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Coach Fight! Rex Ryan Goes After Norv Turner

Turner gets the best of Ryan in this exchange

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Coach fights are all the rage these days.

    There wasn't much need to add intrigue to Sunday's game between the Jets and Chargers.

    The Chargers, traveling across the country with an early kickoff, have to prove that their 4-1 start wasn't just a result of a friendly schedule. Their loss was to the Patriots and their four wins came in three home games against teams that have just four wins between them so far this season.

    The Jets have a similar burden with three losses in their last four and a win over a depressingly bad Dolphins team on Monday night.

    Beating the Chargers would show that they have started to get a handle on their problems and that there's still reason to include their name in a discussion of the better teams in football, even if they are on the fringes of that discussion.

    So it would be pretty easy for Rex Ryan to answer a question about not getting the Chargers job in 2007 by saying, "I didn't get that job, I got the job coaching the New York Jets and all I'm worried about is winning this game on Sunday."

    If you really expected Ryan to do the modest thing when given a choice to do something else, though, you probably haven't been in town that long. 

    "Well, I think I would have had a couple rings. I'm telling you, those teams were loaded."

    Just for the record, Ryan has now guaranteed himself Super Bowl rings in each of the last five seasons. There are plenty of guys wearing rings who would be surprised to learn of Ryan's role in those titles.

    Reality seemed to dawn on Ryan at some point after rewriting history because he called the guy who did get the Chargers job to let him know that it wasn't meant as a slight on Norv Turner's coaching ability.

    Of course, that's the only way to take saying that you would win the Super Bowl with the same roster that Turner has taken to a series of painful playoff losses. 

    Turner, not known for anything resembling a personality, responded during his own chat with the media on Wednesday. And the man often confused with plain yogurt got the better of big, bad Rex after Ryan called him to explain his comments.

    "I hadn’t seen his quote and I was a little bit surprised by the call," Turner said. "And then after I saw the quote, I didn’t have a chance to ask him this, but I was wondering if he had those rings with the ones he’s guaranteed the last couple of years."

    Zing! That'll teach 'em the foolishness of trying to push Norv Turner around. At least until the playoffs, when everyone can push Norv Turner around. 

    Normally, Ryan's boasts don't cause anything more than a chuckle because he's talking about his own team and, often, putting himself in the line of fire instead of letting his players take fire from the media.

    This is a bit different, though, because it is simply a case of stroking his own ego and it is a petty shot at another coach that Ryan has already shown he's better than in a playoff game on the Chargers' home field.

    It was an unnecessary shot, one that could even be construed as a shot at the talent on his own team, and the first time where Ryan has looked really ridiculous in the aftermath of one of these normally overblown nontroversies over what comes out of his mouth. The nice thing is, no one will even remember it Sunday night if the Jets win.

    If they lose, well, Ryan will have to come up with something a lot better than this to keep the knives from coming out.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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