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Rex Ryan: 'I'm An Excellent Football Coach'

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan visited with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio New York this week. Ryan’s Jets, of course, are in the AFC Championship Game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ryan, as entertaining as ever even if he wasn’t full of braggadoccio this time, touched on a wide range of topics. Sports Radio Interviews has the full transcript. Here are some excerpts.

On how he takes the blame when the Jets lose, but passes the praise to the players when they win:

"I really think that if you’re a competitor, that’s how you look at things. The job of a coach is to prepare your players, get them ready each week. Clearly, I thought we were out-prepared … that Monday night game. … But the players came back and did a great job executing the plan. Their effort was tremendous."

My take: Are you reading this, Tom Coughlin? Giants safety Antrel Rolle wants you to take notes. Let’s see … prepare players … get them ready each week … take the blame when you lose and give players credit when you win … hmmm, at 64 I’m amazed you haven’t learned these things already, Tom. Or, maybe Rolle should just shut his trap.

If it feels different going to the AFC title game this year as opposed to last:

"It does feel different. Last time, we were new to it. We had a rookie quarterback, obviously a rookie head coach, and it was like we had something to prove to the league. Even though we believed in ourself, we might not have been built to go all the way. … I still think our passing game is at a different level now than it was back then. … Last year we were just built on running it."

On the extended chat at midfield with Belichick after the game:

"I really don’t want to get into the specifics of it, but he knows that I have a great deal of respect for him and I don’t think that he has the same respect for me, but maybe one day he will. I know he respects the fact that I am a real football coach and he knows I’m going to give everything I can to the team."

Whether he’s bothered by the fact that the attention of him being a great football coach is sometimes hidden by the fact that everyone sees him as a boisterous guy:

"No. Again, I’m not in it for that. I don’t need credit, I don’t need anything. I’ve been assistant coach of the year before, I’ve done different things. I think when you look at my background, the numbers may give you a different story than what you believe. My numbers, statistically, on defense, will stack up with anybody that’s ever coached this game. I understand I’m an excellent football coach, but the reason I’m an excellent coach is the fact that I work with great assistant coaches … and the players, most importantly."