Rex Ryan’s New Tattoo Is … Elaborate

Someone should remind Rex Ryan he coaches the Jets because whatever that thing is on his calf sure looks like the design from St. Louis Rams helmet. I don’t know if that’s real, fake, or what, because it’s hard to believe someone would approve of getting that on their body permanently. Wait a sec, guess it’s not.

That pic was tweeted out by Jets EVP Matt Higgins along with the caption “Converse sneaks. Check. New tattoo. Check. Rex is ready for camp.” Maybe it is real. And maybe this is the sort of behavior that endears him to players. If that’s what it takes to show you’re down, then I’m out. At least he and LaDainian are tat brothers now.

Thanks to Deadspin for pointing it out

Jets Viewed Braylon Edwards as a ‘Diva’

Considering the Jets chose to sign Cheddar Bob over bringing back Braylon Edwards, it is probably safe to assume they didn’t think too highly of the latter.  For one thing, Edwards was in search of a contract he isn’t worth.  While he had a productive season in New York last year (53 catches, 904 yards, 7 touchdowns) and was a factor in the postseason, the Jets focused their attention on retaining Santonio Holmes and signing the cheaper, fresh out of prison Plaxico Burress.  Plus, the Jets’ brass thought he was a diva.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, New York had no intention of bringing Edwards back.  While on the surface it may have appeared that Braylon’s DUI was not a problem with the Jets, it was definitely a factor in their decision to let him walk.  For a guy who drops so many passes, Edwards sure does enjoy busting out a dance here or there.  Even an organization with a coach like Rex Ryan can grow tired of those kinds of antics.

On another note, I think New York is starting to develop a pattern at the wide receiver position.  It would appear having some sort of baggage to bring along is a requirement if you want to catch passes for the Jets.  The Jets made resigning the outspoken Holmes their top priority this offseason.  When they decided to move on from Edwards, they considered options like Randy Moss before making New Jersey Burress’ post-imprisonment landing spot.  Then again, one could argue the NFL is running out of baggage-less receivers.

H/T to Pro Football Talk

Seahawks Pay Tribute to Matt Hasselbeck with Thank You Ad in Newspaper

The Seattle Seahawks may not have been too motivated to bring back quarterback Matt Hasselbeck this season, but that doesn’t mean they’re not grateful for his contributions to the team. As The Big Lead shared with us via 30 Acre Fortress, the Seahawks took out a “Thank You” ad in the Sunday newspaper. They also ran a “Thank You Matt” campaign on twitter, encouraging fans to send their thanks to Hasselbeck.

Seattle reportedly offered Hasselbeck a one-year deal this offseason. He turned it down because he wanted more money and a longer contract, and he got that from Tennessee (three years, $21 million).

Hasselbeck compiled a 69-62 record over 10 seasons in Seattle and led them to a Super Bowl appearance in 2005. From 2003-2007, he was one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Multiple back surgeries and various injuries have limited him the past three years and he’s no longer a very good quarterback, so Seattle made the right decision to let him go. Although we’re not a fan of the generally lame public “Thank You” card, this was a nice gesture by Seattle.

Ben Roethlisberger Wears No. 78 Jersey to Honor Released Max Starks

Ben Roethlisberger wears jersey No. 7 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he donned No. 78 during practice Sunday. He wore the jersey in honor of ex-teammate Max Starks, who was cut last week by the Steelers. Roethlisberger explained why he wore the jersey.

“We were the last two of our draft class (2004), and Max’s locker was next to mine for seven-eight years now. So I saw (his jersey), I grabbed it and wore it in honor of Max.

“First and foremost, he was a very good friend,” said Roethlisberger. “Like I said, our lockers were next to each other. So we spent a lot of time together, everything from hearing him snore (during naps) to us complaining about things to just all the things we’ve gone through.”

That’s a pretty nice move by a guy considered to be a bad teammate. I won’t go overboard gushing with praise for the gesture, but it is somewhat meaningful and it shows how tight Big Ben is with some of his buddies. Still, I don’t think this will do anything to change James Harrison’s opinion of his quarterback. Only a season that ends with a Super Bowl win will do that.

As for Starks, he’s coming off neck surgery and was due over $5 million. He’s reportedly reached out to the Cardinals to see about reuniting with his former line coach, Russ Grimm.

Helmet knock to Shutdown Corner for the story

Plaxico Burress Reportedly Was Smitten with Rex Ryan’s Foot-Loving Ways

Plaxico Burress made the rounds as a free agent following his 18-month stint in prison for firing a gun inside a NYC club. The Steelers, Giants, and Jets showed interest, as did the 49ers. Burress ended up signing a one-year deal with the Jets where he’ll likely have a chance to start opposite Santonio Holmes. Not only were the Jets appealing because of the $3 million they’re paying him and the starting job they have available, but also because of head coach Rex Ryan.

Pro Football Talk reports that a source tells them that signing with the Jets was “all about Rex” for Plaxico. They say “Ryan sold Burress on the coach’s belief that Plaxico can get them over the top.”

That matches what Burress said about Ryan on Saturday before he signed his deal. “I think [Rex is] great. He stands behind his players, I think his players have a lot of respect for him and they play hard for him. … He’s a great coach, great personality. He seems like he’s always upbeat.”

Even though Plax reportedly had a good meeting with Tom Coughlin this weekend, the two notoriously had problems. Coughlin is a disciplinarian who fined Plaxico around 50 times when he was with the Giants. That wasn’t the type of coaching style Burress wanted, so instead he’s going to the other New York team where a players’ coach is in charge.

Once again we’re seeing how Rex Ryan’s personality has won out. He’s creating a reputation as a coach for whom athletes are dying to play, and that gives the Jets a huge advantage in recruiting free agents.

Vince Young, Jason Babin: Eagles Are Dream Team, Miami Heat of NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles have made the biggest noise since the NFL lockout ended. They signed free agent Nnamdi Asomugha, backup quarterback Vince Young, defensive lineman Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, and they acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the Kevin Kolb trade. They’ve added a talented group of players to a team that reached the playoffs last year. They’re easily one of the top teams in the NFC and a Super Bowl contender. But if you hear the way the new players tell it, we might as well already hand the Eagles the Lombardi Trophy.

When asked to describe the players the Eagles have brought in, Vince Young said “dream team.” He continued “From Nnamdi [Asomugha] to [Dominique Rodgers-] Cromartie, to Jason [Babin] to myself, I know they are going to do some more things … It’s just beautiful to see where we’re trying to go.”

He wasn’t the only newcomer to raise the stakes for Philly.

[Read more...]

Sam Bradford Tried to Learn Josh McDaniels’ Offense from Charlie Weis

One of the many downsides to the NFL lockout was players being unable to meet with coaches. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to organize and fund workouts to keep his team fresh. Matt Hasselbeck threw to his receivers in a parking lot. Guys had to improvise in the lockout to stay sharp, and apparently Rams quarterback Sam Bradford got really creative.

In order to get a jump-start on learning new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ offense, Bradford headed to Gainesville to pick Charlie Weis’ brain. You may recall that Weis was the offensive coordinator in New England when McDaniels was the team’s quarterbacks coach. Even though their offenses aren’t identical, Bradford figured it would be a good starting point.

“They spent time in New England together,” Bradford told Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples. “So their offensive philosophies are fairly similar. Obviously, they don’t run the exact same offense. But I just thought if I could come down and just talk some ball with coach Weis and get a feel for what his philosophy is, then it could possibly help me try to transition to Josh’s offense.”

Bradford said that even though he had the playbook, it’s not the same as having someone explain it to you. He says meeting with Weis was beneficial so he could gain an understanding of what McDaniels would be looking for.

I already was a Bradford fan based on his playing ability, but now we can add more positive characteristics to his abilities: creativity and improvisation.