The New York Jets wrapped last season in disastrous fashion. Their plummet was on full display in a Week 17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, a defeat stained by scenes of Santonio Holmes arguing with teammates as New York fell out of the playoff hunt.
Rex Ryan's locker room was a soap opera in 2011, hampered by whisper campaigns ripping everyone from then-offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to the team's beleaguered quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Sanchez comments hurt; they were mainly anonymous, but it was clear Holmes was unhappy with his quarterback.
Sanchez and Holmes used this offseason to repair their relationship, but claim the media made too much of their differences to begin with.
Sanchez spoke with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News and called reaction to the perceived rift "ridiculous," "out of control" and "way overblown."
"It was good to just kind of talk, away from the building, away from football, and talk about how things didn't go so well last year, how we can move on and get better," Sanchez told Mehta during Thursday's open locker room.
"As soon as we came back, (we said) that we'd never talk about it again and let's just move forward. That's exactly what he's done. That's what I expect him to do. He expected the same from me. It was important that we had that time, and now we're back and you would never (think) it happened."
Holmes felt burned by reporters last season, often characterized as Problem Child No. 1 in the Jets' fall to earth. More than one reporter cited his chilly demeanor at Thursday's meet-and-greet with the press. That has to do with plotlines from last season that just won't go away. Holmes seeks a fresh start, not a rehash.
"From my perspective and Mark's perspective, everything was blown out of proportion," Holmes said. "We never had any real serious disagreements. All that stuff was just blown up from other people. We let it be. That's why we never talked about it. ... That's why we never cared to share anything about it, because we know nothing happened."