|Ryan is down to 242 pounds after maxing out at 348 in January 2010. (Getty Images)|
Jets head coach Rex Ryan opted against making any Super Bowl guarantees in advance of the 2012 season, but he still sounds like the same supremely confident son of Buddy who expects big things from his team. It's just that he looks different -- 106 pounds lighter, to be precise.
Ryan, who had lap-band surgery after the 2009 season, currently weighs in at 242 after tipping the scales at 348 in January 2010, a story he recounted recently.
"I couldn't believe it," he said according to the Newark Star-Ledger. "I turned around and looked to see if someone was behind me," Ryan said today, in an interview with a handful of beat writers. "To me, the answer was without question having the lap-band, and it has been great."
To Ryan's credit, he's always been good-natured about his weight. Last fall, former Jets great Joe Namath made a fat crack at Ryan's expense when, during the team's bye week, Ryan was spotted at the mall (!) sporting a No. 12 Jets jersey, Namath's old number. Namath's response? "I'm just stunned that the jersey with No. 12 come in that size."
Ryan joked that "nothing hurt more" than Namath's comments before admitting that "Hey it doesn't matter … I'm still a huge Joe Namath fan." And on Thursday, he suggested that the lap band had been so successful that he looks "real similar" to Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow (judge for yourself below).
Rex Ryan during his three years with the Jets: 1. May 2009, 2. August 2009, 3. December 2009, 4. November 2010, 5. August 2011, 6. January 2012, 7. May 2012, 8. June 2012.
The Jets coach, whose waistline is now 38 inches after topping out at 48, is currently on a media tour promoting the lap-band surgery.
"I don't know what I am, but certainly I don't think I'm in the morbidly obese category anymore," Ryan said. "… I make a lot of money doing something I love, I know how fortunate I am, but without your health, what do you really have? I want to see my kids grow, I want to see their kids grow up, and all that that was important to me."
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.