Kerry Rhodes’ ‘Hollywood’ Return to New York
EX-JET BURNS TEAM IN A SCRIPTED FASHION WITH TREMENDOUS INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Called the “Hollywood type” and a “selfish-ass guy” by Rex Ryan in his 2011 book, Play Like You Mean It, Kerry Rhodes lived up to those labels — in all the right ways.
He ’selfishly’ picked off Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez twice and forced a fumble on running back Khalil Bell in his first game against the team that drafted him in the fourth round. He did so in a ‘Hollywood’-like way, intercepting Sanchez’s first pass on their very first play from scrimmage — a play, he said, was all too predictable.
“I knew exactly what the play was going to be. They run it a lot. As soon as they motioned down I knew the play. He threw the ball a little high and I jumped it,” Rhodes said.
Not bad for a guy who Ryan benched for a portion of time in the 2009 season in which he tweeted “a lot of teams would love to have me as their problem”, according to the Star Ledger.
When asked if there was any extra motivation to play well on Sunday, Rhodes took the high road.
“For me to come back and play well, it was good. Rex came up to me after the game and told me I played a hell of a game. There wasn’t an edge [though]. It was just an opportunity for me to come here and play well in front of friends and family,” he said after the game.
Familiarity with the organization is what gave the All-Pro safety an edge on Sanchez.
“The second [interception] they tried to run a pump so I kind of knew that one too. I tried to bait him into it a little bit and he threw it.”
Asked to comment on the first return for Rhodes since his book was published earlier in the week, Ryan dodged the question saying only “he is on one of the best defenses in the NFL”. Rhodes was traded to the Cardinals following the 2009 season for a fourth and sixth round pick.
Despite his great individual play, Rhodes didn’t call it a good return to New York.
“We didn’t get the win, so it wasn’t a good way to return.”
If he didn’t sound it, he certainly played like a Jet — or former one — on Sunday.