So much right now is being made of the teams chemistry or probably more accurately, the lack there of. However it's something that I think is being completely blown out of proportion. Leon offered his thoughts yesterday on this issue:
"I've got a bunch of friends I talk to . . . and they're excited about the new players they have coming in, but they do have questions about how well they will gel with the new people in the locker room," Washington said yesterday in a radio interview with WFAN. "Those guys are professionals and I'm sure they'll handle it, but at the same time, it takes continuity and it takes time to build relationships."
We have lost some key parts and some veteran leadership over the last couple of months, but as far as I'm aware we still have the main core intact. We may have brought in numerous players, some with issues but none of them are bad guys. Why do we think Rex Ryan has decided to hold camp in SUNY Cortland again this year? being away from families being forced to eat, sleep and train with your teammates is how you build chemistry.
Are we worried about the loss of Kerry Rhodes? after one of the players actually came out and spoke negatively about him mid-season, that's hardly perfect chemistry in motion. Leon was a great guy, but he was hardly with the team last year, people didn't seem to complain about chemistry then. Faneca was a leader, but he is also leaving an offensive line unit that has 4 other leaders right there. In fact the only one that really worried me was Thomas Jones but then we replace him with a guy who can lead and take Greene under his wing and show him different aspects of the game.
At some point we were going to lose some of the top leaders on this team. If Faneca and Jones were not moved this year, it's likely they would of been moved next year. Father time doesn't stop. It's not like we are handing the reigns over to a bunch of rookies. When LT hangs up his boots, Greene will have 2-3 years experience. Faneca is gone but Mangold and Brick now have years experience and should be ready to take over.
I think we need to stop worrying about these perceived chemistry issues. Of course players are not going to be happy about losing some of their friends but when all is said and done, nothing builds chemistry like the taste of victory. The coach helps mold chemistry, it won't happen over a couple of days with players scattered around the country. It will happen in SUNY Cortland however, just like last year and it will happen on a Sunday. When a coach like Rex Ryan gets everyone moving in the same direction for him, people realize that they are all there for the same reason, once the victories start coming, concerns will be silenced.
I know it's only natural to look for the pin that will burst this balloon, for once though, perhaps that pin isn't there.