Mike Pettine: Jets’ dismissal showed lack of respect for former players

Despite a defensive playbook which he had learned from legendary college coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, great beyond his 21 years as a pro, many of your colleagues had just figured that the season had passed for New York Jets’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who had been making headlines like this prior to the season by being linked to the Bills’ head coaching job.

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This was about to change.

Pettine’s former team were rolling to an 8-3 record, sitting second place in the AFC East behind the New England Patriots. The Jets were also 4-1 at home and tied with the Colts atop the division.

Less than a week after the 8-3 Jets’ game against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, the Jets’ defensive coordinator Bob Raissman had his exit from the team announced.

Mike Pettine was fired after several victories in a row since becoming New York Jets’ defensive coordinator

Pettine was fired, just like Todd Bowles, the Jets’ defensive play-caller was just like Mike Pettine, fired, after four successful games. Both staff members were faced with a challenging situation as they were making decisions on their futures after just one full season in place of Eric Mangini.

From a football perspective, their decisions didn’t go as planned. Both men were let go. Each was canned along with the remainder of Mangini’s coaching staff after less than a year.

It seemed as if it was inevitable. A lack of communication on both sides and a lack of respect for each other just contributed to the formality of the move. Yet, the Jets weren’t the only ones walking away empty-handed.

Now, that loss of power for the defensive coordinator was exacerbated when Rex Ryan laid claim to not only Pettine but his position on the Jets’ coaching staff. So now Ryan has his name engraved next to Pettine and Buck Allen, as Ryan has named those players the final two selections of this year’s draft. Ryan never named himself the defensive coordinator until Pettine had his job.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has taken Bob Pettine and Buck Allen to the final two selections of the NFL Draft

There is a call for an uproar. Because it’s not just Ryan who’s winning over Bowles, it’s Pettine and Allen. If you call yourself a classy man, but then two men you actively worked with are given the opportunity to become a part of the Jets’ coaching staff, you deserve to be given respect.

But you haven’t. You didn’t demand the status of your former colleagues, but when it’s your time, and your days are done, you put yourself before your former players, the fans and the Jets’ coaching staff.

Sports should be built on opportunities. An opportunity should never be tainted. You won’t build your teams and respect with an act like this. But to help your players and their success, the New York Jets and their fans will need to apply that same level of respect in the future.

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