Rex Ryan is trying to attach himself to Baker Mayfield as a troll, and so far it’s working.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” during the week, Ryan called Mayfield “overrated as hell.”
The Cleveland Browns quarterback responded a few days later with a perfect zinger.
Ryan, who served as a defensive coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2008, kept things going on Sunday and said Mayfield was lucky Rex is no longer the Ravens’ defensive coordinator.
"Baker Mayfield better be happy I'm not in the black and purple today … 'cause he'd be in trouble."
–Rex Ryan responds to Baker Mayfield's comments pic.twitter.com/FIUKVicqer
— ESPN (@espn) September 29, 2019
Flash forward and Mayfield and the Browns had their best game of the season in a 40-25 win at Baltimore. Mayfield was asked after the game whether he would give credit to Ryan for firing him and the team up.
#Browns QB Baker Mayfield on whether Rex Ryan’s comments fueled him this week: “Absolutely not. Rex Ryan does not get any credit for this week’s win. No.”
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) September 29, 2019
Of course Mayfield doesn’t want to give Ryan credit. Mayfield has been fired up all season, and Rex Ryan has nothing to do with the team getting things right. But simply by being mentioned in a press conference, Ryan is victorious because he is now part of the conversation surrounding Mayfield and the Browns.
It’s fair to say that Baker Mayfield isn’t taking criticism from Rex Ryan lying down.
The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback was dismissive after Ryan dubbed him “overrated as hell,” stating that his opinion doesn’t matter because he’s not with the Cleveland Browns. He took a rather clear shot at the ex-NFL coach as well, saying there was “a reason” Ryan didn’t have a job right now.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield on Rex Ryan's criticism: "In the wise words of Freddie Kitchens, if you don't wear orange and brown, you don't matter. And Rex Ryan doesn't have any colors right now for a reason."
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 25, 2019
Ryan last coached in 2016 and hasn’t posted a record above .500 as a head coach since 2010, which is also the last time he led a team to the playoffs. You better believe Mayfield knows that, too. He’s not at all afraid to take on members of the media he feels are being unfair, and while he wasn’t as harsh to Ryan as he has been on another talking head, he wasn’t kind, either.
Don’t count Rex Ryan as a big Baker Mayfield fan.
The former NFL coach blasted Mayfield on Monday, dubbing him “overrated as hell” on ESPN’s Get Up.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 23, 2019
Ryan branded Mayfield a “one-read guy” and questioned what he’s even doing right at this stage in his career. It’s a pretty far cry from a quarterback who was tipped by some as an MVP candidate before the season started.
Mayfield has started 2019 with three touchdowns and five interceptions in his first three games. His defenders will likely point out that Cleveland’s offensive line has done him zero favors so far, and he’s a one-read and improvise guy because if he doesn’t start moving after about two seconds, he’s directly in the line of fire from opposing pass-rushers.
If there’s one thing we know about Mayfield, it’s that he’d use a quote like this as motivation. He certainly doesn’t mind being doubted.
The Arizona Cardinals have an entirely new look on offense this year under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and some people around the NFL have been openly skeptical about the chances it has of succeeding. Veteran offensive lineman Justin Pugh does not seem too concerned.
Oakland Raiders cornerback Lamarcus Joyner called Arizona’s up-tempo offense “pretty boy football” during his team’s preseason game against the Cardinals last week. Pugh joked that he didn’t mind the remark because “we’ve got some good-looking guys, man.” Joyner sacked Kyler Murray during the game, but Pugh didn’t think that was anything to feel proud of.
“If you want to troll, you better make sure you come correct, because I will correct you,” Pugh said, via Shane Dale of ABC 15 in Arizona. “It’s easy to talk smack when it’s third and 17 and you’re a (defensive back) and you know things are going to happen in your favor. I would love to see those same things be said when it’s third and (short) and we can run right at them. But when you don’t put yourself in a good situation to succeed, obviously people are going to have negative comments.”
Rex Ryan has been another critic of the Cardinals during the preseason, calling their offense boring and predicting that they will “get whipped” in Week 1. Pugh isn’t sweating that, either.
“I think we’ve seen through Rex Ryan’s career, he always says things to grab your attention,” Pugh said. “He’s on TV now. You have to say things to kind of get people riled up, so I get that. … That’s something that is part of this league — guys are going to talk. And if you don’t have success, guys are going to keep talking, so we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to shut them up.”
The results for Murray have been mixed in the preseason, and he was called for a couple of controversial penalties that he may have to watch out for. Still, a lot of people believe he and Kingsbury are a perfect fit for each other. There will be some growing pains, but it’s too early to judge whether or not Kingsbury’s air raid offense will work at the NFL level.
Say what you will about Rex Ryan, but one thing the man has never been lacking is a sense of humor. He gave us another great reminder of that on Friday when he cracked a perfectly timed joke at his own expense.
Feet have been a topic of discussion this offseason because of the nasty blister problem Antonio Brown is dealing with, and it came up again during ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday morning when an ex-NFL player shared how he used to remove his toenails completely before the season so they wouldn’t get banged up. Sam Ponder was disgusted and said “we gotta quit talking about feet.”
Take it away, Rex:
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) August 16, 2019
For those of you who don’t get the reference, Ryan was the subject of foot fetish talk a few years back when him and his wife were supposedly featured in some bizarre YouTube videos. Ryan has since been mocked by his own twin brother over his love of feet, and he has done a great job of owning it.
Never change, Rex.
- Rex Ryan
Some former Miami Hurricane players want a big but risky name as the school’s next coach.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, some former players are privately pushing the school to reach out to former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan to replace the retiring Mark Richt. Jackson adds that Ryan would be interested in the opportunity if it is presented to him.
Per source, couple prominent former UM players pushing behind scenes for former Jets coach Rex Ryan to replace Richt. Ryan is believed to have interest, if he's contacted officially. So one of bunch of names to keep in mind.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 30, 2018
The big question is whether Miami would be interested. They’ve had this coaching search thrust upon them out of the blue, so they’re still trying to figure out which direction they intend to go in. That said, Ryan certainly comes with a reputation, though his last college experience came in 1999 as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator.
Ryan has hinted at a return to coaching, and this would be quite the opportunity for him. For Miami, though, it might be too big a risk to take.
Did Rex Ryan suggest that he will be making his coaching return to the NFL in 2019?
Ryan is now an ESPN analyst after being fired by the Buffalo Bills late in the 2016 season. During ESPN’s “Get Up” on Monday morning, Ryan was providing some analysis and criticism of the New England Patriots’ defense on the final play against the Miami Dolphins.
Ryan said that if any coach other than Bill Belichick had committed the mistake of putting a tight end like Rob Gronkowski out there and playing for a Hail Mary, that coach would be crucified. He also said he didn’t worry about giving such tough criticism, noting that he’ll return to football next year.
“Guess what,” Ryan said. “You know what? I’ll probably get back into football next year, and I don’t care if I make everybody mad at me or whatever. I could care less.”
Was Ryan making just a simple off-handed remark, or was he tipping his hand about his plans? We will see. Ryan has not been mentioned in connection with any jobs since his firing by the Bills, though he and his brother have made some headlines.