By Courtney Aurillo
I started watching the HBO Series Hard Knocks with the Jets AGAIN last night. Yes, I am a repeat offender. Every time I watch this show I discover something I did not notice the first few times I watched it. Last night I recognized Rex Ryan’s passion, it really jumped out at me this time.
I stand by my belief that Rex is a player’s coach. He wants wins, and will do whatever that takes. There are other higher powers that make hiring decisions and I believe outsiders tend to forget that. Rex is real, raw, and does not care what anyone thinks. A professional athlete at a young age naturally gravitates toward Rex’s demeanor and way of thinking. At first it is a safe haven for players. Then they grow and appreciate the Jets environment. As we all know it is unlike any other.
Each player brings his own flavor to the team. It’s like an everything bagel, and I love everything bagels. Can he win games? Does he understand how to play like a Jet? Great, Rex wants you. It is a player’s performance on the field that counts, or does it? Understandably during the Combine, potential players are examined under a microscope from all angles. In this case, a player’s performance off-field is just as important as it is on the field. Extracurricular activities can make or break a college kid’s dreams for the NFL. In some cases, they are over looked. Others not so much so your 40 better break records.
Let us reflect on a few players that love to play for Rex.
The unfortunate event of Braylon Edwards getting a DUI did not affect how he played games, nor did other players give him grief. The coaches may have said something behind closed doors, but he still played games. The only group of people who made a big deal about the situation was the media.
Mark Sanchez had a slightly scarred past before the Combine, and has currently made headlines with the woman he has dated. The team does not care what Mark does on his own time, as long as he wins games. When harassed by the media, Mark does not comment about it, and the topic blows over because the media has nothing to feed off of.
Recently Santonio Holmes has made it clear that he did not dwell on the past issues of 2011. Why linger in the past? Move on. Jets fans are bothered by Holmes’ attitude and the way he carries himself. Granted it affects team morale, but the team is over it, and are moving along. I suggest fans do the same.
Rex is not changing his attitude towards football, but he is taking on a slightly different approach with coaching the team. He is shifting his focus by paying attention to the players as a whole, rather than individually. By doing this a “brotherhood” will be formed with the hopes of taking the drama down a few notches. Personally, I think he foresees a clashing of personalities, especially now that Tim Tebow is onboard. Can you imagine the conversations between Tebow and Cromartie?! I would love to be a fly on that wall. When asked if the Jets will hold a players only meeting, Nick Mangold said it best when he responded, “Right now, we’re looking at the future, We’re not bickering little school children. We understand things happen…. This is a new team. This is the 2012 Jets.”
Do you see a pattern here? The moral of the story (or article in this case) is to get over 2011 and move on to 2012.