NFL: Jets’ Ryan benched WR Clowney after tweets
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — David Clowney might think twice before tweeting from now on.
The New York Jets’ speedy wide receiver was benched by an angry coach Rex Ryan for the team’s game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday after Clowney complained on Twitter about a lack of playing time.
“I was upset with him, yep,” Ryan said Monday. “For a couple of reasons. One of them is you’ll hear things if a guy’s unhappy or whatever. I’m not a big Twitter guy, but you hear different things. To me, this is about our team and understanding this is about our team. No individual is bigger than the team.”
A few hours after the Jets beat New England 16-9 last Sunday, Clowney tweeted: “1 play in the 1st Half, 4 plays in the 2nd half ... A bit disappointed about my playing time but very happy and satisfied about the win.”
Clowney added in a subsequent tweet that, “My team always comes first so I’ma just keep grinding.”
Ryan got wind of Clowney’s gripe and called him into his office early last week and told him he would be inactive against the Titans.
“If I feel a guy is not putting the team first,” Ryan said, “I’ll make that decision to put the guy down.”
He said he wanted to see how Clowney responded, and was satisfied with the receiver’s effort. So much so, in fact, Ryan said he would probably give Clowney the team’s practice player of the week award.
“It could be a misunderstanding between David and I, but nobody’s a bigger fan of David Clowney than I am, yet, if I sense that with anybody, then that will be the case,” Ryan said. “It’s not head games or anything else. It’s just the way I feel. I could be wrong on that, but he responded the way I wanted him to respond.
Clowney, coming off a second straight impressive preseason, has no catches during the regular season. He wasn’t in the locker room Monday during media availability, but tweeted: “In the bed ... Doc sent me home as soon as I walked thru the facility doors ... Bout to take a mean nap.”