After the Jets shellacking of the Bengals on Saturday they are just three games away from a World Championship. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
On Jan. 21, 2009, Rex Ryan said yes to the Jets, and in his first address to the public referenced the just-inaugurated president Barack Obama and said he thought the Jets would get to visit him in the White House.
It was the first statement of Ryan’s that raised eyebrows, but certainly not the last.
Rex Ryan has cried in the locker room, said the Jets were out of the running for the playoffs and claimed his team should be favored in the Super Bowl. He is confident and emotional, contradictory and full of bluster, but he is always himself.
That included Monday afternoon when he talked about the euphoria the Jets felt on the plane ride home.
“It breaks down to this, if we can win three games we are world champions,” Ryan said.
If that sounds kind of hypothetical, consider that Ryan has already written out the practice schedule leading up to the Feb. 7 Super Bowl, followed by the date of the victory parade.
“We really don’t care what people think we’re just trying to move our team forward,” Ryan said. “If you’re not man enough or have faith enough in your team to put it on the schedule then you wouldn’t, but we do. We feel like we have an outstanding chance we think we have an excellent football team and we’re not ashamed of the fact that we think it can happen.”
Maybe at times he doesn’t have it all straight — the Jets were never out of playoff contention despite Ryan’s statements after a loss to the Falcons — but he always gives you his emotional truth. After three years of Eric Mangini, who held things so close to the vest it was hard to know where he stood, Ryan may be flawed but he is real.
At best, he’s the uncle you couldn’t wait to see on Christmas Eve. At worst, he’s the guy sitting behind you on the train who talks too loudly on his cell phone.
But as the Jets prepare to take on San Diego at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Ryan has backed up all the hyperbole. He’s a first year coach with a rookie quarterback with a playoff win in the bag. Not only that, but the Jets have momentum to spare having won six of their last seven games.
“I can promise you this people are going to look at us and not want to play us,” Ryan said.
This afternoon, Ryan had updates on injured Jets. Bart Scott (ankle) might be limited in practice, but will likely play Sunday as will punter Steve Weatherford, who sat against the Bengals with an irregular heartbeat. Thomas Jones has a knee bruise and wore a brace last game.
He was aware the Jets could host the Ravens at the Meadowlands in the AFC Championship if both win their matchups next weekend. Asked the matchup he’d like most to see? "That would be us hosting the Ravens."
He said there was a lot of football to play before that, but he liked the way the Ravens played against the Packers.
“The Ravens looked outstanding to me against New England, obviously I recognize that formula for success.”
Ryan also praised wide receiver Braylon Edwards’ and acknowledged the drop in the end zone. “That’s killing him right now,” Ryan said.
But it can’t for long. The Jets will practice again on Tuesday before likely making the trip out west on Friday, where they will need to be ready to play.
“We know we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Ryan said.