Rex Ryan flips Dolphin fans the bird

Jets head coach Rex Ryan gave a couple of Dolphin fans the one-fingered salute at the MMA Strikeforce event in Miami over the weekend. You can see photos of the giddy Ryan and his middle finger at

Ryan has since issued an apology:

Ryan: “It was stupid and inappropriate. I wouldn’t accept that type of behavior from one of the coaches or players and it’s unacceptable from me. I apologize to the Jets organization, the National Football League and NFL fans everywhere.”

New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum: “Rex showed extremely poor judgment and his conduct was inappropriate. He knows he was wrong, has apologized and we have accepted his apology. Any other actions regarding this incident will be addressed internally by the organization.”

According to Brooks of SPORTSbyBROOKS, Ryan was verbally attacked several times on his way to his seat by one belligerent Dolphin fan. It was on his way out that Ryan flipped off the fan, so for the most part the coach showed some restraint.

Of course, it didn’t help that Ryan said that, “I just want to tell everyone in Miami that we’re coming to beat you twice next year,” in an interview that was played over the loudspeaker. Still, he laughed after he said it so it was supposed to be in good fun.

Ryan was obviously in the wrong here, but if the drunken idiot kept his mouth shut then Rex wouldn’t have done what he did. I’m not excusing Ryan, but let’s be realistic here: When most human beings are provoked, they react. That said, what’s done is done and he apologized, so nothing more should be made about this situation.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Lucky? Yes, but Jets are good, too.

Following an ugly Week 15 loss at home to the Falcons, a game in which they botched three field goal attempts and had their head coach mistakenly announce that they were out of the playoffs, the Jets’ season appeared to be over.

The Jets needed several things to happen over the final two weeks of the season to keep their postseason hopes alive, one of which was to beat the 14-0 Colts in Indianapolis. Then they had to hope that the Jaguars would lose to the Patriots and the Dolphins to lose to the Texans.

Well wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened.

Jim Caldwell decided to pull his starters in the second half and the Jets cruised to a 29-15 victory over the Colts in Week 16. The Jaguars and Dolphins both lost, meaning a win over the Bengals in Week 17 meant that the Jets would make the postseason as the fifth seed.

With little to play for, Cincinnati gave a pathetic effort in a blowout loss to New York in Week 17, which allowed a once dead team a chance at a second life. And with that second life, Rex Ryan’s Jets have taken full advantage of their opportunities.

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Ryan, Crowder intensify Dolphins-Jets rivalry with trash talking

Who would have thought that Rex Ryan and Channing Crowder would make for great NFL news in June?

Tuesday night, after Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder first learned about Jets coach Rex Ryan’s unsolicited response earlier in the day regarding comments Crowder made this weekend, the talkative defensive leader returned another round of his own jabs.

But before we get to Crowder’s latest rebuttal (it’s worth the wait), we should first get you up to date on the unprompted comments Ryan made during a news conference earlier in the day when he made it clear he didn’t appreciate Crowder calling out the Jets for getting ahead of themselves in June.

”I don’t know this Channing Crowder,” said Ryan, the Jets’ first-year head coach. “All I know is that he’s all tatted up, so I guess I ought to be nervous about him. The other thing is I think he’s wrong because I do think you win in June. I think you win with your preparation and all that kind of stuff. If I was younger, I’d probably handle him myself.”

So yes, it’s June. And yes, a linebacker and a head coach from rival teams are talking trash. This might be the football equivalent of Christmas in July – and it only gets better. Reached on his cellphone Tuesday, Crowder responded to Ryan’s comments with this:

”Oh, Lord have mercy,” Crowder said Tuesday. “What’s wrong with him? Now he’s talking about preparation? We play them twice this year. If he wants to be prepared, shouldn’t he know the starting middle linebackers of his division rival?”

As for the notion that Ryan would ”handle him myself” if he was ”younger,” Crowder begs to differ.
”He says he’d take care of me if he was younger?” Crowder said. “I’d have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to get retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him. Don’t get big. Win with preparation? Start watching some tape and learn who your rival is. Come on now.”

As a writer, I’m probably inclined to say that Ryan should act more like a coach and not engage with players on other teams. But I’ve got to admit – I’m digging this.

The Jets need a shot of life after the days of Eric Mangini trying to do his best show-no-emotion Bill Belichick impersonation (which he’s moved now moved to Cleveland) and Ryan is giving it to them. I would have to imagine that players in this generation like the fact that their coach is willing to get into it with a mouthy opponent and maybe Ryan is starting to earn his player’s respect. (Albeit it in a backwards kind of way.)

Can’t wait for Ryan v. Crowder III.

Report: Rex Ryan becomes Jets’ next head coach

ESPN is reporting that Rex Ryan will become the next head coach of the Jets.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has agreed to a four-year contract to become coach of the New York Jets, according to multiple sources.

Lawyers are reviewing contract language before an official announcement is made. A news conference introducing Ryan is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Jets made a formal offer to Ryan “about an hour” after the Ravens lost 23-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, the sources said.

Ryan’s four-year contract is in line with other first-year head coaches that have been recently hired, but a Jets source said it was almost identical to the $11.5 million deal that the Rams gave New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Saturday.

“Any coach who believes in himself wants the opportunity, and it’s a great franchise,” Ryan told ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols on Sunday night.

Ryan was hired by the Ravens in 1999 as a defensive assistant and took on the coordinator’s role in 2005. The title of assistant head coach was added before this season.

I’ve been dying to see what this guy can do as a head coach. Hopefully he hires a sound offensive coordinator and someone he’s already worked with to coach defense so that his system and schemes stay in tact. It’ll also be interesting to see what Ryan can do with former top 10 pick Vernon Gholston, who Eric Mangini sat for most of 2008 because he wanted the former Buckeye to become a complete linebacker. Maybe Ryan will make him the next Terrell Suggs and just allow him to get after the passer and use his physical talents above all else.

Other than him not having any head coaching experience, I think Ryan was a sound hire.

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