Rex Ryan on Facing Bill Belichick and the Patriots: “I recognize this is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach, but I plan on being the best coach on Sunday.”

January 11, 2011 – 10:30 am by Michael Bean

Rex Ryan has been talking about the New York Jets winning this year’s Super Bowl ever since HBO’s Hard Knocks started rolling their cameras back in August. Then he kept talking some more. And then some more. All season long Ryan stuck to his belief that the Jets had what it takes to make it to Dallas to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Well, the Jets are still alive after knocking off Peyton Manning and the Colts in the Wild Card Round. Next up? The vaunted New England Patriots. We’ll see if Ryan still has reason to believe that his team’s going all the way once the dust has settle on this weekend’s Divisional Round.

Ryan joined ESPN Radio New York to talk about having no doubts that Nick Folk would hit the game winner last Saturday night, how he feels like a huge monkey has been lifted off his back by finally beating Peyton Manning and the Colts in the playoffs, his comments about Tom Brady after hearing he had been at a Broadway show rather than watching the Jets game, how he wants to beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots just as bad as he did Manning and the Colts, how he thinks Belichick is a first ballot Hall of Famer but still plans to out-coach him this coming weekend, and what the Jets must do different if they hope to avoid a similar disaster like the last time the two teams met.

What’s going through his mind as Nick Folk lines up for the game winner, specifically if he had any doubts that Folk would connect:

“I was just so excited that we were able to make that big pass to Braylon Edwards because I really though that Nick was without question going to make that kick.  I definitely thought it was going through. The other one, it was tough. I had confidence, but it was like, man, we need to get a few more yards here. And then as soon as we got the pass, I went, oh yeah, we got this one.”

On Jim Caldwell’s timeout allowed them to set up the pivotal pass play to Edwards:

“I know he’s taking a ton of heat and things like that, but we had another timeout. We would have run the play anyway and then use our timeout if need be.”

If he feels like a monkey’s been lifted off his back now that he’s beaten Peyton Manning:

“I definitely do, and I talked about how personal it was to me because I thought I had a chance at two Super Bowl rings: one last year, obviously we win the game we’re in the Super Bowl; and then in ’06 I thought without question I was on the best team in football that year, and we lost that game, Peyton beat me. So that’s why it was so personal. Once you get into these playoffs that you put so much into it, and then all of a sudden it ends. If you lose, your season is over, and that’s hard to take. That’s why it’s so personal. Obviously he’s an outstanding quarterback, one of the best in the history of the game. So it was a huge win for us to go into his building and get the W. That was really big.”

On the pressure he’s put on himself to out-coach Bill Belichick:

“That’s what it is. Because when we lost that game, it wasn’t about their players being better than our players or whatever. This is a level playing field. I think when you look at the players, the coaches, the assistant coaches that we have, it’s a level playing field. He got the better of me the last time we played in the Monday Night game where he clearly was the better coach. And I recognize this is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach, but I plan on being the best coach on Sunday. So we’ll see. He’s going to get everything I’ve got. I will have our team ready to go, and I think we’ll win.”

His comments about Tom Brady after hearing he had been at a Broadway show rather than watching the Jets game on Saturday night:

“It doesn’t matter. I did that with a smile on my face. Because I know that I was getting ripped for ‘how dare you take a shot at Tom Brady?’ Well I just said this, nobody prepares like Peyton Manning and that’s fact. If somebody’s got a problem with it, well then they have a problem with it. I know for a fact that nobody prepares the way Peyton Manning does. Anybody that digs up 16 mm film when my dad was coaching the Bears, there’s only one quarterback that would do that in this league and that’s Peyton Manning. I know Tom Brady prepares great, I know he does all that stuff. But so be it. What I said was the truth. When it comes to preparation, there’s only one Peyton Manning in this league.”

Does he thinks Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL right now:

“Well I think he had the best year this  year. I think he’ll be the league MVP. I know I voted for him to be the league MVP.”

If he would try to throw at Revis more if he were coaching against him:

“Well if he’s going to D him up like he did that guy, then no. Because Peyton Manning is going to throw it to the open guy. That guy wasn’t open. And it’s as simple as that. Reggie Wayne is a great receiver, led the league in receptions, but Darrelle Revis – there’s only one Darrelle Revis in this league, and he’s without question the best corner in football. He might be the best defensive player in football. And the game that he just got through having, it’s…it’s not possible to be that good. As good as Brady’s played, and as great as Manning is and all that, well you can say the same thing about Darrelle Revis.”

On if he’s taken time to feel good about himself and the job he’s done going 3-1 in the playoffs this past two years despite not playing once at home:

“You know what? I don’t have to look in the mirror, I know I’m a good football coach. But I came here to win. And that’s it. So I expect to win. It’s hard to win playoff games on the road, there’s no question. It’s hard to win anytime in the playoffs. But I’ve got a great team, I’ve got a great group of coaches that coach with me, I’ve got a great front office, so I’m set up to succeed. So it’s no surprise that we have been successful.”

On Sanchez’s rocky start to Saturday’s game:

“I’m not real sure.  I think he was feeling good, his shoulder was feeling good, he just had a live arm and I think he was excited. I also think that they had pressured us pretty good in the first half. They were able to get some pressure on us, and I think our offensive line really responded in the second half. I think we did a terrific job of keeping their rushers away from Mark, and also knocking some holes in them in the running game. So a lot of credit goes to Bill Callahan and that offensive line. If we protect our quarterback like we did at the end there, and we run the ball, we’re going to be successful.”

Listen here to Ryan on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio New York

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