Rex Ryan Is Confident There Will Be Football, Claims “People want to say I guaranteed a Super Bowl and that’s not true.”May 3, 2011 – 8:15 am by Steven Cuce
As Michael Kay indicated at the start of his interview we just haven’t heard much on the Rex Ryan front since the NFL combine. We seemed to be long overdue for some fireworks out of the New York Jets trash talking head coach. What could be a more explosive interview for your sports radio show in New York than to have Ryan on after the conclusion of the NFL draft? I will say Ryan did not disappoint in this one.
Rex Ryan joined ESPN Radio New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss going nuts with no players to coach due to the lockout, if he thinks first round selection Muhammad Wilkerson can contribute right away, if he feels like he can coach anyone after drafting a player like Kenrick Ellis of Hampton who has such a troubled background, his thoughts on drafting Bilal Powell even though the Jets seemed to be filled at the running back position and his proclamation that the New York Jets will win this year’s Super Bowl.
You must be going nuts with no players to coach?
“Haha a little bit. I’ll tell you what, there’s three things I’m pretty sure of. Number one: I’m sure the owners want to have football. I’m also sure that the players want to play football and the third thing is I know the fans want football, so I’m confident that we’re going to have football.”
Lets talk about football. Is Muhammad Wilkerson your type of football player? Do you think he can contribute right away?
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s going to be able to contribute. You know we kind of got the ball run on us against Pittsburgh and I think this is a big guy that can help us. You know our top two picks, both of them should be able to help us, but you combine them with the talents we already have I think we’re going to be a pretty formidable group.”
Do you feel you can coach anyone regardless of a player who has a troubled background like Kenrick Ellis? Is that fair? One of the guys you drafted could possibly go to trial?
“Haha. I don’t know about that, but I feel good about coaching these young men for sure. Like I said you know I’m comfortable with all of these guys and I think when it’s all said and done I think all of these guys we drafted are going to be good people and terrific players for us.”
Some people believe the drafting of Bilal Powell could signal the end of LaDainian Tomlinson’s career as a New York Jet. Would you have drafted Bilal Powell regardless of who the Jets had at the running back position?
“You guys know how I am. We’ve drafted more running backs than we have anything else. I picked four running backs since I’ve been the head coach here only three years, so you know I believe in having fresh running backs, especially down the stretch, whether it’s down the stretch of ball games or in the playoff runs and things. This is a young man that’s got an enormous amount of skill. I look at him as a possible three down back. That doesn’t mean he’s going to start and play every snap, but I think he can contribute whether as the third down back or first or second down. I just think you know that he has the kind of attributes that we like. A powerful running back, good hands out of the backfield and an excellent pass protector.”
How can you make the proclamation that the Jets will win the Super Bowl when you don’t know who you will have on the team with the lockout?
“Well the reason I say that is because what else do we have to accomplish? We’re going to go to the AFC title again? You know but I look at it this way. I think that we’ve had…you know I want our players and our fans to think ‘hey this is a certainty’, and to prepare that way. How would you prepare if you knew you were going to have an opportunity? That’s really what I think, but I believe it’s true. You know and you guys know me well enough to know that I’ve gone into every game that I’ve ever coached into my life and expected to win. Now it doesn’t necessarily come out that way, but you know there is an old saying ‘I rather aim as high as I possibly can and I rather fail aiming as high as I could than succeed aiming low’. I want to win and nobody wants to win more than I do. I know there’s people that want to win as much as me, but nobody wants to win more than I do. I had the courage to say that I expect to win, but at my first news conference ever I said that you know I had a feeling we were going to meet President Obama and people want to say I guaranteed a Super Bowl and that not true. I said in his first term [President Obama’s], but his [presidential] term is not up yet. I still plan on being there. I still plan on meeting him. That’s something that no one will ever convince me of otherwise. You gotta prove it on the field and all that other stuff and I understand that, but I have the courage to say that we’ll win the Super Bowl this year because I believe in our football team and I believe in our organization.”