Dec 30, 2014 7:41 AM
Ryan's Jets tenure filled with memorable moments
The Associated Press
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) From the moment Rex Ryan first strolled through the door, it was clear things would be different around the New York Jets.
He was a larger-than-life character with a mouth that matched his size and swagger, starting with his declaration at his introductory news conference that his team would soon meet the president as Super Bowl champions.
It never happened for Ryan and the Jets, and the losing eventually outweighed everything else, as owner Woody Johnson fired the popular and sometimes-controversial coach after six seasons on Monday, along with general manager John Idzik.
While Ryan's coaching decisions and no-holds-barred approach were often criticized, he could never be accused of being boring. Here are just a few of the seemingly endless entertaining moments that made Ryan's time as Jets coach one of the most-talked about NFL tenures in recent memory:
HERE'S REX: It took Ryan only a few seconds into his first news conference to win over Jets fans with talk of winning Super Bowls, fielding a tough team and changing the way outsiders looked at the franchise. "The message to the rest of the league is," Ryan said, "hey, the Jets are coming, and we're going to give you everything we've got, and that's going to be, I think, more than you can handle."
LORD OF THE RINGS: Never one to back down from a challenge, Ryan made it clear that he was aiming for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots when he declared during a radio interview that he didn't come to New York to "kiss Belichick's rings." Well, Ryan won just four of 13 meetings with Belichick's Patriots, who were AFC East champions during all six years of Ryan's tenure.
WHOOPS: Ryan mistakenly announced the Jets were out of the playoff hunt in 2009 moments after they lost to Atlanta. Only problem? New York was still alive barely. The Jets won their last two games of the season to squeak into the playoffs and go on the first of two straight runs to the AFC title game.
SNACK TIME!: Ryan and the Jets were naturals on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in 2010, and the colorful coach delivered perhaps the line of the entire documentary series during a team meeting the night before a preseason game. Upset by his team's lack of professionalism on the practice field, Ryan lit into his players with an expletive-laced tirade he had quite a few of those and capped it by demanding everyone eat a snack.
REX-PLICIT: Ryan's foul mouth got him into plenty of trouble. After flipping off a fan at an MMA event in Miami in 2010, Ryan was fined $50,000. He shouted a profanity while walking off the field in New England the next year and was fined $75,000. Ryan got docked $100,000 earlier this season when he shouted another expletive to someone on the field at the end of the Jets' win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
PERSONAL MATTER: When suggestive online videos surfaced in 2010 that appeared to feature Ryan and his wife, gossip and entertainment news outlets flocked to Florham Park to ask the coach about them. Ryan, clearly embarrassed, repeatedly replied: "It's a personal matter," while never confirming or denying whether he and his wife were in the leaked videos.
TATT'S ALL: The coach showed up for the first day of training camp practice in 2011 sporting a tribal-style tattoo on his right calf, something he got while he on vacation in Hawaii earlier that summer. Turned out, Ryan was only getting started. While on vacation in January 2013, Ryan was photographed with a tattoo on his right arm featuring his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez No. 6 Jets jersey.
SKINNY REX: Tattoos weren't the only thing Ryan changed on his body while with the Jets. The once-portly coach weighed nearly 350 pounds during his first season, but he underwent Lap-Band surgery in March 2010 and has lost over 110 pounds and counting since.
WIGGING OUT: Rex Ryan pulled off a perfect Rob Ryan, making fun of his twin brother during a news conference in 2010. With the Jets preparing to play the Browns, for whom Rob was the defensive coordinator, Rex walked to the podium wearing a blond wig, Browns baseball cap and T-shirt and stuffed a pillow under his shirt to imitate his brother's ample stomach. He then answered questions as if he were Rob: "I think Rex is a great coach and I think he's a great person. There's no question about that. He's very handsome."
SOON-TO-BE CHAMPS: Ryan often boasted that he believed the Jets would win a Super Bowl. During training camp in 2010, he put his guarantee in writing when he scribbled "Soon to be Champs" on ESPN's tour bus in Cortland, New York. Well, the Jets finished a win from the Super Bowl that season, and fans are still waiting.
RUNNING WITH BULLS: Ryan spent part of his summer vacation in 2013 running from angry bulls, participating in the running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. Ryan was photographed wearing white pants, a red T-shirt with a picture of a bull in the middle with the words "Bad Toro" printed underneath and a red bandanna around his neck.
SIDEWAYS: Ryan was peppered with questions regarding his doomed decision to replace Geno Smith by putting Sanchez into a preseason game in the fourth quarter in 2013 which resulted in the quarterback suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. An angry and defiant Ryan turned his back to a reporter at one point. "I can say anything I want. That's the beauty of this country. I can answer it 100 times. I'll stand backward and answer the question. I'm going sideways."
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