At the conclusion of the New York Jets' season-ending loss to the Miami Dolphins on New Year's Day, the most pressing postgame concern was not the shocking 8-8 record of the two-time AFC finalists. Instead, everyone was wondering what exactly happened to ignite the heated argument in the huddle late in the fourth quarter that landed wideout Santonio Holmes on the bench during the final minutes as the Jets fought in vain to prolong their season.
It would turn out, perhaps not surprisingly, that the Jets' implosion and that heated argument were inextricably linked.
After the game, veteran running back Ladanian Tomlinson shed some light on the Holmes' incident, explaining that there were some players in the huddle who were upset with Holmes' demeanor.
"When you have a group of guys fighting their butts off and one guy, for whatever reason, their demeanors not with them, you're going to get some guys to say something to him and tell him how they feel. That's what you got today," L.T. said. Another Jets player, who requested anonymity, claimed Holmes has been a problem throughout the season and said he "quit a long time ago."
While there was no avoiding the fact the Jets' late-season swoon was caused by myriad problems on both sides of the ball, it seemed like the interpersonal issues were perhaps contained within the wiry frame of the unhappy wideout.
Not according to third-string quarterback Greg McElroy, who painted a picture of a locker room divided and populated with bad attitudes during an interview with 97.3 The Zone on Wednesday. Answering a question about the mood in the locker room, the Jets' rookie out of Alabama called out his teammates, as a group, for their selfishness.
"It's the first time I've ever been around extremely selfish individuals," McElroy said. "There were people within our locker room that didn't care whether we won or lost as long as they got theirs, they had a good game individually. And that's the disappointing thing."
McElroy went on to say that he thinks that the Jets' struggles throughout the year "led to a corrupt mindset in the locker room."
Some took exception to McElroy's comments. Erik Ainge, a former Jets backup quarterback, lashed out at the 23-year-old's comments and ripped him on Twitter.
"Someone tell McElroy to keep his mouth shut about the NYJ 'Locker Room' speaking in the media about your teammates, entitled brat!" he wrote.
Whether or not McElroy's comments are accurate, one thing we do know is that head coach Rex Ryan doesn't believe he had "the pulse" of the team.