NEW YORK – The days of big, brash talk by Rex Ryan could be over.
The New York Jets’ coach told WFAN Radio on Friday that he’ll remain confident but might tone down his comments after his Super Bowl guarantees and bravado might have hurt his team this season. Ryan, who has promised big things for the Jets since taking over as coach in 2009, predicted a Super Bowl victory this season during the NFL combine last February.
“My thing about, ‘I’ll guarantee that we get it done this year,’ I thought the bull’s-eye was going on my back, and that’s fine,” Ryan said. “I was trying to put pressure on myself. So that’s something that obviously I have to learn from.”
The Jets lost their last three games to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. Ryan said he drove by MetLife Stadium during the Giants’ playoff-opening win against Atlanta two weeks ago to see it “in all blue” to motivate himself to get the Jets back on track.
“Clearly, when you have a team that went to back-to-back championship games, what else is there to go for?” Ryan said. “It’s Super Bowl or bust. Well, we busted.”
Recent comments by LaDainian Tomlinson about Ryan’s bravado and a conversation with former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, now an ESPN analyst, about his style got the coach thinking about tweaking his approach.
“I’ve got to look at the entire dynamic of what I say,” Ryan said, “and how it doesn’t just affect me.”
Despite being done playing for nearly three weeks, the Jets have still made news – with players taking swipes at quarterback Mark Sanchez and revealing a troublesome locker room environment. On Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” on Wednesday night, Tomlinson said the Jets’ locker room was “as bad as I’ve ever been around.”
As owner Woody Johnson did on Thursday, Ryan disputed that by saying he thought Tomlinson might have overstated the amount of tension. Most notably, Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a rocky relationship this season.
“I think it was an isolated incident,” Ryan said. “I don’t think it was pervasive throughout the locker room.”