One thing that hides all of these types of problems is winning. As such, going to two straight AFC championship games led Ryan into a bit of a false sense of security, never really worrying about the chemistry. Even though guys left the team, he left the locker room in the hands of guys that remained on the team, which Rex admits was a bit of a mistake:
“I think part of the mistake I made, I think we had things going pretty well. I felt great about the team’s chemistry and all that even though we lost a lot of players I still felt good about it. But you have to go back to square one,” Ryan said. “Every year you have to go back to square one. “Each team is different, their personalities are different and all that stuff. And I can tell you, the thing I learned from it is, I’m on top of it and our coaches are on top of it. Our players understand. I mean, it’s embarrassing to them to think something comes out negatively about this football team when they know this is a close group.
Coach Ryan made a promise that they would get back to being the close knit team they were in the first two season:
“That’s something we’re going to get back to. I don’t know how many wins we’re going to have, but I know we’ll have that corrected. We will have a close football team. We’re not going to beat ourselves with all the infighting and all that other stuff. That’s a thing of the past.”