Rex Ryan Didn't Change During the Lockout

Jets coach is in midseason form.

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011  |  Updated 8:00 AM EDT
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Rex's tattoo is the latest sign the lockout went on way too long.

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Thanks to a rule in the new CBA, any member of the Jets that changed their contract or signed a new one is barred from practicing until Thursday.

That means Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Antonio Cromartie and several other Jets have to sit and watch practice instead of expending energy on the field. That leaves plenty of juice in their batteries for their meetings with reporters after the session.

This being the Jets, you can probably guess where that goes. Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson talked about the Jets being Super Bowl bound, Cromartie held court on the ways in which he feels like he's better than Nnamdi Asomugha and even Burress, feeling his sea legs after two years locked on land, got into the fun. 

All of that is well and good, but when you need something done right you have to go to the best in the business. For the Jets, that choice is clear.

Rex Ryan didn't take long to remind everyone that he isn't cut from the same cloth as most of the coaches we've gotten to know around the NFL. He wore shorts to practice, showing off a big new tattoo on his right calf that almost certainly wasn't inspired by one that Tom Landry had in the same spot.

After Ryan showed off that ink, he got back to spilling it all over the notebooks of reporters covering the team. The bravado, the swagger, the overconfidence -- call it whatever you will -- was in full force as he held court about his team and the season to come.

Ryan called this Jets roster the best it has been in his three-year tenure. You can argue about such things, especially with so little evidence to support the claim, but what's the point in bringing logic into one of Ryan's press conferences?

Ryan said that he believes "in my heart and that’s that this is going to be our year" and passed on making an explicit Super Bowl guarantee by saying that he'll stand by what he always says on the topic. So let's correct that: Ryan made an explicit Super Bowl guarantee.

Naturally that has riled up some of those who love to get riled up by the same thing over and over again. We're at a bit of a loss to figure out where people find all the indignation at listening to a proven blowhard act exactly the same way he always acts, but whatever gets you through the night.

Everyone has the same thought process about the Jets as they prepare for the 2011 season. Anything short of what they've accomplished the last two years is a massive failure and even another trip to the AFC Championship Game would simply meet expectations for the team.

Ryan's words show he accepts that charge and that he shares those expectations. His goals and the Jets' goals are clear, so no one should act surprised when the coach spells them out to the media.

The only surprising thing about the day was finding out that Ryan got something other than the Lombardi Trophy tattooed onto his skin. He acknowledges the expectations for the Jets in every other thing he does, so you have to wonder why he didn't just go the distance when it came to permanently altering his appearance. 

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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