Jets are a real mess

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez reacts after throwing an interception in the second half of...

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez reacts after throwing an interception in the second half of play against the Miami Dolphins during their NFL football game in Miami, Florida, Jan., 1, 2012. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:45 PM ET

Things were so rotten in the New York Jets’ clubhouse this season that even rookie third-string quarterbacks are throwing bombs.

The latest Jets player to unload on his team is Greg McElroy, a seventh-round draft pick from Alabama who spent the season on injured reserve with a thumb injury.

“It’s definitely not a fun place to be, I can assure you,” McElroy told 97.3 The Zone. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been around extremely selfish individuals. And I think that’s maybe the nature of the NFL. But 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 added he has no problem with the coaching staff.

“It’s going to take a lot to kind of come together next year,” McElroy said. “I think the fact that we struggled at times this year really led to a really corrupt mindset within the locker room. But I think we’re going to regroup and I know that we’ll be a better team because of the trials and tribulations this year.”

Traditionally rookies keep their mouth shut.

It shows how messed up the team must be.

APPARENTLY THEY WEREN’T TOAST

One of the biggest surprises of the week came out of San Diego when Chargers president Dean Spanos announced he was sticking with Norv Turner as his coach and A.J. Smith as his GM. Both were considered to be toast.

Turner appears to have more lives than a cat as the leader of the highly talented but under-achieving Chargers.

Spanos, though, saw no reason for a change.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” Spanos said in a statement. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field. Together, we have stability and experience that’s hard to find in the NFL. They’ve both been in this league a long time. I don’t think there is anything they haven’t seen or experienced. They’ve led us through some difficult situations.

“As we’ve seen throughout Norv’s tenure and particularly this past season, the players believe in him, respect him and play hard for him. When we went through that tough stretch, no one quit. The team kept playing hard, and that’s a tribute to Norv’s leadership and the respect the players have for him.”

In nine seasons with Smith in charge, the Chargers have won five AFC West titles but in their history have made just one Super Bowl appearance — 1995 when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

PONDER VIKINGS' “FRANCHISE” QUARTERBACK

The Vikings have the third pick in this year’s spring draft but general manager Rick Spielman said he won’t be using it on a quarterback.

He said he has full confidence in rookie Christian Ponder, who took over the duties in the seventh week after veteran Donovan McNabb proved he had nothing left.

“He’s going to be our starting quarterback when everyone is back for OTAs,” Spielman told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Spielman was promoted from vice president of player personnel to GM on Tuesday.

“(Coach) Leslie (Frazier) will make the decision on who is our starting quarterback. But I have the utmost faith in Christian Ponder,” Spielman said. “The quarterback position, there’s a lot of growing pains involved. I have the utmost confidence Christian Ponder will be our franchise quarterback.”

Ponder, the No. 12 overall pick in last year’s draft out of Florida State, led the Vikings to a 2-8 record but struggled with injuries, completing 158 of 291 passes for 1,853 yards and 13 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

It was clearly good enough for Spielman.

NOT THE SMARTEST MOVE

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been operating with an injured ankle the past three games he has played.

On Wednesday Big Ben told reporters he aggravated the injury during Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns which was the chief concern of the Steelers heading into the game.

Roethlisberger, however, said that there is no issue whether or not he will be able to play in Sunday’s playoff game at Denver against Tim Tebow and the Broncos.

“I had a little setback early in the third quarter,” Roethlisberger said. “We got set back about a week.”

He went on to say that on a scale of 1-10, his ankle was at a five.

Roethlisberger initially suffered the high ankle sprain during Week 14 against the Browns. He played the following week against San Francisco, basically on one leg, and was intercepted three times in a loss.

He sat out the Steelers’ penultimate game against St. Louis but was back for the regular season finale against the Browns.

Not the smartest move.

TEBOW’S FAITH UNDER ASSAULT

Everybody is taking shots at Denver quarterback Tim Tebow these days.

If it isn’t comedian Bill Maher it’s Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Terrell Suggs.

The Ravens have a first-round bye and won’t be playing this weekend. They have a home game the following Sunday (Jan. 15).

The odds of Baltimore meeting the Broncos is extremely rare — it would take a Cincinnati victory over Houston and a Denver victory over Pittsburgh — but that didn’t stop Suggs from taking a verbal swipe at Tebow.

Appearing on ESPN’s First Take, Suggs said: “With all due respect we don’t need God on our sidelines. Once again God had to save Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. He couldn’t even give them two drives? Seven to three (the final score against Kansas City)?”

The Tebow pile on is gaining steam.


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