NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Rex Ryan’s new book, “Play Like You Mean It,” gives an entertaining glimpse into the man who has become one of the NFL’s most colorful and controversial personalities. And — no shock here — he pulls no punches.
Jets fans will tell you the coach’s straight talk isn’t just reserved for the printed page. Ryan left it all out there in a Tuesday morning appearance with WFAN’s Boomer & Carton.
“I truly believe it, so I have no problem saying it,” Rex said, referring to his Super Bowl guarantee. “We’re in the No. 1 media market in the entire country so I know I’m going to get pummeled if we don’t win it, and I understand that. But … if you truly believe it, why wouldn’t you say it? Some of the guys will become brave after the fact. ‘Hey, we won, now I’m gonna talk noise about something.’ Why wouldn’t you lay it out there in the first place? If you really believe it, why don’t you say it?”
Ryan said New England wide receiver Wes Welker apologized to him for making foot jokes during a press conference before a playoff game in reference to foot-fetish reports allegedly involving Ryan and his wife, Michelle.
Ryan doesn’t address the foot-fetish reports in the book and wouldn’t address them to Boomer & Carton.
“You know, like I said before, that’s a personal matter. It was a personal matter then, it’s a personal matter now and that’s the way it’ll always be.”
Bart Scott had strong words for Welker in January, warning the receiver, “Be very careful what you say about our coach. His days in a uniform will be numbered. Put it like that.” Rex said it’s that die-hard camaraderie that makes the Jets a cut above the rest.
“With our football team, we all have each others backs. And that’s why this team is special,” said Ryan. “That’s why I say that I believe we can win a Super Bowl, because you have to be special.”
Ryan dedicates the book to his father — “I grew up wanting to be Buddy Ryan.” It was revealed in March that the elder Ryan is battling cancer.
“He’s actually doing well,” said Rex. “He is cancer-free right now.”
In the book, Ryan called his team the Giants’ “big brother,” and said the Jets are going to be better than the Giants for the next 10 years. Giants defensive leader Justin Tuck fired back, telling the New York Post that Ryan is “proud of coming up short.”
“You know what, I have a lot of respect for that young man. I’ve met him before, he seems like a tremendous person,” said Ryan. “No question, I have no problem with him making comments.”
Ryan goes into detail in the book about how he has tried to transform the team in his image and gotten rid of players who didn’t fit. Kerry Rhodes, traded to Arizona last offseason, was one player he singled out, calling him selfish.
“He never knew the defense,” said Ryan. “It’s like a guy teaching french class and you don’t even know the language.”
The boisterous coach ended his session in the WFAN studios with this message to Jets fans:
“It’s on. This is our time. You already know how I feel, we expect to win,” he said. “Our fans, when we get them behind us … it doesn’t matter who we play, there’s no way they’re gonna beat us.”
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