With the debacle of the Jets season over and the utter collapse of any team unity in the past two games, the Jets must use the off-season to heal open wounds and to build team unity.
It’s been well documented about what Santonio Holmes did and many fans want him off the team. Quitting on your teammates, your organization and your fan base is unheard of especially during a game. I know that there are many people who support Santonio saying he was justified due to Mark’s play etc, and that may be so, but you NEVER quit in the game.
Could you imagine this happening with the New England Patriots? How about the Green Bay Packers? I know, you will say that Mark Sanchez is no Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers as they are great elite quarterbacks with championships but here is my argument. Putting their play aside, those quarterbacks command respect of the position they hold, Mark currently does not. He’s trying, but he does not show the confidence and command what great leaders display.
The good news is that Mark does practice the leadership required and he is trying. Mark may be the problem on why the Jets can’t progress but to put all the blame of the failure of the season on him is silly. I’m also looking beyond JUST the play on the field. What happens off the field factors in immensely and many Jets fans want to disregard or not give full credence to the fact that leadership and team chemistry can be a difference maker.
Because it is hardly his style to air his grievances, Sanchez demurred Monday from discussing any matters pertaining to Holmes, instead focusing on elements he can control: more completions, fewer interceptions, better clock management. How much Sanchez improves will be a critical factor to the Jets’ success, and yet it is almost secondary to how he intends to fix what is clearly a toxic situation.
The fact that Holmes sparred with Sanchez during a players-only meeting last Wednesday only underscores that point. It seems unfathomable that one of Tom Brady’s receivers — or Aaron Rodgers’s or Drew Brees’s or even Eli Manning’s — would dare treat him that way. Certainly Brady and the others, Super Bowl winners all, are more accomplished than Sanchez, but they also command the respect of their teammates.
That is not to say that Sanchez does not; teammates consistently praised his leadership skills, his passion, his desire to improve. But Holmes apparently felt it acceptable to challenge Sanchez’s authority without fear of reprimand or discipline.
Guard Brandon Moore said: “I love Mark; he’s a great competitor, a great player, a great leader, he wants to win. When that chemistry can come together, he’ll be successful.
“You’re only as good as the people around you and what they’re willing to give up and sacrifice for the good of the team.”
When Brandon Moore says you are as good as the people around you, he’s not only talking about talent. If he was then Santonio Holmes more than fits the bill. He’s talking about character, football smarts, ability and passion.
Will the Jets bring in those kind of guys moving forward or will they keep a great talented team who can’t gel due to individualism gone wild?
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.