Rex Ryan:”We Will Have a Close Football Team”


June 12, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan throws a pass during New York Jets Minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Locker room chemistry was as big of a problem as any for the Jets in 2011. As we all watched, it culminated with the unfortunate incident week 17 in Miami. Jets coach Rex Ryan remembers the situation, and not fondly, although he feels it wasn’t as bad as everyone else did:

“It was about as low as we’ve had coming out of the Miami game and when you guys were like ‘what was the deal?’ I never had an answer for you,” Ryan said. “So I think that was a low point, obviously. “I really think things have been blown out. I don’t think it was as bad as some people say it was, but I think there were certainly some issues we had to get corrected. Way I look at it, we had a fresh start when they came back on April 16, and we said alright it’s behind us. Now we’re focused on right now.”

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.”

It’s great to see Rex Ryan getting more of a grasp on this. Bad chemistry will do a lot in preventing a team from getting to where it wants to go. Clearly, coach Ryan did not know what was going on last season, or at least didn’t know enough. Everyone grows in their job, and coach Ryan is no different. He is working to improve on past mistakes, and that is all we can ask for from him as fans.

Oh by the way, as he and the team left for vacation following the end of minicamp, he had one more item he wanted to make clear:

“I just want to let you know, there’s not a quarterback controversy,” said Ryan, bringing it up on his own. “This is the way it’s going to be: (Mark) Sanchez is the starting quarterback, Tebow is the backup.”

Take that, Tebowmaniacs.