New York Jets insist 2011 drama a thing of the past

On the first day of voluntary workouts, the New York Jets made one thing clear: They're putting last season's drama behind them.

"I don't care what you call it, a brotherhood, a tribe or whatever," coach Rex Ryan said. "We want to be special, and I think that starts right now with the offseason program and the conditioning and the OTAs and the minicamp."

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has tried to smooth the tensions in the Jets' locker room that helped lead to a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011. He and wide receiver Santonio Holmes were at the center of the issues, and their relationship was in serious need of repair, especially after Holmes was benched by former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in the season finale in Miami for arguing with teammates in the huddle.

"It happened down in Miami," Holmes said, "and that's where it's going to stay: down in Miami."

Sanchez called Holmes in the offseason to get past their differences, and the two recently worked out together in Florida, along with a few teammates.

"I think it's the leadership part of Mark," Holmes said. "He's portraying those leadership qualities of being a guy that's going to be here for a while. By reaching out to me and wanting to spend some time with me and just chit chat and put everything behind us, I think it was a great thing for he and I to establish."

Holmes' tone turned a bit snippy, however, when he was asked about the locker room issues from last season.

"That happened in the past," he said, addressing reporters for the first time since after his benching in Miami. "We're worried about the 2012 season, and if you're not concerned with that, we don't have anything else to talk about."

Ryan, Holmes and center Nick Mangold all believe the Jets' chemistry problems were a learning experience, but it's not something any of them are thinking about now.

"We're not bickering little school children," Mangold said. "We're able to understand that things happen in the moment. This is a new team. This is not the 2011 Jets.

"This is the 2012 Jets, and we're looking forward to making it a much better year than it was last year."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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