rule book. Yes, the S&C coach is a coach that was allowed to be in the area. But what about those players who aren't in pads next to him? Are they "situation substitution players"?

    • Classless

      I second the Peter King comment. Not sure why he lead his MMQB column with "Spygate" in the banner headline.

  • Tony

    Sen. Baker: "What did Rex Ryan know, and when did he know it?"

  • Bullock

    @Bruce, they just mentioned this on D&H so I checked it out.

    You certainly have a leg up on other websites.

    • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

      Thanks, glad you found us.

  • Meh

    This is stupid. That is all.

    /not a Jets, Dolphins or Pats fan

    • Angry Old Bastard

      ahhhhh….care to elaborate?

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      So was Spygate.

      And payback's a bitch.

  • Bullock

    Oh I read you daily; I just missed this post. You really did some nice homework here.

    And there haven't been enough "knee-jerk" puns made on this board. =)

  • Angry Old Bastard

    From Peter King's MMQB column. Just a couple of excerpts,

    "4. All of a sudden, in a competitive sense, Spygate doesn't seem so important"

    "I was reminded of this last Monday, when the Patriots were mercilessly pounding the Jets 45-3, and just thought how interesting it is that the Patriots are the highest-scoring team in football — by a whopping 41 points — in a year in which they've totally changed their offensive philosophy to more of a tight-end-centric one with two rookie tight ends as the keystones. (Just when teams start focusing defensively on the tight ends, the Patriots unleash the wideouts. In Chicago yesterday, Deion Branch and Wes Welker combined for 16 catches and 266 yards.) It all just proves to me that Belichick used to be and still is the smartest guy in the room … and how unimportant to everything on the field the videotaping seems to have been."

    I guess it took THIS LONG for King to realize that "Spygate" was the most blown out of proportion story in the history of sports media (maybe ALL MEDIA if you remember how that whole fiasco was covered)

  • Name

    heeheehee beanchewers complaining about others being dirty, ride it hard as you can, iz funnee

    • Jon

      U can haz cheezburgerz, Misster LOLcat!

  • Happy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgYXBpIYnvU

    Great high def. See the guy next to him lower his shoulder to hit him too

  • Laughing

    The best part of reading this was all the NE fans who are butthurt by the incident with the Dolphins.

    The Partiots have a great team and it has nothing to do with their fans any more than it did for the decades that they were the laughingstocks of the NFL. It didn't affect the Pats, take your meds.

    /not a Jets or Dolphin fan

    • Sum Guy

      So Pats fans aren't allowed to comment on the comings and goings in the NFL and more specifically the comings and goings of our biggest rival in the division, the Jets?

      Who died and made you Lord of Football Fandom?

  • jim S

    I you are a true football fan with more than a "homer" mentality you would obviously prefer to see any game contested between the lines not OFF the playing surface as was so aptly illustrated
    here by Bruce of Noteworthy fame……NIce job btw…

    I don't even have a problem with the "wall" per se either, but the willful intent to impede and/or injure a contestant off the field of play by ANYONE is a gross act of malfeasance and warrants a significant organizational fine not merely an individual one…
    Apparently, the NFL commissioner doesn't care to hold ALL accountable parties responsible… Not only is this a lousy management style but a horrendous breach of the rules and spirit of the game…..Shame on you…Roger.

  • Ken

    So I presume someone somewhere without a life is now looking at every punt in the NFL over the past 10 years looking for a gunner wall……good luck.