I’ve been biding my time on this one because the media is so over-active, and I had hoped we’d be through the Victor Cruz stuff by now. The topic so often on my mind, but even more so as we moved past Free Agency and the draft, and as we move in on team OTAs: team unity, team cohesiveness
How critical to the success of a team is the instinctive ability to live, play, achieve as a unified force?
And therefore, how important is it for the TEAM’s success is it for all players to align, and to be in off season workouts, practicing together and working out any kinks before the clock starts to tick on the actual season?
Of course, with all the discussion about Victor Cruz, I just can’t help but to ask these questions. In my view, team unity is one of the most critical characteristics of a championship team (not only in football, but in business and in life). Think about championship teams from recent history and tell me they didn’t share this unified quality: Boston Celtics 2008, Miami Heat 2012, San Francisco Giants 2010/2012, Pittsburgh Steelers 2008, New orleans Saints 2009, Packers 2010, Baltimore Ravens 2012, NE Patriots in their winning seasons, and of course – the New York Football Giants 2007 and 2011… and these are a few that stand out in my head.
Interestingly, my personal belief, having closely watched the San Francisco 49ers last season from my Bay Area perch, is that a few player incidents during the 2 days leading up to the Superbowl are what broke the 100% unity on the team, and I also believe greatly contributed to the outcome of the game. Cohesiveness in a large group is fleeting. If it can be achieved, it’s amazing the results we see. But it can be ruptured so easily – so every moment a team has to practice achieving it, can be all too critical.
One of the keys to developing a unified team in football, I believe, is leadership by example – GM, Head Coach, Ownership and QB operating from the same set of rules with corresponding objectives. The successful teams outlined above, all had that quality. The Giants have that quality. But while so important, unity at the leadership level isn’t the only key to success.
With any team, each player has his own critical role that he plays in effort to make the team the best that it can be, and to help win championships. That’s what the saying (made so popular during the Giants 2011 run): ‘ALL IN’ is about! If every one man on a team is without ego, playing and practicing for the next guy to win, that team has the highest likelihood of being ALL IN – and winning championships.