Once upon a time a media darling was born through the ashes of a tight lipped, stern coach. The departure of Eric Mangini allowed for the arrival of Rex Ryan to the New York Jets, which opened the floodgates for stories due to his propensity to speak his mind, but also for his mantra of allowing his players to do the same.
“That’s the way I am,” explained Ryan. “I answer questions (with) what I believe to be the truth, and I think I’ve done that since I got here."
Ryan’s “honeymoon” phase with the media died out after his on-the-field success began to wane the past two seasons. Now he can’t make a mistake, or he’ll get lambasted in the papers.
““I missed plays my first couple of years too," admitted Ryan. "Every coach in the league is that way. I think it’s kind of interesting that most people get it.”
Ryan was addressing the issue of Mark Sanchez's interception during the preseason opener in Detroit. Asked by the media what he thought of the play he answered by saying that he just caught the “tail end of it”.
New York Jets beat writers and NFL analysts questioned why Ryan wasn’t watching the play live because that was what every coach “supposedly” does.
Ryan disputed this claim.
"Then your coach probably isn’t coaching, if he sees every play," noted Ryan.
At the time of the interception Ryan was talking to the defense on the sidelines. New York's head man has taken the reigns of calling the defense this season after not doing so in 2012. The fire was fueled even further when pundits claimed that a QB competition should be evaluated with a watchful eye.The criticism has obviously progressed to a point where every word of Ryan is picked apart.
“I’m not running from my record or anything else,” noted Ryan. "I don’t know what else to say about it. I guess that’s a fair statement. But again, I don’t really care. I’m just going to be myself.”
In the meantime Ryan will have to move forward to Saturday’s preseason matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ryan and his staff decided to give Sanchez the starting nod for the Jets’ second preseason game, this time in front of the home crowd. If Sanchez initially fails, he may have to worry about more than the media being on his case.