Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is team chemistry a "figment of the result"?

Over the last year or so, I've posted about the issue of chemistry more than a few times. Now, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose team had what this story describes as a "meltdown" last season, has his say.

According to Jones, chemistry is a "figment of the result." In other words, winning takes care of chemistry. As the author of this article contends:

Jones is right; winning cures most of the ills. Problems get pushed to the side when you win. But what comes first? The chemistry or the winning?

Veteran Eagles safety Brian Dawkins says chemistry is "when you care more about the person next to you." According to Dawkins, you "don't want to let the guys down."

New Seahawks coach Jim Mora says chemistry develops over time.

"I think it's something that grows. It grows in the off-season work when you're together in the off-season program and through the mini-camps and training camp and then sweating together."

Ken Whisenhunt, who guided his Arizona team to the Super Bowl earlier this month, "had bowling days and movie nights for his players as a way to promote chemistry. Whisenhunt believed part of the reason his team rebounded from a bad end to the regular season was the players' belief in each other."

"We all as coaches work to try to create it," Whisenhunt said. "It's been a very important part of my belief that that's how you're successful in the league. I know I came from an organization [Pittsburgh] where chemistry was a big part of the reason why they were successful."

Rayfield Wright, a Hall of Fame offensive tackle who was a member of the Cowboys teams of the '70s, still remembers the chemistry those teams had.

"We all had a special feeling for one another. The sacrifice and the pain, the suffering – whether it was on the field or off the field – it touched the hearts of all of us. To understand that and be a part of that, it makes your heart pound."