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Jets assistant ‘wasn’t thinking’ during tripping

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This photo taken in 2009 shows Sal Alosi of the New York Jets. Alosi, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach, said at a news conference at the practice facility Monday  Dec. 13, 2010 that he had not yet received any discipline from the team or the NFL,

This photo taken in 2009 shows Sal Alosi of the New York Jets. Alosi, the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach, said at a news conference at the practice facility Monday Dec. 13, 2010 that he had not yet received any discipline from the team or the NFL, nor had he personally spoken to the league. He also said he had not offered to resign. Alosi tripped a Miami Dolphins player on the sideline during a game Sunday.

The Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sal Alosi fought back tears as he struggled to explain why he tripped a Miami Dolphins player during a game.

The New York Jets assistant coach apologized for his "inexcusable and irresponsible" actions at a news conference Monday and awaited word on discipline by the team or the NFL.

"I wasn't thinking," the Jets' strength and conditioning coach said. "If I could go back and do it again, I sure as heck would take a step back. It was just a situation where I wasn't thinking."

Both the league and the team are reviewing the incident in which Alosi stuck his left knee out on the sideline and tripped Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll, who was covering a punt in the third quarter of Miami's 10-6 win Sunday.

"I let everybody down yesterday with my actions," a remorseful Alosi said. "My actions were inexcusable and irresponsible."

Carroll, a rookie, fell to the turf and lay there for several minutes before walking off.

"That's a thing that has no business in this league," coach Rex Ryan said, "or anywhere else."

Alosi said he hadn't personally spoken to anyone from the league's offices, nor had he offered to resign. He apologized by phone to both Carroll and Dolphins coach Tony Sparano on Sunday, and spoke to Ryan, Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum about the situation.

Ryan issued a public apology to Carroll and the Dolphins at his daily news conference.

"I was stunned that something like this actually took place," Ryan said.

Ryan said he admired the fact Alosi never denied what he did, and "that he stood up and he took responsibility."

"I know I'll get killed for it," Ryan said. "There's no place for it in football, without question, but he made a mistake and he admitted it."

When asked if he was concerned about his job security, Alosi said he would accept whatever discipline is determined.

"It's on me," he said.

Alosi was first with the Jets from 2001-05, then worked for the Falcons for one season before he was hired by then-New York coach Eric Mangini in 2007 to be the head strength and conditioning coach.

Now with the Cleveland Browns, Mangini described Alosi as "a good person."

"He made a dumb mistake," Mangini said. "If he could take it back, I'm sure he would. It's disappointing it happened. I'm sorry for the whole situation."

Alosi was a linebacker for Hofstra from 1996-2000, and even earned an award for sportsmanship and fair play both on and off the field during his college career.

"You're asking me to give you a logical explanation to an illogical act," he said. "I can't do that. I can't explain that."

Carroll, who returned in the fourth quarter, twice broke his right leg while playing: once ending his senior season in high school and again in his senior season at Maryland.

"I'm extremely thankful that my actions yesterday didn't result in any significant injury to Nolan or any other players," Alosi said.

Carroll, who had an interception in the first quarter to set up a field goal, said after the game that he was not angry about the incident.

"We got a 'W.' That's not my problem," Carroll said. "That's the Jets' problem. We just move on. I felt contact, but I've got to watch film. I can't comment on it right now."

Carroll's mother, Jennifer, is Florida's Lt. Gov.-elect. She was disappointed to find out it was a strength and conditioning coach who did it.

"Here's a person that's on the team that understands the injuries of these players incurred day in and day out just from normal wear and tear," Jennifer Carroll said. "He's supposed to be healing these players and making them 100 percent to go out and execute and do their jobs."

She was also thankful her son escaped serious injury.

"It could have been a debilitating situation," she said. "If it were lower to his knee, he could have busted a knee cap. It could have put him out for the season or even for his career."

At a news conference in Miami, Sparano said Alosi was remorseful when they spoke Sunday night.

"I don't like what happened because a player could've gotten hurt, seriously hurt," Sparano said, "but that's where it is."

Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby took a swipe at Ryan after the game when he heard about the incident.

"He's just taking after the head coach, man. It all trickles downhill," Dansby said. "That's how I look at it, it trickles downhill. The head coach, he opened a can of worms over there and now he's got to fix it."

It's the latest embarrassing incident for the team that starred on HBO's "Hard Knocks" during the summer.

The Jets were investigated by the NFL in September for their treatment of a female television reporter. The league responded to the situation involving Ines Sainz of TV Azteca by developing a workplace conduct program, underwritten by Johnson, to educate players and staffs of all 32 teams.

A few weeks later, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested for drunken driving.

Star cornerback Darrelle Revis was ticketed for speeding while driving to the team's facility for a meeting before a practice in October.

Ryan hopes this latest incident doesn't negatively affect the perception people have of the team.

"This is a terrible thing that happened, there's no doubt," he said. "We had a DUI, I know we had all that stuff. I'd rather not rehash all that, but it would be an unfortunate thing if that were the case."

AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Berea, Ohio, and Steven Wine in Miami, and AP Writer Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story.