Sound the Alarm: Rex Ryan Thinks the Jets Can Win

"We should be favorites"

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Jan 15, 2010  |  Updated 3:15 PM EDT
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The Jets 2009 Season in Pictures

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Rex Ryan takes a bath.

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If you're a business looking for a PR boost, you could do a lot worse than hiring Rex Ryan. In less than a year as Jets coach, he's appeared on a lot more back pages than Eric Mangini did in three years and you could make a strong argument that the Jets were the more visible of the area's two football teams.

That's pretty shocking considering that New York papers love to heap scorn on a loser and because the Giants have long been the lead citizens in town, but Ryan gives them something they love even more. He gives them someone who speaks from the gut without much concern for the kinds of cliched niceties that most coaches make their stock and trade. 

This week's entry in the Ryan canon came when he was asked about his team's underdog status at Wednesday's press conference. The answer guaranteed another set of covers.

"I wasn’t aware of that, but to me we should be favorites, so that’s fine. ... I mean in the whole tournament.  You know the way that I feel.  I think we have the best defense.  I know we do.  I know we have the best rushing attack.  Those are two huge factors in our favor.  With a couple of exceptions on our staff, myself probably, I think we have a great coaching staff.  I want this football team.  I’m not going to trade our team.  If I had choice to coach any team in this tournament, I would choose this one."

How brash! What a blowhard! Where does this crass heathen come off with such boastfulness? 

You could get a bit upset about this if Ryan just burst through the doors to the interview room and started ranting and raving about how the team should be the favorites. But he was asked about it and then asked if he meant in this week's game or in the entire playoffs. He gave the answer everyone wanted to hear and he knew that was the answer everyone wanted to hear because he's smart enough to know how all this works.

It wouldn't say all that much about Ryan if he didn't feel like his team could win the games they were scheduled to play, so it's always hard to understand why people have such a hard time when he says that feels like his team can win games. Or, for that matter, why it is a big deal that he says he'd choose to coach the Jets over any other team?

Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't, but you don't get far in your career when you publicly say you wished you coached another team. If you don't think you can win, why bother showing up?

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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