Super Bowl XXLVIII will be played at the home stadium of the New York Jets, but Jets head coach Rex Ryan said he won’t be anywhere near the site Sunday. “I’ll watch it like anybody else. I won’t go there,” he said.
But Ryan still has hosting duties with the big event in town — he was part of the same “Embrace the Cold” New Era promotion that Chad Johnson took part in Thursday. During a brief swing through the crowds of Times Square on Friday, he spent a few minutes riffing with BuzzFeed. Because if there’s one thing Ryan is as good at as coaching football, it’s talking.
2. Here’s what he had to say about life, football, and his brother’s haircut:
3. 1. He thinks twin brother Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, needs a trim.
“Sometimes you’ve got to understand, whether you want to be it or not, you are the face of the franchise. Quite honestly, they don’t want that look. So yeah, I encourage him to get a haircut. I know my brother — he’d go bald if he got a head coaching job. He’d do whatever it takes. I just think it’s a matter of time before he gets his opportunity. I mean, you can coach the Raiders with a patch over your eye or whatever. Other than that, you’re better off getting a haircut.”
4. 2. He doesn’t know how to deal with catcalls.
“That’s crazy. People say, ‘Man you look great. I’m like what? What’s wrong with you?’ I’m happy I look better. But the main thing is I feel better and I want to be there for my kids and watch their kids grow. I think I’m a lot healthier but I won more when I was fat. So I’m thinking about gaining the weight back. … It is funny, though. I outkicked my coverage by a million miles with my wife in the looks department. But um, I guess if I was single, I should have done it way earlier.”
5. 3. He never worried about losing his job heading into the season finale.
“I went into that game like any other game. I was just going to do the best that I could. So it was never really about me. I never felt all of the heat on the job, like, ‘Oh this guy’s job is in jeopardy.’ I never approached it that way, ever. If you do a good job, good things will happen. I”ll be back next year and I’m happy about that.”
6. 4. Ryan also doesn’t know where reports saying he was concerned are coming from.
“I think that’s funny. Really what I say in a team meetings, anything like that, I’d just rather keep it there. Now people speculate on different things…that’s just fine and dandy. To me, all I do is I tell what I believe to be the truth. Always. And I go about my own business. I don’t understand how these reports come out or where they come from.”
7. 5. He says Geno Smith has a bright future with the Jets. Maybe as a starter.
“If he plays like he did on the last month of the season — he had the second highest quarterback rating over the last month of the season — he should be fine. That’s a stat that no one really talks about. … All I saw with him was getting better and better and better. I thought he did a great job. Guys around him support him like crazy. I see a very bright future for that guy.” But Ryan was careful not to commit to naming Smith the starter.
8. 6. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen to Mark Sanchez.
“Mark played well here at times. We had some ups and downs. I think time will tell whether he plays here again or not. I’m not sure.” Asked if Sanchez has a future in the NFL as a starter again, Ryan again demurred. “Certainly there’s a possibility. He’s always had the tools.”
9. 7. He doesn’t think Richard Sherman is better than Darrelle Revis used to be.
Over the past year or so, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has proclaimed himself better than Revis, who was once thought of as the league’s best at the position before a serious knee injury two years ago. Revis now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ryan was dubious of Sherman’s claim. “I don’t know if he’s playing at level Darrelle did when I had him. I though Darrelle was in a league by himself. We put him on the best receiver and he locked him down and everyone knew he locked him down. Some of the things we asked Darrelle to do, were unheard of.”
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