- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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A day after the NFL fined the Jets $100,000 for a sideline wall orchestrated by Sal Alosi, New York coach Rex Ryan said that the strength and conditioning coach will remain employed by the team. For now.
"Right now, he is indefinitely suspended," Ryan said. "Quite honestly, we're looking to get through the season right now and then [team owner] Woody [Johnson], [general manager] Mike [Tannenbaum] and I will make a decision at a different time. Right now, our focus is on trying to beat the Bills and get ready to move forward in the playoffs."
Players at the facility had heard the news. Some, like linebacker Bart Scott, said they felt bad for Alosi, who was fined $25,000 by the team for instructing players to stand in a wall.
"Sal is a good guy," cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "The situation that he was in ... nobody forced him to do it. He did that by his own will. But ... the only thing we can do is support him and try to move on with what we got here."
Jeff Cumberland was one of the inactive players who was told to stand in the wall when the Jets played Miami. The wall came to light when Alosi stuck his knee forward and made contact with Miami gunner Nolan Carroll, tripping him during a special teams play. Replays of the incident revealed a line of several players standing together in a way to deter opposing players from coming onto the Jets sideline.
Cumberland was interviewed by Jets security director Steve Yarnell and said that Alosi had been telling players to stand that way all season.
"What happened, happened. It's over with. They're settling it the best way they can, so now we're just moving on with it," Cumberland said.
Right guard Brandon Moore said that Alosi's absence hasn't had a huge effect on the team, if only because he was a coach and not one of the players.
"It wasn't one of us, it has no impact on us being able to play and prepare for the game," Moore said. "It's not like a player and you need to plug someone in there and have an effect on the chemistry."
Defensive lineman Trevor Pryce said that any group of people is going to have unexpected off-the-field issues crop up. His former Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan, used to address the team about it.
"Mike Shanahan used to say, 'Everybody's got some [stuff],'" Pryce said. "That was his thing. He used to say that all the time. 'Everybody has some [stuff].' Some guys are gonna get drunk and get DUIs during the season. Some guys are gonna go through divorce in a season. But as long as your teammates can support you through that [stuff] and when someone else has [stuff] and you can support him through his [stuff], you'll be all right."
One thing is clear: A number of players on the team are tired of the incessant questions about things that happen off the field.
"I don't care about all that," said offensive lineman Wayne Hunter. "All the drama, I'm just sick of it."
So far the team has been able to play well despite the different issues that have cropped up all year long -- from the Internet videos purported to be of Ryan and his wife, to Braylon Edwards' DWI, to a harassment investigation stemming from the way players and coaches behaved around a television reporter.
The Alosi suspension and the NFL's $100,000 fine is just another issue.
"We got distractions every day man," Revis said. "You can just put them on the stack of the other distractions that go around here."
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.
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