|Ryan knows the facts, Jack. (US Presswire)|
Losing weight is a confidence builder. But Rex Ryan losing more than 100 pounds and Rex Ryan gaining confidence are two totally independent things. Rex's confidence weighs more than any weight he could ever lose.
Asked on Monday on "NFL AM" about recent comments that he was the "best defensive coach in football," Ryan said he wasn't being brash, he was just "basing it on facts."
"Well I'm just basing it on facts because if you go back and look at the 10 years that I've been either a defensive coordinator or a head coach or how many years it is, I think overall in that period I've ranked third in the league," Ryan said. "Never finished worse than sixth in the league in defense and I don't think anybody else in the league can say that."
The accuracy of Rex's statement is, for the most part, true. He's stating that his defenses have finished as a top-six unit in yards per game allowed every year since he's been in the NFL. That is, factually, accurate.
Whether or not yards per game is the most accurate metric for determining the quality of a defensive team is beside the point, since Ryan is a very good defensive coach. He's so good on defense that he, quite literally, believes it runs in his blood.
"So I might not know everything there is to know about being a head coach. I haven't had that experience," Ryan said. "But when you look at it and look at the background I grew up in. You know, arguably, my dad is one of the top defensive coaches in the history of the game and I think I inherited a lot of that. And the fact that I'll go out and say it, I'm just basing it on facts. I know it to be true, and I think our team does as well."
OK, so "inheriting" a legacy as an amazing defensive coach isn't really a thing. Ryan worked under his dad, and learned from his dad and applied what his dad did to his own career and then became a great defensive coach. That's why he's considered one of the best defensive coaches in the game. Well, that and all the great defensive players he has on his roster.
"I'll be criticized for it, but that doesn't bother me one bit -- I know I can coach defense with anybody. My point was, it's not just me. I'm saying the truth statistically when you look at it, there is no comparison," Ryan said. "But it's not just based on my talent, it's based on the talents of the men that are around me. The guys that coach with me and the players that play for me. And yes it is easier when I have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and Darrelle Revis and all that stuff, it makes it a little easier.
"I obviously have a lot of confidence in myself but more importantly I have confidence in the players who play for me and the coaches who coach with me."
Only one little problem: confidence doesn't necessarily produce offense. And you gotta have offense to win in the NFL. The Jets defense can be as good as Ryan wants, but unless the offense comes around, it's hard to imagine that Ryan can factually back up his bravado with an actual Super Bowl title in 2012.
And until that happens, Ryan can think he's the greatest defensive coach in NFL history if he wants. But no one will take his boasts seriously without a ring.
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