What's the big deal about the wall? As long as it is outside the border of the lane that allows the punt-return gunners a league-mandated amount of space, there shouldn't be any additional penalty.
Even with the six Jets employees hugging the border, they weren't over that line. Not until Sal Alosi bent his knee and broke the plane — to use the common NFL vernacular usually reserved for determining a touchdown.
The national embarrassment and monetary penalty is enough for Alosi.
Besides, having watched HBO's preseason Jets-apalooza, "Hard Knocks," it strains credulity to believe that the dirty half-dozen's positioning was something that neither coach Rex Ryan nor special teams maven Mike Westhoff had any idea about.
The NFL outlawed forming a wedge on the field. Now the league will have to outlaw forming a wedge on the sideline too.
The worst thing Sal Alosi did was stick his leg out to trip Dolphins special teamer Nolan Carroll. He risked injuring a player and could have affected the outcome of the game.
Forming a wall of staff members on the sideline showed it was a deliberate act. But if he hadn't tripped Carroll, making the wall wouldn't have been a major issue.
Still, this is a practice that will have to be monitored, and if it happens again punishments will be in order.
For now, getting suspended for the rest of the season is an appropriate punishment for Alosi.
Sal Alosi should not only be fired but banned from being near the game of football forever. We wouldn't want some rogue peewee league hiring him as its strength and conditioning coach, thus spreading the disease.
Think about how many hours of video study it must have taken for Alosi to realize that gunners on punt returns often run up the sideline. Or to then create a scheme in which inactive players could stand in a manner so as to impede them. This was a concerted effort to corrupt the game we love. Or not.
Alosi's "scheme" amounted to common gamesmanship. It happens in every sport. He crossed the line with his outstretched knee and needs to be punished. But clearly these were the actions of an overzealous former college player looking to get involved on game day, not a deep conspiracy. A suspension will send the proper message.
Alosi takes the fall
Los Angeles Times
Now that the Jets have blamed Sal Alosi for arranging the shoulder-to-shoulder barrier on the sideline in Sunday's game against the Dolphins, it seems telling that Alosi wasn't fired immediately on Wednesday.
Isn't it a little too convenient to blame Alosi, now that he has already been heavily punished?
I find it difficult to believe that the strength and conditioning coach got this great idea on how to deter the special teams of the Dolphins and implemented this plan by himself.
It certainly would be a much better cover-up to fire Alosi, but not dismissing Alosi seems to show some allegiance to him. The coach is taking the fall and keeping any other Jets out of the picture.