There’s a difference between insubordination and incompetence. The outcomes may feel the same, but it’s about intent.
Jaire Alexander’s Sunday antics at the coin toss are clearly insubordination. His intent appears to be selfish, and bad for his team. Joe Barry’s performance as defensive coordinator is clearly incompetent, and seems similarly bad for his team, yet no one questions his intent.
Two things can be true
Alexander’s suspension seems to send about the right message about accountability. Hopefully, it sends a clear message that players cannot behave selfishly and recklessly, particularly when games are to be decided.
Barry’s continued employment feels not right, as it relates to accountability. Matt LaFleur, Mark Murphy and Joe Barry are not being held accountable for the continued, and worsening failure of the defense. No, none of them intended for the defense to fail. But in this case isn’t incompetence the equal of bad intention?
The Alexander suspension is the right response no matter what. But when you factor in timing and optics some players and coaches must be mumbling to themselves about “accountability”.
No such thing as fair
It may not be fair to conflate Joe Barry’s failures as defensive coordinator with the stunt Alexander pulled in Carolina. In fairness to Alexander, Barry’s incompetence is far more harmful to the team, especially with Packers leadership allowing it to continue. If only Matt LaFleur or Mark Murphy were being held as accountable as Jaire.