New Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes lashed out at the Jets’ coaching staff Tuesday while appearing on ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
Rhodes referenced some tension about his tenure with the Jets during his introductory news conference with the Cardinals on Monday, but while talking to Kay, he questioned defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and the role he played for the Jets last season.
“From a defensive standpoint, the defensive coordinator and the rest of those guys, it didn’t feel like I was the focal point or one of the focal points on the defense,” Rhodes said. “It was more like, OK, we brought in our guys kind of thing and our guys know the system, so we’re going to let them run things and you guys just learn and fill in with them. For me, it doesn’t work that way. … It was kind of a slap in the face.
“I think whenever you have a new coaching staff come in and you already have guys that are set in stone and known as playmakers for your team, you should tailor things around them and make sure they fit in well and they’re comfortable as well, and I never felt that way.”
Rhodes made sure to point out that he harbored no ill will towards the Jets’ coaching staff, despite a contentious ending in which they had the safety coming off the bench in Weeks 12 and 13.
“Me and Pettine are cool,” Rhodes said. “All those guys are good guys, but everybody don’t fit in together. Like I said, at the beginning, they didn’t make me feel that way, as far as Pettine and those guys. They didn’t make me feel the way I think you should make sure other people feel. It just didn’t work.”
Rhodes is looking forward to establishing his role with the Cardinals and hopefully one day seeing his former coaches on the opposing sideline.
“I wish we played them this year, no question, … Of course, that’s for every player,” Rhodes said. “It’s not to be vindictive or anything. It’s just whenever your welcome is worn out, so to speak, you want to get a chance to play them again. Hopefully we play them down the line. I’d love to get back there and play them in the new stadium and see how that goes and just see the fans.”