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Thread: Vrentas: Jets enlist ex-military members to help build unity and leadership with team

  1. #1
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    Vrentas: Jets enlist ex-military members to help build unity and leadership with team

    Jets enlist ex-military members to help build unity and leadership with team getaway

    PHILADELPHIA — It started with a cold call in February, weeks after the Jets’ season had collapsed amid locker-room turmoil.

    What resulted is a season-long arrangement between the Jets and a group of former military special forces operators, with the specific charge of advising on leadership and team-building.

    “Our goal is to help them win a championship,” said Jason Van Camp, the former Green Beret who founded the “Mission Essential” program nearly two years ago. “Coach (Rex) Ryan said at the end of last year, ‘I lost the pulse of the team. I need to get a better handle on the chemistry issues.’ That’s why he hired us. To help him do that.”

    Mission Essential was behind the leadership training 19 Jets veterans went through for eight hours Wednesday, the day before Thursday’s preseason finale against the Eagles. The organization also trained the coaches in June, each time off site in Bedminster.

    Van Camp — a West Point graduate who served 12 years in the Army and earned a Bronze Star with valor — did not want to reveal the specifics of each training session, to preserve the privacy and personal nature of the event. But he explained that the program simulated real-life experiences each of the former military members went through in combat.

    “We’re not in those same situations, thank goodness,” Ryan said. “But (football) is still all about teamwork, still about trying to accomplish certain missions we were set on, and relying on each other. Those are some strong messages they delivered to us.”

    After the players were walked through the scenarios, the Mission Essential leaders shared how they reacted, the decisions they made, and what they learned about themselves on the battlefield. Combat-wounded veterans were part of the group each time, including a double amputee on Wednesday.

    One theme covered was “never leave a man behind,” a military credo printed on signs that now hang inside the Jets’ Florham Park practice facility.

    Players were evaluated for how they performed both as individuals and as teammates. For instance, Van Camp said, “When you’re not in charge, do you try to take charge and undermine the guy who is in charge?” Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum will receive a “robust packet” on the players’ performances.

    “We didn’t want to think, at the end of the day, we were going to hand them a sheet of paper with a stamp on it that said, ‘Congrats, you’re a leader,’ ” Van Camp said. “For us, that’s (nonsense), and it’s not going to happen. Leadership develops daily, not in a day, so we’re hired by the Jets for the entire year. We’re going to be completely embedded with them.”

    Quarterback Mark Sanchez wore a black Mission Essential hat in the post-game locker room Thursday. All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis said the training not just built camaraderie, it helped players be “ready to handle” certain situations that could come up during a season.

    Van Camp, whose group signs exclusive contracts with college and professional sports teams, cold-called Dave Szott, the Jets’ director of player development, last winter. They connected on the phone, and Szott invited Van Camp to make a pitch to the team.

    Van Camp said Tannenbaum told him it was the best presentation they had heard. A week later, his group was hired.

    Training continues Monday, a two-hour seminar as part of an NFL life skills event. But the relationship will be longer-lasting. Small groups of players will be assigned a “personal leadership guru” they can lean on for advice through the season.

    Van Camp said he and his partners are working “around the clock” to brainstorm exercises, challenges and shared experiences that bring out the best version of each Jets coach and player. Their ideas stem from an introductory conversation in which the Mission Essential leaders asked the coaches, “What does leadership mean to you?”

    That’s a question Ryan pondered in a lengthy self-evaluation period this offseason, after missing the playoffs for the first time in his head coaching tenure. He is always searching for new ways to connect and motivate his players, never shy to bring in outside influences.

    Mission Essential is the latest. Van Camp said Ryan told him as long as he’s head coach, he’d like to put every new coach and player through this “Jets basic training.”

    “It’s very innovative, and risky, but it’s going to pay off for him,” Van Camp said. “You have U.S. special-forces soldiers working their (butts) off to make this happen for him and for the New York Jets.”

    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201...ry_member.html
    Last edited by C Mart; 08-31-2012 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good read, thanks.

    A pity they have to organize this sort of thing, instead of having a locker room full of leaders.

    I would love be a fly on the wall during those sessions.

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    Really like this. Glad they're serious about fixing our locker room issues from last year (of which lack of leadership contributed to).

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    I think this has a lot to do with Rex's weight loss.

    You can't preach discipline while looking like a fat slob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    Good read, thanks.

    A pity they have to organize this sort of thing, instead of having a locker room full of leaders.

    I would love be a fly on the wall during those sessions.
    The salary cap makes it almost impossible to keep a roster of veteran players while still maintaining youth on the team, these challenges forces a team to be innovative about how they manage the roster, and how they build the team while promoting high character and leadership.

    To be honest, this move is rather impressive, more teams will probably latch on because they all face the same challenges.

    There are a lot of kids an players in this league that come from broken families, they weren't afforded the upbringing that the stronger high character players had, a team like the Jets that implements such a program into their organization should be praised, not met with pity.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post

    A pity they have to organize this sort of thing, instead of having a locker room full of leaders.
    This is a joke move, another act in the circus.

    Rex can't lead like the other 31 NFL head coaches, so he outsources it. Not a month goes by that the team doesn't bend over backwards to help this fool do a job that he's clearly incapable of. Another humiliation, another press of the SOJF undo button that he helped eradicate in 2009.

    "Innovative?" nice spin. Pathetic.

    SAR I

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    This is a joke move, another act in the circus.

    Rex can't lead like the other 31 NFL head coaches, so he outsources it. Not a month goes by that the team doesn't bend over backwards to help this fool do a job that he's clearly incapable of. Another humiliation, another press of the SOJF undo button that he helped eradicate in 2009.

    "Innovative?" nice spin. Pathetic.

    SAR I
    lol SOJF I

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    This is a joke move, another act in the circus.

    Rex can't lead like the other 31 NFL head coaches, so he outsources it. Not a month goes by that the team doesn't bend over backwards to help this fool do a job that he's clearly incapable of. Another humiliation, another press of the SOJF undo button that he helped eradicate in 2009.

    "Innovative?" nice spin. Pathetic.

    SAR I
    I think they are trying every little thing to build unity. There is a hint of desperation in all this.

    All they have to do is win. That will cure everything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    This is a joke move, another act in the circus.

    Rex can't lead like the other 31 NFL head coaches, so he outsources it. Not a month goes by that the team doesn't bend over backwards to help this fool do a job that he's clearly incapable of. Another humiliation, another press of the SOJF undo button that he helped eradicate in 2009.

    "Innovative?" nice spin. Pathetic.

    SAR I

    Dude, this kind of stuff is done by businesses and organizations all over the country, with great success. And I'm talking about businesses and organizations that have very strong leaders.

    Using this as yet another platform to whine and ***** about Rex shows just how pathetic you are.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB1089 View Post
    I think this has a lot to do with Rex's weight loss.

    You can't preach discipline while looking like a fat slob.
    LOL

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    This is a joke move, another act in the circus.

    Rex can't lead like the other 31 NFL head coaches, so he outsources it. Not a month goes by that the team doesn't bend over backwards to help this fool do a job that he's clearly incapable of. Another humiliation, another press of the SOJF undo button that he helped eradicate in 2009.

    "Innovative?" nice spin. Pathetic.

    SAR I
    I understand your response, the Jets are pretty much proving you WRONG with almost every one of you diatribes this off-season and pre-season. This can't be at all good for your schtick..

    You are a clown.

  12. #12
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    So the team has an issue, and they attempt to think outside the box and fix it....how awful of them

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demosthenes9 View Post
    Dude, this kind of stuff is done by businesses and organizations all over the country, with great success. And I'm talking about businesses and organizations that have very strong leaders.

    Using this as yet another platform to whine and ***** about Rex shows just how pathetic you are.
    Rex Ryan's handlers see that the guy is going to be unhireable when the Jets let him go, so they told him to lose weight, get leadership training, and shut his mouth. Only could manage two out of the three.

    It's all part of a plan to land him another NFL head coaching job after this amazing flameout in New York. If I'm a player invited to these ridiculous things I'm either laughing my ass off or mocking Rex for such a stupid idea.

    SAR I

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Ray19 View Post
    I understand your response, the Jets are pretty much proving you WRONG with almost every one of you diatribes this off-season and pre-season. This can't be at all good for your schtick..

    You are a clown.
    Ah, Rah-Rah is heard from once again. Surprising after an 0-fer preseason.

    Jenny Vrentas, Queen of The Blind Homer Cult will change her tune and run for the hills soon too, you'll see.

    SAR I

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    So the team has an issue, and they attempt to think outside the box and fix it....how awful of them
    The problem, dear Eagle, is that the Jets are burning a lot of energy doing dozens of unconventional "outside the box" things instead of doing the one simple and necessary thing- dumping Rex Ryan.

    SAR I

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    Ah, Rah-Rah is heard from once again. Surprising after an 0-fer preseason.

    Jenny Vrentas, Queen of The Blind Homer Cult will change her tune and run for the hills soon too, you'll see.

    SAR I

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR I View Post
    Rex Ryan's handlers see that the guy is going to be unhireable when the Jets let him go, so they told him to lose weight, get leadership training, and shut his mouth. Only could manage two out of the three.

    It's all part of a plan to land him another NFL head coaching job after this amazing flameout in New York. If I'm a player invited to these ridiculous things I'm either laughing my ass off or mocking Rex for such a stupid idea.

    SAR I
    I'd almost love to have the drugs that you are on.

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    You can't make leaders out of followers. Or leaders out of guys who are not meant to lead (Santonio).

    Leaders should emerge out of the normal football related situations these guys face everyday -- game days, practice, meeting rooms, film study, etc. Leaders shouldn't emerge out of faux situations that these guys are not going to be facing.

    The problem here is that Rex is trying to force leaders out of his group when he should let the situation dictate themselves. For example, him picking the captains instead of players voting them in last year was one of the dumbest moves ever. Now this garbage.

    Your leaders have to be the guys who not only other players respect, but guys who other players will look up to by the way they perform on the football field.

    I don't know what kind of exercises they did at this leadership camp, but if it's like a lot of those leadership conferences I've been forced to go to by the companies I've worked for, then it's really dumb.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demosthenes9 View Post
    I'd almost love to have the drugs that you are on.
    lol.

    me too... without the 'almost'.

    I guarantee I could handle them better.

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    Players were evaluated for how they performed both as individuals and as teammates. For instance, Van Camp said, “When you’re not in charge, do you try to take charge and undermine the guy who is in charge?” Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum will receive a “robust packet” on the players’ performances.

    this quote has me thinking it isn't all about building leaders, that should come naturally. But there is some merit to building team values. Understanding there is a reason some players are considered leaders by their teammates, and that should be accepted and not undermined (we're looking at you Santonio).

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