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Rex Ryan opens up to Ray Lewis about biggest coaching regret

Rex Ryan RavensRex Ryan sat down for an interview with his former player turned ESPN analyst Ray Lewis and talked about his biggest coaching regret. Ryan told Lewis his biggest regret was telling his 2006 Baltimore Ravens defense that if they kept the Indianapolis Colts from scoring a touchdown in their playoff game, they’d win. Why? Because they allowed five field goals and lost at home 15-6.

“In 2006 we might have had the greatest defense in the history of the sport that nobody talks about because we didn’t win it. And we had Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts come into our place. And you know Ray (talking to Ray Lewis) the way I am. I’ll tell you what I believe to be the truth. And I said that day, ‘alright guys, we don’t give up a touchdown, we’ll win.’

“And I remember you and Ed (Reed) were like ‘you lied to us then.’ I never lied. I never purposely lied. But we didn’t give up a touchdown, but we still lost that day.”

That 2006 Ravens defense was first in the league in fewest points, yards, rushing touchdowns and first downs allowed. They led the league in interceptions and fewest plays allowed per drive. Even the Ravens’ heralded 2000 defense that won the Super Bowl didn’t have as many accolades.

That is definitely a good reminder about how good that defense was. Their offense wasn’t explosive. Steve McNair was the team’s quarterback and threw for 16 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Jamal Lewis rushed for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns. They just weren’t able to score against Indy that day, and that was the year the Colts won the Super Bowl.

Rex may feel like he let his players down for making that promise, but he was right — holding the Colts without a touchdown meant they probably should have won the game. I’m actually surprised that that’s what he mentioned. I figured he would have said something about regretting opening his biggest mouth multiple times as coach of the New York Jets.

Rex Ryan did not tell New York Jets not to have sex with wives

Rex Ryan I'd hit that shirt

Rex Ryan may or may not have implied to his New York Jets players that they should avoid having sex this week in order to be well rested for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

The confusion came after Josh Cribbs, who is new to the team, told the media about how much Ryan emphasized the importance of the game.

“He was like, ‘Rest your legs, you go home, don’t do nothing for your wife. Say: ‘Baby, next week. I’m going to take out the trash next week. I’ll take the kids to practice next week because I got to rest for this game.’ I’m going to tell him to put it on paper, so when I give it to my wife, I’m like, ‘Hey, Rex said that I don’t have to take out the trash.’ He might get a call from my wife,” Cribbs said Wednesday, per the New York Post.

Well once you start talking about resting legs and not doing anything for the wife, most people start to think about sex. Isn’t that the exact term Lawrence Taylor used to use? Didn’t he supposedly send hookers over to opposing running backs the night before games to tire out their legs?

Yeah, it’s no wonder there was some confusion.

Anyway, Ryan had to clarify to the media that he was talking about household chores, not sex. Whoever would get that idea?

Rex Ryan once told Jets he was going to punch Bill Belichick in the face

Rex-Ryan-Bill-Belichick-is-Best-Coach-in-NFLWhen Rex Ryan was first hired by the New York Jets, he started his tenure out with a bang by saying he did not come to the AFC East to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings. Since then, Ryan has been nothing but complimentary toward Belichick, often referring to him as one of the greatest coaches of all time. And then there was that one time when Rex said he was going to punch Belichick in the face.

Former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson told an entertaining story on NFL Network Tuesday about Rex getting his team fired up to face the New England Patriots.

“We were playing the Patriots one time, and as I mentioned, Rex is a master motivator,” Tomlinson said. “It was going to be a big game, a heated rivalry game, and Rex got in front of us, he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo today, guys,’ he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo when I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field, I’m gonna start it off and punch him in the face.’ I loved it.”

Of course, Ryan would never actually do it (we think). This is the same Rex that once joked he was thrilled to beat Belichick by being named the most overrated coach in the league. That being said, Tomlinson said the Jets won the game and the speech worked.

“He was motivating his guys and he wanted to jump it off,” Tomlinson continued. ” … Our coach showed confidence that he has in us (and) in himself. He can be joking and lighten the mood at the same time while being serious about the competition.”

Ryan’s confidence has been known to make him look like an idiot in the past, but his players seem to love playing for him. In a league that is filled with egomaniacs, that can sometimes be half the battle.

Rex Ryan melts down in hilarious press conference (Video)

Rex Ryan melted down under the pressure from reporters peppering him with questions about his decision to put in Mark Sanchez, who hurt his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the New York Jets’ preseason win over the New York Giants on Saturday.

Rookie Geno Smith struggled during the game, throwing three interceptions in the first half. Ryan still had Smith start the third quarter, and later pulled him in favor of Sanchez, who got hurt. Ryan defended his decision to put in Sanchez — who likely was going to be the team’s Week 1 starter in light of Smith’s poor performance — saying it was important to play him.

“I would not have put Mark in if it wasn’t important,” Ryan repeated in response to questions.

Rex Ryan sidewaysRyan was criticized for throwing Sanchez out there at that point. The media kept asking who would be the team’s starting quarterback for Week 1, but Ryan wouldn’t budge.

“We’ll make the announcement on a starting quarterback when we think is the appropriate time. Not when you, not when this person or this person or this person. Now maybe that person, but that’s about it.”

A clearly perturbed Ryan then gave a childish line when pressured some more about his starter.

“I can say anything I want. That’s the beauty of this country.”

He then turned his body in different directions, which was absolutely hilarious.

[Read more...]

Rex Ryan defends Geno Smith: ‘I’m glad my kid didn’t go to West Virginia’

Geno SmithNew York Jets head coach Rex Ryan came to the defense of rookie quarterback Geno Smith on Monday, and he took a shot at West Virginia in the process. A number of players who were teammates with Smith at West Virginia last season were quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as saying the team lacked leadership. Smith was not mentioned by name, but he was the Mountaineers’ quarterback.

“Last year we didn’t have, you know, a lot of leadership,” junior running back Dustin Garrison said.

Several other players said they felt the Mountaineers were not a team last season, but more about individuals. When asked if the report makes him question Smith’s leadership ability, Ryan immediately defended the rookie.

“No, but it tells me I’m glad my kid never went there. Tell you that much,” Rex said, via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “I don’t get that. Geno was a tremendous player for West Virginia. Sometimes, I don’t know, you have to ask them. I certainly don’t get that. When somebody leaves your deal, I guess that’s up to them, you’d have to ask them.”

West Virginia looked like one of the best teams in the country last year after the first six weeks of the season, but they quickly fell apart and capped things off with an embarrassing loss to Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Smith fell off a bit, but for the most part defense was the issue. There was very little Geno could have done about a 55-34 loss to Oklahoma State or a 50-49 loss to Oklahoma.

We don’t know if Smith lacked leadership skills, but we do know it’s easy for a team to blame a player who has moved on even if their struggles weren’t his fault. My guess is that’s what is going on at West Virginia.

Rex Ryan: New York Jets will run more Wildcat offense this year

Geno-Smith-JetsThe New York Jets have yet to commit to a starting quarterback for Week 1 of the 2013 season, but the general consensus is that Mark Sanchez will be given yet another opportunity. New York drafted Geno Smith in the second round for a reason, but it does not appear he has made enough strides to be tossed into an NFL starting role just yet. However, he could do more than just hold a clipboard.

Smith ran an up-tempo spread offense at West Virginia, but he was by no means a scrambling quarterback. In fact, he had only 66 rushes for 151 yards last year — good for a 2.3 yards per carry average. Then who is Rex Ryan planning to use in the Wildcat formation? On Wednesday, the Jets coach was asked if his team will run more Wildcat and read-option plays in 2013.

“I would say we probably would because you guys say we never used (the wildcat last year), so I would say yeah,” he said, via Seth Walder of the NY Daily News. “I would think that’s part of what we do.

“I think (the Wildcat is) here to stay for the simple fact that guys are getting these quarterbacks now, these mobile quarterbacks, the size, speed and all that type of stuff, so I do think it’s here to stay. It does give you the numbers back. Sometimes on defense you’re playing with plus one, it’s a great equalizer.”

[Related: Jets considering using Geno Smith as change-of-pace QB]

Smith is a big quarterback who is mobile, but he doesn’t exactly have blazing speed. He’s more effective as a passer, and I’m guessing he wants to become a pocket passer in the NFL. Ryan noted that the Jets have run the Wildcat with guys like Brad Smith in the past, but he said the formation is more effective when the threat of throwing the ball exists. Apparently it did not with Tebow.

“If you’re gonna have a quarterback that has those skills, like a (Colin) Kaepernick or somebody like that, then obviously it becomes more of a weapon, because you’re defending, you’re not just knowing that Tebow’s going in there and he’s just going to run the ball,” he said. “And that’s kind of where we were last year it seemed like.”

Unless Sanchez is going to start making plays with his legs, Rex has to be talking about Smith. When the Jets first acquired Tebow, Ryan said opposing teams had better be prepared to deal with two quarterbacks. He hasn’t exactly said that yet with Sanchez and Smith, but who else would run the Wildcat or read-option? Maybe no one? Hey, that’s what happened with Tebow.

Rex Ryan took picture with Jets fan wearing ‘This Team Makes Me Drink’ shirt

Rex-Ryan-this-team-makes-me-drink

Rex Ryan and his New York Jets coaching staff headed to Cortland, N.Y. on Saturday night after training camp to enjoy a little nightlife. During his travels, Ryan came across lifelong Jets fan and season ticket holder, Joseph Grinwis. The young man asked Rex for a photo, but the shirt he was wearing made the request a bit awkward.

As you can see, Grinwis happened to be wearing his “This Team Makes Me Drink” shirt, which clearly had a Jets theme.

“I was a little bit ‘Oh no’ inside. I mean, the one night I’m wearing this shirt, you know?” said, according to Shutdown Corner. “But he was cool with it. Maybe he wasn’t on the inside but he seemed cool with it.”

Grinwis Twitter page will tell you that he is not just some troll who is always ripping on the Jets. He has been a season ticket holder since 1995 and has “Jet life until the next life” written in his profile. Fortunately, he said Rex had a good sense of humor about the shirt.

“He looked at it and laughed,” Ginwis said. “He didn’t make a comment. He just laughed.”

Although Grinwis’ shirt is not nearly as hilarious as the one Ryan was wearing when he took a picture with that girl a couple years ago, it was still a funny coincidence. Kudos to Rex for posing with the fan anyway.

H/T LBS tipster David