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Rex, Rob, Eric: Mutual Admiration Society

Posted by Randy Lange on November 10, 2010 – 4:33 pm

It was the kind of video and audio that will live on for the next day or four heading through the Sunday network pregame shows. Rex Ryan put on a blond wig, Browns cap and sweater, stuffed a pillow under the sweater — and voila! He was Rob Ryan, Cleveland defensive coordinator.

And when Rex removed his disguise, he made it sound as if Eric Mangini had already been made an honorary member of the Ryan family, a few hours after Mangini did the same on his conference call with Jets reporters when asked about his relationship with Rex.

For any serious football fans worried about what this might portend for Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, you don’t know the Ryan twins or Mangini, but Rex addressed those fears. “After today we’ll probably get down to business for the most part, and I think it’s going to be a great game, I really do,” he said. “They clearly want to run the ball and we pride ourselves in stopping the run. We finally get to play an old-fashioned football game.”

But mixed in with Rex’s football talk was more chat about his twin brother, Rob, and how Rob and Jets DC Mike Pettine are two of the most creative defensive minds in the NFL.

“He doesn’t worry about what a player can’t do. He focuses on what he can do,” Rex said. “When they put Mangini and Rob together, that’s quite a team, very similar to the team we have with Bob Sutton, Dennis Thurman and of course Mike Pettine. They let the creative juices flow.

“I will say this about my brother. In all truthfulness, he probably breaks down an opponent better than anybody I’ve ever been around. He’s a football junkie. He will know your tendencies from two years ago. That’s what we talked to Schotty about.”

In other words, Rex, would you betray your brother to your O-coordinator just to win a football game? The answer, obviously, is yes. But equally obvious is that Rex would love to coach some season in the future not against his brother but with him.

“Every year we put in for it,” Rex said about asking permission with the Browns the past two years to interview Rob as a Jets assistant. “They deny it. They say, ‘Come on, we’re not gonna let you do that. He’s not going to your place.’ But we make ‘em go through the paperwork anyway.”

That led Rex around to the Mangini, the man he replaced as Jets coach in January 2009. It’s not a secret but still may surprise some to know that the two are friends and had occasionally been confidants. It goes back to when Eric and Rob were assistant coaches on Bill Belichick’s first four New England staffs from 2000-03.

“What happens normally is when your brother’s on a different staff, you become close to those people as well. That’s basically how my relationship started with Eric,” Rex said. There were times when he was coaching, whether it was the Jets or New England when my brother was there, he’d call me, I’d call him. we’d bounce things off of each other.”

Ryan agreed that Mangini left the table set well when he took over the Jets’ controls.

“No question. He left great people in place here,” Rex said. “He made my job easier, the fact that there was a great foundation already set.”

Mangini on his first conference call with Jets reporters as the “enemy coach,” said the feeling is mutual.

“We’ve always hung out at the combine or any of the different sort of football-related things where we’d both be there,” said Mangini. “He’s a great guy. I love Rex.

“Even in talking to Mike [Tannenbaum] after I got let go, I thought Rex would be a great choice because you didn’t have to blow up the defense. You could still use those 3-4–based guys for what he did. It made a lot of sense and I thought Rex would do a good job and he has done a good job. He’s done a great job. He’s like his brother. They’re both funny. They’re both good people and they’re both outstanding football coaches.”

And so you’ll have to excuse today’s bit of football levity. It was fun to watch and listen to, great comic theater — and as soon as those news events were done, it was down to the business of trying to kick each other’s teeth in (sorry, Commissioner, just a metaphor) and win a football game in the process.

Health Watch

The Jets’ Wednesday injury report had a couple of serious-looking new issues as guard Matt Slauson (knee) and CB-ST Marquice Cole (hamstring). Both were held out of practice and spent much of the session on the stationary bike.

This could be especially troubling for Slauson because the second-year man has quieted any questions about filling the LG spot with strong play on the Jets’ talent-laden O-line. But both Rex Ryan and Slauson said whatever the state of his knee, it’s not bad enough to keep him sidelined for long.

“I guess the knee’s bothering him,” the coach said, “but I expect him to practice tomorrow.”

“I felt like I could’ve gone today,” Slauson said, “but the training staff said, ‘Let’s wait and use today as a kind of test.’ “

Slauson hurt his right knee on the very last offensive play of the Lions game, LaDainian Tomlinson’s positioning run for Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal.

Also for the Jets, Josh Mauga (hamstring) was limited while Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis were full. LaDainian Tomlinson and Tony Richardson did not participate but they were both listed as non-injury-related. “I put ‘em on the list because they told me to,” Rex said.

Update, 5:50 p.m.: The Browns list six players on their injury report, three not participating in team drills (S Mike Adams, DT Shaun Rogers and QB Jake Delhomme) and three limited (former Jets DE Kenyon Coleman, T John St. Clair and QB Seneca Wallace).

Cleveland’s injury summary will appear here as soon as we receive it.

Three Who Rescued W’s

Mark Sanchez and a former Jets starting QB are two of the three players nominated for  the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week award. Sanchez is in the running obviously for engineering 13 points in  a little over five minutes of clock time that brought the Jets from a 20-10 deficit to a 23-20 overtime victory at Detroit — his second fourth-quarter comeback in three games.

Then there’s Brett Favre, who orchestrated the 46th comeback of his legendary career, leading the Vikings from 14 points down with 4:39 to play to a 27-24 OT triumph. And the third candidate for the weekly NFL award is Jacoby Ford, who had a 94-yard kickoff-return TD plus two late big-play catches that lifted the Raiders over the Chiefs, again in overtime.

Fans may vote for their favorite moment at nfl.com through noon ET on Friday. The winner will be announced later Friday during NFL Network’s “Around the League” show and on nfl.com.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “Rex, Rob, Eric: Mutual Admiration Society”

  1. By Pranit on Nov 10, 2010 | Reply

    Rex is really funny…and i like him…i just wish he’d tone down the bravado a bit….every player/coach is the best in the league on the jets (eternal optimist)…i mean its good but maybe he overdoes it occasionally…

    side note: jets got to start playing better from this week….consistency !!

  2. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 10, 2010 | Reply

    Rex is fun, something the Jets haven’t been for quite awhile, especially during the latter days with Mangini. I’m not sure he’s serious enough on O unless, like he sometimes says, he really doesn’t have much to offer there and we’re better off letting Schotty handle it entirely. I’ll keep saying it, if Schotty put as much energy into just running and passing when appropriate rather than messing around with trick plays, I think the O would respond much better. Especially Sanchez, who clearly should be thinking more about fundamentals than weird formations. That ridiculous play in the red zone that he and LT couldn’t line up right on that led to the fumbled snap wasn’t worthy of an NFL team, much less one that claims to be an SB contender.

  3. By TONY GARCIA on Nov 10, 2010 | Reply

    AGREED we need to run the ball more so we can set up the pass nothing fancy.gimmick plays work once an awhile.deffenses our to smart and fast to fool.jet fan since 1968. we need to buckle down browns our playing tough its a road game we need to win every game winner of afc east will need a min. of 11 wins if not more.

  4. By IRA on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Tom,
    The Jets just need to get back to basics and create mismatches for the offense. All this pre-snap movement is not fooling anybody and probably part of the penalty problems with the false starts.
    I liked Ford coming out of college. The Raiders have a good football player with him.
    Good to see Chad get the start. Hope he plays well in another Miami loss.
    I know this might sound crazy but i would like to see McKnight active this week. I have a feeling he will be needed at some point this year and i would like to see him get some time this week like he did in Buffalo.
    GO JETS!!!!!

  5. By IRA on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    The penalties must stop. This year they already have 63 for 537 yds. From 01-08 they avg 76 for 606 yds for the entire season. They are on pace to shatter that record if they can’t stop getting them.
    Randy, How many team penalties did they have last year during the regular season?

  6. By Randy Lange on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ira, last season the totals were 88 penalties for 677 yards. If this year’s pace were to continue through the second half, the Jets would finish with 126 penalties for 1,154 yards. The yardage would break the franchise record (1,078 in 1995) and the flags would rival the record (135 in 15 games in 1987).

  7. By wayne on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    This might be the most physically challenging game this D will face this year. Browns have a battering ram of a RB and I don’t believe they’re afraid to use him. Again, this should no doubt be a win for the Jets, but N.E. could have said the same last weekend. Sound fundamental football is going to win over the long haul. The Jets are trending in the wrong direction. Could it be putting a target on their own backs is causing them to tighten up. No one’s going to lie down for them. And I do believe there is a blueprint in place for stopping the Jets offense: Crowd the line, take away the TE and force Sanchez to beat you.There is no more telling stat on Sanchez’ progress than his completion %….It has gone down..WAY TO GO EMPLOYEE #4!!

  8. By IRA on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Wayne, Thats right teams have gone back to making sanchez beat them They will not allow the Jets to run the ball down their throats. I would open this game with a hurry up offense at least the first few series. The Jets are so overdue for a complete game and i beleive they will play that way this week.
    Jets 24- Browns 16

  9. By GaryC on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ira makes a good point about dressing McKnight, time to put him out there, just to preserve Tomlinson for the rest of year. He is the most elusive of the jets backs.Might be just what the stagnant offense needs plus it is time to put him on punt returns. what is this his redshirt year. cmon man.

  10. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Nice to see you speaking out on this pre-snap movement that’s fooling nobody, Ira. I agree with you and GaryC about McKnight and agree about teams “making Sanchez beat you,” wayne. As GaryC says with his redshirt joke, this is his second year and guys like Freeman are already in the groove of winning games in the 4th quarter. I’d rather put Sanchez up against another QB next year than see guys on the Jets go sour on the team’s future. If CLE and CAR can try that many QBs, so can we. Chad’s a nice guy but starting him over Henne is a huge step backward for MIA. I doubt Marshall’s thrilled with that move, for what that’s worth, since Chad can’t throw accurately over 30 yards anymore. P.S. Let’s not forget that a lot of those flags were bull.

  11. By wayne on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ira, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to show up in a big way against their old coach. But they’re trending in the wrong direction. More mental errors. The holding penalties have become epidemic. I do understand Sanchez is young and will be inconsistent. But his OC should understand this as well and put the brunt of the burden on the running game. The ball must be given more to Shonn Greene or we’ll see what use to happen to LT in San Diego happen here, THIS YEAR. I think they’re getting tighter with each game. A blowout would do a lot for their psyche and confidence, but I don’t see a blowout here. Of the two teams, the team feeling the best about themselves will be the Browns. And I believe they’ll show it.

  12. By charliejet on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Wayne well put couldn’t agree more. Jets over the years seems to play to the level of the opposing teams. We’ve become so conditioned with the Jets going into an “easy” game they have ended up losing………Jets beware Cleveland feelin’ good about themselves. We get so pumped up only to be let down. My weekly mantra

    ONE …. GAME … AT… A… TIME

    GO JETS ! AND NO MISTAKES.

  13. By charliejet on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Schotty!

    Common Sense!

    OK ?

  14. By Ray on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    I disagree with you about Chad completely ’64 Tom. As I said in my post on Wayne’s blog, I won’t be surprised if the Fish go on a bit of a streak. I got to see Henne up close and personal for 4 years when he was at Michigan and my greatest fear was that the Jets were going to draft him. In spite of his obvious deficiencies Chad P. will make them better just because of his smarts. Now, after this year, that will be an interesting time in Miami. Right or wrong I commend their guts to try something to save their season….I hope it blows up in their face!

  15. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    I won’t put down Chad’s smarts or his heart, Ray, but I don’t see his arm getting better than it was two years ago, which wasn’t very good then. They beat a bunch of lousy teams by three points in the closing minutes and when Chad had to play anybody good, like the Ravens, he looked as bad as his last year with us. I can still picture that interception he threw to Reed, a twenty-yard pass that looked like he was trying to lead Reed more than trying to hit his own man. As for whether Henne is MIA’s future, that’s a different question.

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