Florham Park, N.J.– Before Rex Ryan had even coached his first game as a head coach, he managed to make a comment about Bill Belichick that stirred up a media frenzy. Many media members and fans interpreted the comment as disrespect, others thought it was just pure insanity.
“I think we’ve already sent a message to them (Patriots). So they can read between the lines… Oh yeah, no question we’ve sent a message to them.” Ryan said before last season even began, “They can figure it out and when they come here the second week of the season then we’ll see. Cause ya see, I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s, aah, rings, ya know. I came here to win. Lets put it this way, I’m not intimidated by New England or anybody else.”
Ryan insisted he wasn’t trying to dismiss Belichick’s accomplishments, it’s just that Ryan knew he was brought here to beat Belichick and the Patriots and while he can admire the success Belichick has had, he wasn’t about to just roll over and willing hand the Patriots the division year after year.
Today Ryan expanded on just how much respect he has for Belichick and his future hall-of-fame quarterback, but of course he did it in his own comedic style.
“Now, a couple of things. You guys know that I talk about Belichick all the time, and Brady, and the first thing is, I admire Bill Belichick.” Ryan said, “The reason I do is because he’s the number one coach in this league and that’s indisputable and all that. I mean he is, he’s smart he gets his team every single year, gets them going, great evaluator of talent all that kind of stuff, but I do admire him.”
“Do I want to be like him, no I want to be like myself, but I want to have the success that he’s had through the years.” Ryan said, “But you like to compete against the best and that’s why I like going against him and I know it’s a huge challenge, but it’s something that I try and get my best shot every time out and I know he gives us his best shot and that’s what we expect Monday night and I know we’ll get it.”
Next it was Tom Brady’s turn to receive the Jets coach’s praise and admiration.
“The next guy is Brady and the first thing is, I never realized how similar that I am to Tom Brady (smiling).” Ryan said, “I mean the obvious physical appearance would be the first thing, the fact that he’s married to a supermodel, HELLO (Holds up a copy of In Style magazine with Ryan’s wife in it), Yeah. I’m also married to a supermodel. I just happened to turn the page, In Style magazine page 329. So I just realized that we are very similar.”
When Ryan was asked what makes Brady such an amazing quarterback however, the jokes stopped.
“Golly, everything. There’s no weakness in Brady’s game. He’s poised, he’s competitive, he’s a leader and by the way he can make every throw.” Ryan said, “So, he’s great underneath, he’s smart, he knows where to throw the football. He’s got 199 straight throws without throwing a pick, he can throw the deep ball with touch, stands in there faces the pressure… He’s just a heck of a football player.”
When the conversation swung back to Belichick, Ryan summed up their relationship in just one word, respect.
“I think it’s a respect thing. I know I really respect him. I do (have a relationship with him), he had my brother, my brother won two Super Bowl rings under him, so I met him then.” Ryan said, “Obviously you pull for defensive head coaches anyway, at least I would, it’s human nature. But you know I just have a huge deal of respect for him. I know one thing, I would think he respects the fact that he’s going to get my best every time.”
Of course as much respect and admiration Ryan has of Belichick, he understands that the general consensus is that the Patriots are viewed as the better team, but he respectfully disagrees.
“I think in the general court of public opinion, absolutely we’re the underdogs. Do I view us, really, as the underdogs? No, I think we’re going to win, I always think we’re going to win.” Ryan said.
The Jets manhandled the Patriots during the second-half of the first game between the two this season, but still the court of public opinion Ryan talked about is quick to give the Patriots the edge, because of the two names of Belichick and Brady and Ryan is looking forward to proving that the Jets are indeed the better team. Not just for this game, but also for the playoffs where Ryan fully expects to have to beat the Patriots again to complete their own Super Bowl dreams.
With all due respect to Belichick, Brady and the entire New England organization, Ryan looks forward to proving they are the new team to beat in this division and in all of football.
“Well we get to prove it. Will these two teams meet again? Probably, there’s a good chance of it, so it might not just be two (games) this year, it’ll probably be another one in the playoffs.” Ryan said, “I mean you never know, but yeah we certainly have to beat these guys.”
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