In the end, Rex Ryan’s gargantuan mouth bit off more than it could chew.
From Day 1 through Day 1,429, the New York Jets head coach has talked. And talked. And talked. And talked.
Often his answers and demeanor have been humorous. I’ve honestly never met a high-profile coach or manager who wanted to be loved by the media like Rex did. One well-known writer told me, “When it comes to press conferences, he’s the best.”
On the other hand, when it comes to press conferences, Bill Belichick is easily the worst. But that’s a topic for another day.
This is about the fall of Jets and their head coach. And his mouth.
The problem is that during his incessant, humorous and sometimes incoherent ramblings, he made promises he couldn’t keep.
His “I’m not going to kiss Belichick’s rings” comment was just what Jets fans wanted and, the Jets believed, needed to hear. It was akin to a new Red Sox manager coming in and saying he hated the Yankees. New Englanders love that.
That was fine. But then Rex, with the back page of the N.Y. Post and N.Y. Daily News in his corner, got dangerous.
He promised something football coaches at all levels would never dare promise: He promised championships, as in Super Bowls.
He also pulled another coaching no-no, he told everyone that the Jets drafted a “franchise” quarterback in Mark Sanchez. He even jokingly nicknamed him “San-chize,” stealing a back page headline. It was way over the top, his promises and unreal expectations.
Along the way he tried, sometimes successfully, to prod his talented and successful neighbors to the north, your New England Patriots. He gave half-hearted praise of Belichick and Tom Brady early in his tenure, always saying, “Their coach is better than me. Their quarterback is better ... But he’s going to get my best shot.”