Rex Ryan


To another edition of interested. I am Mike Greenberg. And I've been waiting all season long for this every Monday through this football season. Rex Ryan has been an institute your guest on our show mornings on ESPN get up. He is one of the most interesting people in and around the football world. He was the coach for many years of my favorite pro football Team New York, chats, he has lived a football life that is somewhat different. I think than almost anyone else's ever. And he is one of the the the pair of the most handsome football twins ever to be born into the National Football League Rex Ryan, absolutely. Appreciate it. Greenie, great of you to do this. And thank you. And we're having this conversation here on a Monday after another very interesting NFL Sunday, and we'll get into some of the specifics of what's going on in the league right now coming up, but I want to start with this. You were twenty three years old in nineteen eighty-five. What are your? Recollections of the eighty five pairs. Oh my gosh. I mean, clearly, you know, I it's to me was the greatest defense in the history of the game. But really the best team. I think also. In history. Everybody appointed the one loss, and you know, like Miami killed him. That's not true go back and look at those stats they gave up three hundred and three yards. I think really that's it. So they were wanting to play the dolphin so bad in that Super Bowl because they were gonna they were gonna tear them. You know what? So I think that was what I remember. It was great. We used to always, you know, we'd be a in a we'd have our little drink on and all that kind of stuff watching all those games, and and then we'd be cranking tunes and all that stuff. Another one by Saddam's, we play it after every game. And then I remember when they beat on a Monday night. That the neighbors downstairs played another. I went down there. And and somebody got dusted, and it wasn't me. I should've loser van I should have prefaced. The question by saying your dad buddy was the legendarily the defensive coordinator on that team. And they carried him off the field as they did. And then of course, the following year. He was the head coach of the eagles. I remember that team so vividly because I was freshman in college at Northwestern University in the Chicago area in the fall of eighty five and that was before there was direct TV. And before they were, you know, before he would have a sports bar, even and watch games anywhere you wanted. So you watched whatever was on. So I watched every game that year, and I have a long maintained in a one year timeframe that's the best team in NFL history. You just said I would pick that team to beat any other team for one year. They didn't they didn't have the prolonged success. He can't compare them to the Steelers and the forty Niners and the Packers and all of that. But for one year, I thought it was the best what ball team IRA saw. Absolutely. I totally agree with that. You got Walter Payton is running back. Jim McMahon who is very competent quarterback Willie gone at JIMBO covert should be a hall of fame. Tackle. I mean, they were they were absolutely loaded. But you know, what I thought it was just the they've everything else. Also like every team everybody wanted to watch the bears and to meet look they do the Super Bowl shuffle. They record that thing by the way, that's a real deal that they did after they got beat by the Miami Dolphins. Like, that's just how you talk about swag. And all that. Oh my God. And let's face greenie all these new rules in the league right now. Yeah. Protecting the quarterback all these type of his. Yeah. All they wanna to do is like they'll never want to see a Chicago bear type style of defense ever played again. And they knocked out ten straight quarterbacks starting quarterbacks never finished the game against him ten straight. So there was the most dominant defense team in most dominant team I've ever seen certainly I have said somewhat jokingly. That I think that team could have punted on first down all year and gone eight. I really I think it could've played no offense and one half their. That's a good point. I'll never forget, you know, being a student I use that term loosely at Oklahoma and in going down and watching you know, they played at Dallas. And let's see Cowboys zero defense fourteen down was it was it was like crazy. I know there are a lot of people listening who are not old enough to remember that team Helling you right now that was the best football team ever assembled. The defense was ridiculous. And as you said McMahon was healthy. He wasn't even he missed quite a few game right here. When McMahon was healthy. They had an explosive offense. They had good receivers goal was a burner that Dennis McKinnon. They obviously they had Walter Payton who is perhaps on the tail end of his prime but still phenomenal. So that was it was the best team ever. Yeah. No. I don't I totally agree with you. And let's face it. The game. They did lose by the way. Mcmahon. Wasn't in there. Right. Okay. He was out partying, you know, the time before he knew he wasn't gonna play then they put them in a game. But that's another story. But they were clearly. You know, it's not even close. But I wish people would have seen that defense. And I was part of a great defense two thousand raven everybody talks about greatest ever. No. We broke records least amount of points ever given up. Okay. We get that in season. And when you put the play offs in there and all that, you know, it'd be about eight points game or something when you clue the place. So is a phenomenal defense. But you know, what people actually thought that they could do something against us. Well, here's what happened the difference with the eighty five bears. They were scared to death. Nobody wanted to play. And they knew there like oh my God. Let's just get through this game. Dennis Thurman told me he was the third string quarter. So he's starting safety for Dallas. But he was the emergency quarterback. They came to him, you know during the game. They're like, listen Dennis. You may have to go in there. And all that goes say, listen, I'm not doing anything. I'm not even handing a ball. I'm taking a knee. So if you put me, and I'm. Taking. That's what they were at Becca. And so I was gonna ask you about the two thousand ravens because you on that staff, and that is the defense that when we talk about the great ones, we owe at feels like that's the progression eighty five bears two thousand raven. Right. How were they different? Well, we never knocked you know, we weren't knocking quarterbacks out like that. And and we weren't blitzing. Like, we're my dad would blitz every snap. Like, you talk about some of these all the blitz. No. No, no, no, no this guy. My dad would just totally you know, just his whole goal was knocked the quarterback out. And he blitzed you from the first played in a lash play never cared. They were up forty points on you. That's how he did. And that's how his team was built. Look that team. Never had a college corner on it. They had safety's. So that I don't care. What you just knock the hell? The guy line scrimmage. You. Gotta cover him for two seconds. That was the truth that was it the team that I was with blitz. Very rarely. But we were so technically sound fundamentals. We had some dominant players up front in the running game. And we the best player in the world. And Ray Lewis. So that was it. But when you look at them, we are an excellent defensive team and. You know, it was led by that that front four and all that stuff that that did a good job. But it wasn't anything as near as intimidating as that bear defense. Now, if I'm remembering this, right Brian Billick is the head coach of that team. Two guys win the Super Bowl Marvin Lewis was the defensive coordinator. And what were you coaching? I was the D line coach. So you were coaching that would be Siragusa those guys saragousse. I and funny thing is when I went there greeny, they told me these guys were done. Okay. We're going to you know, build and all that. And I was like, no they're not done. They had they doing some crazy things Siragusa as a natural left handed guy. First thing. I did. I mean, right defensive tackle. So he can play with his left hand down just little things like that. We did fundamentally and I had to to ends that were just relentless robber net. And those enor- your New York I by the way, and then and Michael McCurry their undersized guys. But man, they had they had so much heart. It was unbelievable. But we said, I you know, what these guys are a hell of a lot better than you think. And the more we played look we broke the all time record least amount of rushing yards given up in a season least amount of rushing yards per average. And that's really attributed to that group right there. Yes. We had Ray Lewis behind. But guess what? You couldn't get to Ray Louis. So it was just a it was a scary situation. You know with with the players that I had we it was just such a a great team defense. And when you look at the coaching staff, we have we a Jack del Rio was aligned baecker coach, you know, pretty good when you know later. Mike single Terry later, you know, Nolan comes on board this many years later, but all these head coaches were because array Lewis, by the way, and myself included, but we really did have a hell of a coaching staff, then and you know, it's funny because Brian Billick was a great offense of mine. You know, the you talk about oh look at the genius Brian Billick when he was office coordinator with a Vikings. But what Brian did his best thing? He he did was put together one. One hell of a coaching staff. And I think that was something he doesn't get enough credit for and recognize putting his ego aside and say, I may be an offensive guy. But the best chance we have to win is not to turn the ball over on offense. And let our defense win it in a lot of guys. I think in the league would be leading what their ego and saying, no, no, no, no, I'm good. I'm going to find ways to win based upon my strength. And instead of doing what he did. Which was the right thing to do. Which was we've got a great defenseless. Just not let the offense screw it up. No. That was it. And there were times in games. Look. We went five straight games five straight games without scoring offense. Touchdown. Oh. By the way. That was the year. We won the Super Bowl that's dominant that legendary stories so those are some great defenses. And then here's all the things. I give you the most credit for the first is this that is you then took over the New York Jets as a head coach. Of course, I watch every snap of every game. So I know that team as well, as you know, what team if you're just a fan, and you took you took over that team in annual first year they were. Number one across the board in defense number one with the basically the same players that had been there before you became the coach. So I've always wondered this. How do you do that? How does it coach come in? You can joke around whether it's self modestly or whatever it is and say well, great players. They were the same players. They weren't the number one defense in the sport. When you weren't to coach you came in. They became the number one. It's how does that happen, greedy? First off their twenty third in the league in defensive and we did take them to number one six starters. Are you know, six guys left the defense from the year before but we replaced them. I replaced a guy on all three levels. So I brought an defensive lineman. This isn't a household name. Marquees douglas. Okay. The legal longtime was a college free agent, but played over ten years in a leak a guy named barscott, by the way hell of a football player right football player. And so we spend a lot of money on to get Bart. Scott. But he another guy that happened to be a college free agents, amazing this happens. And then we bring in a guy named Jim Leonard who could who's five foot nothing. Okay is a safety. But in another college free agent that wasn't by happenstance. I brought him in why? Because I wanted to one in my team to see the work ethic of guys at weren't. Even drafted weren't gonna thought of they weren't even good enough to be drafted. And yet, you know, what watch these guys play all three of those guys were great and preparation because I know that's important when you're coming in trying to put in a new defense, and all that these guys are believers why they've been successful in it and all three of them had phenomenal work ethics. So that's what we brought in to the jets. Did we flip it overnight? Absolutely. It was all based on one player is. And that player was derives. I had a special player in Durrell Rivas. So everything. I did was focused on that individual. And so I'm like, okay. He's going to take away their best receiver. I don't care who the hell that receiver is. So that's what I did. And I rolled my coverage when when we played zone. We actually rolled our coverage to the second best receiver. Why I locked down Rivas on the other side. And so that's how good Durell Rivas was. That's how much he meant to me in that kind of system and we flipped it overnight. I have said many times that I thought the real reebus was the most valuable player in the league at the time that he was playing and they have attached the word the name shutdown corner to a lot of people since him. And I keep saying you don't know what a shutdown corner is if you comparing this guy to you know, Rivas would hold the best receivers in the sport. Chad Johnson Calvin Johnson you name it Tara loans to catches nineteen yards. When those it'd be their stats in games against rivers playing them all by himself. He was that good. The fact that he wasn't even named d. Offensive player of the year that year with no disrespect at all to our Charles Woodson. Who was also a great player and won. That award is ludicrous reverse was that good. He was that good in in by the way. Greenie we were forty or fifty yards better than the Green Bay Packers who finished second in the league that year that's the separation between that jet defense and the other ones. So we had a great defense. And he was the best player on that defense. And for me the way we used them. He certainly should have been the defensive player of the year. And I and I said I I remember we gave up or the Packers gave up as many touchdown passes to the AirAsia cardinals in one game happened to be a playoff game. Then we gave up all season as a team. So who the hell shoulda gotten defensive player of the year? Yeah. Guess what it should have been Drori? And that again, taking my own phantom out of the equation is what led me to the following statement. I believe the most valuable thing to have on defense. If you. You can get one is a corner that you can put one on one with the other teams top receiver because they all this talk about a pass rusher. I get pass rushers. I get Khalil Mack is a great player in a difference maker. But if you have that if you have rebus, and I think a guy like Patrick Peterson is pretty close to that. And some of the others the best in the sport. If you have that I think that actually frees up your defense to do more things than anything else. The other team can gain plan around a pass rusher. You can't game plan around a guy who was just flat gonna take your number one receiver away from you. That's if you know what you're doing defensively meaning and meeting that I I watch all these teams in the league right now. It's a joke you can count on one hand. How many guys would take advantage of a corner like that? And so it's like this. How how so explain that? In other words, you gotta be creative in what you do with a great player like that great corner. If not they're just gonna hate look. He's over there. No big deal. Who's on the other side? All this kind of stuff but teams will play I'm gonna play cover three. That's what we do. We're gonna play covered two. That's what we do. All these different covers. No, you gotta be multiple in. What you do when you have a special talent. Or he's going to be a really good player. But he's not gonna be different. Here's what I really wanna dive into. So let me explain to everyone. Why I wanted so badly to do this this podcast? I'm interested with Rex. Here's what I'm interested in. So you are remembered more than anything else for your bravado because you were this huge larger than life personality. And understandably so that is memorable. But what I've always said is Rex's a defensive genius. You're like an Xs and os genius like a savant and in the same way that whoever the Bill Walsh wherever you wanna put out there is an offensive genius. So explain that part of it to me you once redoing post game press conference as the coach of the jets and someone asked you a very specific question about something you were doing defensively, and you said, okay, this one is just for the advanced class. Right. Okay. So let's do a little advanced class stuff. You've got Patrick Prejean. I'm just making this up. What should you be doing with him? If you're a team that normally plays the Tampa to beer saying scrap that throw that away. And do what will greenie first off? I would look at every opponent we played as game plan specific. So it wasn't that. Hey, we're just Tampa two defense or we're cover three defense or whatever it is everything is based on the opponent, you're playing so for instance, let's say you're playing you're playing the giants one hundred percent of the time. Let's say that I don't have a derives K one hundred percent of the time. I'm gonna roll my coverage to him a hundred percent who del tufo Dell. And here's the difference. If he's lined up outside when a play cover to in other words, I want I want to get my corner his hands on Odal Beckham. So I'm gonna tack you at the line of scrimmage and always have help on top. Okay. That's how I'm gonna play it. I guess what? If these inside if I play cover two, then he's got free free access will we don't want that he'll destroy. So what would I do? Now. I play quarters. So this is how simple that the game. Is that I make it to my explain that to our audio orders. Now means I'm gonna beat the hell out of the number two receiver. All right, and he's going to take the quarter flat. So his main job is to disrupt the timing of that guy. Don't let him off the line of scrimmage without bloodying his nose. The number chancellor down the line of scrimmage any is hitting him right out. I don't care if he's off the ball on the line or whether I'm gonna hit the number two receiver. Okay. That's when I play quarters. Okay. And basically what that means you get a corner that can be safety. But I'm beating the heck out of your your primary guide. So no matter where he is. I'm going to roll my coverage to that player. I'm gonna get my hands on that player. I look at tyreek hill the cheetah. All right. Nobody nobody is laying a hand on this guy. Why Andy Reid? So smart. He sees your coverage and he adjusts. Okay. Hey, oh, they're they're rolling cover to he's on the outside. They're playing cover to. Okay. I'm gonna put them into position. I'm going to put him in the three position. Okay. Now, you can't touch him because the cover to play cover to all you want. I've got free access with ivory kill. That's what's happening. And you know, how do they do it not not necessarily by alignment, but they'll motion. It's okay. Every defense. I played it. When. Knit matter. What you did? And that was the difference between how I would. And I'm just giving you a zone example. Yeah. Okay. But that's kinda then that's what's missing in this leak. Remember, I have the when you're looking at chessboard. I would have the black pieces on the chessboard. I get the move last you move. I is soon as you move on gonna check Maecha because I get the move last. I'm always gonna put my team in the best situation. You know to be successful. Look, man, we we we were with the jets. We say what we want my last year that we never had an NFL corner on the field. And that's a true statement. I think we ended up six in the league little below where we normally were. But how the hell do you do that? I remember we're playing Peyton Manning. Okay. Who broke the record at here. Am like well veins gonna kill us. He's absolutely going to kill us. We can't cover them. We don't win a single match up against Peyton Manning and the Broncos not one. So you go in there, and I'm like well. Do something. He's never seen. I'm gonna make him run the football. Now, did they beat us running football? Yes. They did. You know, all that stuff. But I wasn't going to take a but kick and sitting down. Yeah. How'd you walked out my Outside Linebackers on the number one? Receivers I presented a five-man box and made them run the football. Why? Because I beat the hell at number one guys, and I play others owns off of it. But it was the only chance we have what Peyton to paint nad check to a run at first Heathrow into it. And then he had to check to a run, you know, and he'll do that. Right. Like sort of not do it. Yeah. He was really him and Brady two two guys that prepared better than any quarterback by far hen shoulders, but you better do something different against them. Or they're going to light you up like Christmas. Let's talk about that chess match. So now it's Rex Ryan against Peyton Manning. I did this podcast on the offensive side a few weeks ago with Matt Hasselbeck, and he said to me, I'm game planning. All week. My opponent is the defensive court. Right. So when you're you're coach when you're a defensive coach and your game planning is your opponent the quarterback is that who is that. Who you you've you as your opponent? No, it's a whole offense. So I'll look at their scheme. I obviously, I'm gonna know their personnel. And things I am going to know the quarterback is a quarter is smart guy. If he's smart I'm gonna use it against him is the power using let me stop you there. Harry using his beings. Ryan Fitzpatrick will we say, he's a smart guys got a Harvard education and all that any smart player. Ryan Fitzpatrick would average getting rid of the football in two point two seconds. Okay. So in other words, he's throwing thank quick what I would do is lay traps out there. I wouldn't do it early. I let him get comfortable. And then I'd lay them when I wanted to in the weeds, look bad. Statistically, does it bear it out. How many times we have picked sixes against him? He throw picks. He do all that type of stuff why because I'd get him to throw in a loaded zones. And but I would use. The fact that this a smart guy. He's going to get the ball out. Quick doesn't wanna get hit doesn't wanna get sacked? Maybe present of a pressure to him. Even though it's not a pressure in let them throw in the two loaded zone. So but helped me with this because Brady is a smart guy, Greg, and he also gets rid of the ball, really fat. Yes. So why doesn't that work against him? Well, it does. Sometimes. Yeah. It does. And it works against a lot of guys that the difference between Brady is if you go to three man rush, or you know, all of a sudden you overload a little bit and give them the an illusion of pressure. He's better and more patient. Now, the he sees it. Hey, I've had more time to throw the football. Where Ryan Fitzpatrick will just throw it regardless. Interesting. Okay. So what you're saying is as smart as a guy like Patrick is just basic intelligence. He went to Harvard. We understand all of that that there's a next level football smart that someone like Br. Radius, absolutely and him and Peyton Manning. Those are the to the rest of them. You know, there's guys I've played has really smiling. Yeah. I gotcha. All that. Hey, listen, buddy. I I know you got me one time. But at the end of the day, I probably beat your four or five times. So that's kind of how how it really is. And when you look at it, it's. You know, those are such exceptional guys Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and then draw a line. So let's talk specifically about Peyton. What is it that made him that just his preparation was out of this world? And so I remember I did a show with Michael creating right? And he would always get frustrated when people will talk about how. Well, this guy's preparation is greater no one works hard in this guy. He would always say we all work hard. We're all out there working hard. Are you telling me that in your view Peyton Manning legitimately worked harder prepared harder or better or smarter than other practically any other player? Look if if I mean absolutely greenie I'm saying one hundred percent because his commitment to the game. And all that was second to none. So I'm saying is you prepare twenty hours out of the twenty four hour day. Probably like, it's crazy when you get to that level. He. He doesn't expect you to have that same kind of commitment. Although he expects you to to be committed and all that to do your job. But then go a little extra Peyton Manning would in in. You know, would would go way beyond that way beyond that, you know, we're we're playing and we get be in Baltimore one of the greatest defenses in the history. Nobody talks about is our two thousand and six raven defense led the league and more categories than any defensive a history. Okay. Lee look at them. But here's the deal. We gave up five field goals to Peyton Manning. Okay. We also turned it over four or five times that game. But we had the best team. We're gonna win the Super Bowl that year. And it was just you know, it hasn't gone well form he may be thirty quarterback rating or something like that hasn't gone. Well, but at the end of the day they needed to play the most it came down to a third down. If we were gonna finally get the ball back wound win the game. And I'm sitting back over. There. And and we play like a two man coverage. It's impossible the make throw that he makes yet he prepared himself. So well that if if literally you had the size of a basketball goal and laid it out there the ball would have gone through there. The only spot he can fit it in he fitted in why he was prepared to do it. And it's just he was on time. Remember that team did very little motion all that kind of stuff they lined up, and they just played but over and over I can't how many times Marvin Harrison he's got him in the same spot all the time. And it's going boom, boom, boom. He knows where he is can play the game probably with with his eyes closed. That was how good Peyton Manning wasn't his reparation. So that's a level of dedication that you're saying the other people just don't they think they are. But they don't have that. It's not natural. It's really not when he became available. And I know we had a neck injury. We had a good football team. And you know, I'm like, hey, you know, this is we're okay, we can compete with anybody and all that. But I never wanted to compete. I wanted to win. And I remember sitting back having a conversation might Tannenbaum was GM. Woody johnson. I'm like, I don't care. What it takes us. Get paid Manny why. 'cause we will be in the playoffs every single year. Look at some of these brilliant coaches, brilliant coaches, right? So you got Aaron Rodgers guess what you're going to be in the playoffs every year. How did they look last year? When he went out what they went to three games. Like how that makes the difference Tom Brady, I don't know shoot. We shut out the patriots. When he in the quarterback, you know that would have been fun. Hell, you know. Let's let's line up that will give me Tom Brady and see how many how many championships I add. But that will make you when you get a special cat like that Tom Brady Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers man, it's. Life's good in. So that was it. I wanted paid Manny on my team. So that brings us to the Brady Bella check discussion. So one of the things that I remember you saying you didn't come to New York to kiss Bella chicks absolute. But it always felt to me like you. And he had an have a very good relationship that that was my external perceptions that you guys are friends, and that you like each other do I have that. Right. You looked like friends to me from a distance hanging out at the scouting. Combine and stuff like that. Do I have that wrong? No. I mean, I think there's obviously a great deal respect. I have for for ballot. Check. I know he's the best coach in the history of the game. There's no question about it. You know, friends, probably not. But I respect the hell out of him. Whether he respected me or not probably in in a little bit. I think he did some of his actions will tell you that he respect to respect me. So I think that's it. You know, are we are are we cordial can we talk and in in almost do like real talk about certain things -absolutely. Yeah. That's always been my perception. Not really important their way. But it leads me to the question. I'm fascinated by Bella check Brady like that is the most successful combination in the history of sports. I mean, you gotta you gotta you're having the conversation about read our back and Bill Russell and Popovich Dunkin and some of the other great. That's that's where they are. They're they're compared basically to the immortals. Do you think that they're the launch? Can you break it down to it has been more Bella chick or more Brady? Is there an answer to than man? I I mean, look your time by the greatest quarterback in a history of the game your time by the greatest coach and a history of the game. So, but but more importantly, like they're better than just the individuals. Like, you know, you know, there's some greater than than their part. Yes. They are so good together. And it's just it's unreal. In greenie. I would argue with the are back and Bill Russell way. Also at Havlicek. You also had Cousy also had all these type of guys. Right. So to me, there's no comparison. This is a football thing that there's been nobody out there. Who who the hell is this guy? Julien Ataman was a quarterback in in high in on in college. You know, but whatever he got better and better and all this kind of stuff Wes Welker. Nobody cared about. What's oh. By the way, became a household. Name greatest slot receiver around, you know, so gronkowski. You know, all these things great he plays or he doesn't play. It doesn't matter like the they do such a great job in another guy that I would throw in there that that everybody hates Josh mcdaniels by the ways pretty good coach. Yeah. And you know what? But so their marriage collectively those guys together. I it's it's just been an unbelievable run in an I certainly when a kiss their rings because I would try to kick their butts one hundred percent, I'll be like, no, man. You know, what you're better than me? You know overall? Let's see if you're better meet today. And that's kind of the tape that I I would have on it. And by no means would I went into every single game against Bella CSAK in any. Nobody else ever coached against thinking. I'd win the best win the New York. Jets franchise has had candidly since Super Bowl three was when you went in there and beat them in Foxborough to advance to the AFC championship game. Your second year, you beat them. If I remember correctly twenty eight twenty one scored a touchdown to make at twenty eight fourteen and then they sorta hold on for an onside kick at the end and all of this. But you go in there and beat them in Foxborough that was at the greatest one of your career. Yeah. I think so when you look at there's I I had some good wins. But I I would say you know, that that was I if you just look at it the one game. Yeah. That was huge. There's no question in and greeting. The fact they previously we have played on Monday night and got beat forty five to three by that team forty five three. I was there you know, where nine in to bowl teams are nine into. And all of a sudden, oh, we get smoke like sausage that game. And then coming back. I was when I buried the football and all that kind of jazz. But I told my team that day I said, you know, what we're gonna play in six weeks. I knew we play McGinn. I said the difference. We're going to beat them. But that's okay. We'll address it at a different time. We gotta get better. And by the time, we went around see everybody remembered forty five three what people forgot his we already beat them week too. So everybody just wanted to dismiss that game. All they wanted to focus on was the forty five three. I knew we are Hella closer not. But that was you know, that that was part of the deal and we wanted to play them like we never feared him. Trust me. We wanted to play him. And the only thing that goes back as we beat them way way better than that score indicated. But that was when the Sean green decides he's escort touch. You know, I challenge Anthony, Lynn and all that stuff. I go eight Lincoln we ever pop one of these things like really we're just gonna have to, you know, keep saving your Sunday. And he goes we're gonna score right now. And we did it was like I'll go jogging out of silent than a realize where the hell I was. I remember looking up and saying wise wrecks in the end zone. He was that was my thought also. Okay. One more thing on this. And then I wanna do is a couple of of individual pieces, but Damien Woody is another regular guest on show, and he was an offensive lineman on your best jets teams. And he told me a great story. So I need to verify the truth quotient of the story. So you're playing San Diego in the playoffs right on the road. And you have a fourth in one late in the game. You can kick a field goal that was going to give you if memory serves a four point lead or a five point lead. It would have you would have given you more than a field goal. But less than a touchdown lead. Philip rivers could have come down the field, unbeaten you or you can go for it on fourth in one and plus territory and try and end the game. And he told me that you told Damien Woody and Brandon Moore who were the right side of the offensive line said I want you to walk up to the defense. I want you to tell them we're running the ball right here point to the spot where you were running the ball. And then run behind you guys. And we're going to get the first and we're going to win the game. And that's exactly what you did. They. They told them we're running the ball right here. They ran it behind you ran up behind those two guys. You got the first down you win the game. Is that a true story? It's a true story. But there's more to it the night before the game. I talked about how the difference between us and the charges were they were soft. And and you know, what's going to happen? They live in San Diego after the game. They're going to go back to the beach and hang out sandiego where we going. We don't have a stadium. We had a stadium with somebody else's name on we played in Giants Stadium back. Then right. Like, what the hell like, you know, to me we're way tougher now. And so where to go in there, we're and we're gonna take their lunch money from I should. But how we're going to do it. It's gonna come down to a fourth down play. And we're going to have a fourth and one and I'm gonna sit by hey, we're going to run our power play. That's what we do. That's our bread and butter. We're going to run it right behind de would we're gonna run it right behind Brandon more. And and we're gonna win the game that. Way. And I'll be darned if it doesn't come down to that situation. Now, green there's only like a minute and thirty left in change or whatever they haven't really drove in. I mean whether they scored one touchdown in that game. So the call was to kick the field goal. But no way the night before I told our whole football team what we're going to do. And so now, I call him over Thomas shows hadn't played the whole game. I look a our best against their best. Go get are getting their son. Let's go and I put Tom at shows in a game. And the funny thing is right there. I forgot that. We're you know, I told him that he look as we're gonna point. I want you to point to say, we're running right here. Why forget that. I told him that here comes Brandon more and Damien Woody in their point. We're running right here. Like whole God, y'all know I am. Here we go. We hit it for like four four yard gain. It was unbelievable. And but that was a huge win. And you know, when when you asked me a. Question about maybe my biggest win. Maybe my biggest win was week two of my first year because I think that gave us tons of credibility when we. Yeah. And we'd beat the hell out him. We went zero blitz like ten straight place to into game. And I told our team the night before I said Wayne here to the plane close we're here to beat them. And we're going to set a tone right now that hey, guess what we need to same old jets in that week was so important to me member. I send a little message out to the fans. Yes, I do. Okay. And. I've never heard a stadium louder in my life. Then that day and in all the years, I've coach and all that since prior whatever. No, no stain was ever been that loud. The the it literally was Rockin, and I fed off our crowd to where it's I ONA. Where's your blitzen again? Because I did the whole thing was shaking home. I god. Like, no that you know, Brady were coming worked coming to knock your butt off. And that was it. But I fed off it, and I think it gave the the fact that, hey, I'm here, and I'm not we're not the same old jets that we're here to take your lunch money and be the most physical football team on the field that that's what we did. I let me just ask you as we wrap this. I could do this forever. But as I have to let you go because you have to catch a flight, let me just bounce a few names off you and just give me whatever thoughts come into your mind. Doesn't have to be one word just whatever thought comes into your mind. When I say, these names, let's start. With your father, buddy. Ryan what what what roll? What impact is? He have on your life and your career to this day. Oh, huge. I mean, obviously as many as many sons they'll follow in their father's footsteps, well, the the family businesses football. And I just followed in my dad. It was natural to me. I don't I don't think I knew any different. He was just my dad, you know, he was one of the only guys would show up all the baseball games. And by the way, our baseball team went one that you'd really wanna go why. But he'd be there every time he was just a loving, dad. And when you look at the football coach phenomenal like twenty thirty years ahead of his time. And he will he literally if you're going to take an assistant coach in put him in the hall of fame, the first guy you put in Buddy Ryan on the staff of the Super Bowl three jets, right obviously created the forty sixty fence, which is the most famous defense ever. We talked about the eighty five bears and. And then on from there and engendered sort of an affection and a love from his players and fans that I think is is unmatched. I Mike and I did our show in Philadelphia million times. Right. And the fans there were compare Andy Reid to buddy all the time. Hey, and I would keep saying you do realize Andy retook it. And yet he wasn't buddy. Ryan. And they went to something in that town that they just loved your father, really one of the funniest things ever. My dad did a live radio show. Okay. And so it started every time he'd take his little thing scotch, you know, about a fifth scotch whatever in there with him. Yeah. And start drinking and start off a little mellow by the end of that show who the scotch was guy it I mean eight ever cared. And I think it was like the number one, you know, just talk show in the country, not just Philadelphia no in the country. So it was just must you know? But the thing about him, he sees so genuine in the fan base related to him so much because why no he was you know, he he was going to tell you the truth. And at least what he believed to be the truth and he never cared. What the consequences? It was one of these, you know, ready fire aims and trust me. I've done that a few. By self. But that was who he was. And that was the genuine buddy. Ryan, let's not forget now he was a Master Sergeant in the Korean war at eighteen years old. So he was lead men in a battle for the lives. They're not a phoney bone in my my father's body. And you know, what to me I think that's what I've inherited. And I think the same thing when which win brother, it's great you touched on already. But Ray Lewis. What what would you say it was that made him as good as he was passion? The first thing. I think of is passion. And the thing about Ray was it was never about him. It was always about us in. That was what he brought to the to you know to that team. He was the Baltimore Ravens. You might recall greenie. He was available as free agent. But I knew the impact he had on that community in on that football team. I couldn't bring him here because. No, he he needed to stay about more raven forever. And that's because that's who you associate that team with we were going to do our own thing with jets. But I was just so fortunate to be around him I was around him for ten years. And so my greatness went Beal say, oh, this guy's a great player. And all that. No, no, no. This guy. You know greatness to me makes others around him better. That's what this guy was. He was a leader more than anything else. You know, we all know in my opinion. No better middle linebacker in the history of the game. Then Ray Lewis in in. I know the old school crowd will say dick buckets, I really never saw dick Butkus play. But what I did see is how Ray Lewis took a locker room and just, you know, even when he was done his last year plan he almost will that team to a Super Bowl championship. And it just they're very few people like this so fortunate to be around, and then Rivas if you were to if I were to ask you who is the greatest. Defense of player you ever coached. Is it Ray is close. He's definitely close. And you know, I've been I've been so blessed to be around so many great players hall of fame players and all that. But rebus had is big impact is you can make on a team the time that I had him when he was healthy. We saw what what happened to her team when when he went down and like week three or whatever it was we couldn't recover from it in. It's like a corner. But here's the thing. You'll lose games fastest at quarterback and cornerback. And when we when we lost him, we we couldn't overcome it. And then a final question and one that I know reverberate with you to your core as football person the way the game is played today. The way the game is -ficiating today. The way that the game has gone to a. Between fantasy and all of the stuff that the league wants offense. They wanted to be like pinball machine numbers. Can you win a championship on defense anymore? Absolutely. I I would say one hundred percent. You can't I I think all those things are positive greenie fantasy football's great it brings a a larger audience to the greatest game. There is in the new rules who protect our players. I don't have any qualms about that. What I have trouble with right now is seeing how people are not like it's okay to prepare like on offense. These guys are really prepared in wilder this this we're set Saint preparation on defense. And sometimes people I was with a team last year that my latte last time with buffalo. They wanted to. Let's just rush four and do all this to do that ain't had the games played. Like, you may think it is. But there's times when you're going to have to do some different against certain opponent. But I don't see the. Pepe preparation from. You don't on the commitment that you see offensively as they do to defense. Where's the old school guys? Like worse. This new school of of coordinators to replace dick lebeau to replace a Dom Capers. I know you ain't replacing me. And that's and that's that's the facts. So I don't see those type coaches anymore on the defensive side. There's some good ones. But I don't see. Those kind of super like difference makers on the other side of the ball. It may be because in addition. Yeah. About people forget that Belgium was a defensive coach he's known for winning because he has a great quarterback. But he was defensive coach it may be because it has become evident to young football coaches at the ticket to being a head coach someday. Now as often put together a dynamic offense. That's what teams are looking for. If you want to become a head coach someday going up the defensive side of the ball may not be the way to do it that rainy, right? I as much as I want to disown my son. You know, he's now he's he's at assistant receiver coach quality control coach for the LA chargers. Okay. Yeah. He so he's an offense a coach what the hell my dad's probably rolling over in his grave knowing that my son is that. But you know, what in ten years? Let's see where he is. And and you know, I like I say my dad all he wanted. My brother night to do is be a little bit better than him. All I want is my son to be a little bit better than me. But I think he's going to get a lot more opportunities being an offense agai, then he would be defensive that is the reality listened. Rex Ryan is his such a delight have so enjoyed you know, again, I've always said the first thing I always have to do anyone who's ever the head. Coach of the jets is apologize for all the stuff. I yelled at the television. All the years. I did it with Herman. I did genie all of you wind up coming to ESPN. There you go. But it is such a delight for me to have you every week and to sit down and do this, and I very much. Appreciate it. This was wonderful. Thank you very much. All my pleasure greeny, and so that is our. Sation for this week with Rex Ryan. And if you have a moment at any point today or this week, I would ask you to take a moment to subscribe rate and review this podcast. It will only take a moment of your time. And it would help us out a lot please subscribe rate and review this podcast. I'm interested with Mike Greenberg. I will talk to you next week. Thanks so much for the time. Have a terrific.

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