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Camp Helped Chemistry

As training camp closes, Dave Hutchinson reports the location helped the Jets bond.

Jets first-year linebacker Kenwin Cummings pulled out of the players' parking lot following Thursday afternoon's special teams practice on the campus of SUNY Cortland, he had a full load -- three other players -- in the cab of his shiny gray pickup truck.

But as Cummings drove a few feet away, he saw rookie running back Shonn Greene walking and told him to hop into the bed of the truck. He inched forward another 30 feet or so and veteran special teams ace Larry Izzo climbed in and joined Greene.

Then, the six players, all different ages and from uncommon backgrounds, rode about 300 yards to a meeting.

Somewhere, coach Rex Ryan was smiling because that's exactly the type of team bonding he had in mind when he decided to bring his team to this pastoral town nestled in the Upstate New York mountains.


The theme of training camp, however, was bonding. Ryan brought his team to this isolated locale for that purpose and accomplished his mission.

''We had no choice but to bond,'' said left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. ''You look around and you see trees. Team bonding is definitely what has been accomplished here.

I had a lot of fun at the Jets' expense for moving camp away from their new state of the art facility in Florham Park, but if this team really has come together, it will make the move worth it. Chemistry is a huge x-factor in football. It brings potential troublemakers into line. It keeps players focused. If you like your teammates, you are more likely to battle to the bitter end for them.

I don't think the Jets quit at the end of last season. It looked like they played hard until the final whistle. Maybe if chemistry was a little better, though, they could have weathered the storm of the December struggles better, perhaps adopted more of an us against the world mentality.