by Michael Lombardi
April 29, 02010
QUOTE: “The future is of our own making — and (for me) the most striking characteristic of the century is just that development, that maturing of our consciousness which should open our eyes to that truth.” -- Joseph Conrad
In an interview with WFAN radio on Wednesday, Leon Washington had this to say about the Jets’ offseason moves: “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….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.”
It will take some time for the Jets to build chemistry, but the essential element to any team is being able to overcome adversity. The Jets will only be tested next year if they get into a slump or an extended losing streak. At this point in the season, their chemistry will be tested, but the one thing they have working in their favor is that their defense is built on trust and chemistry, so if they’re playing well, their locker room will function. The way the Jets install their defense, call their defense and play their defense forces them to work as a team. Each player knows his assignment and those of his teammates, so they build trust in one another. Trust is the common trait in all good locker rooms, and the Jets defense is based on trust.
Ryan Clady is down and out…for three months
Today we learned that Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Clady suffered a torn PCL playing basketball and underwent surgery to repair the tendon. Clady is a fantastic player, but the Broncos should sign Flozell Adams right now since he would protect them for the early part of the season while Clady heals. The one thing the Broncos don’t want to do is panic and rush Clady back just because they desperately need him. Yes, they need him, but they need him healthy for the second half of the season, not the first half. It would be wonderful to have Clady to start the year, but it’s essential to have him ready as the season moves into November and December. As we learned last season with the Broncos, fast starts don’t mean much. It’s fast finishes that count, and having a healthy Clady will allow them to finish strong.
Is Kevin Mawae being blackballed?
I read Kevin Mawae’s claim that he’s being blackballed by teams, but I really don’t think that’s the case. Mawae claims that because he’s president of the NFL Players Association and labor talks with the owners have been strenuous that he’s not getting the work he deserves. What really bothers Mawae is that Alan Faneca signed two days after being released and Faneca is 34 years old. Mawae is 39 and coming off a Pro Bowl season, but like Faneca, he got to the Pro Bowl more on reputation that what he did on the field. (By the way, Faneca did not play well last year, but when you mention this to anyone outside of the NFL, they look at you in disbelief like you have some type of disease.) Because Faneca plays guard, there were more teams looking to add a guard than a one position player in Mawae. Mawae could certainly help a team, but with the center position it’s all based on need. Most teams are willing to go with an unproven younger player for now since they have time to determine the level of play. When the preseason rolls around, teams will be more honest with their evaluation and Mawae should get a call. If he doesn’t, then he might be right to complain.
I’m heading to Denver today to spend time watching the Broncos’ rookie minicamp for NFL Network, so there won’t be a Diner on Friday morning. But Sunday at the Post will return this weekend, so join me then.
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