Rex Ryan believes a hands-on approach to defense will make the Jets better in 2013. (Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Rex Ryan has brushed off a lot of criticism of his coaching -- and some non-football related storylines that were anything but flattering. Now the Jets head coach is thumping his own chest and predicting he'll have the last word when it comes to his legacy.
Ryan told Newsday:
"I'm a hell of a lot better football coach than I'm given credit for," Ryan said in a sit-down interview with Newsday, minutes after the team concluded its final mandatory minicamp practice Thursday afternoon.
"I don't care," he added with a smile. "I don't need the credit. But I can tell you one thing, when it's said and done, they'll look back and say, 'Oh man, this dude can coach his butt off.' And you know what? It's true. And I'll let the people that know best talk on my behalf about the kind of coach I am.
"I don't have to brag, even though statistically, I can brag about anything I've ever done defensively."
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Ryan's mantra entering his fifth season has been going back to basics. He's promising to take a hands-on approach again with the defense after being distracted by involving himself with the offense and former coordinator Tony Sparano.
"I know what works for me," he said.KING: New England the perfect landing spot for Tebow
"Maybe I let someone else drive the message instead of me," he said. "And I think the first year, it was clear who was driving the message. It was me.
" . . . But one thing I learn for sure every year is that I can have a presence on this entire football team even if I'm primarily on one side of the ball. We lost a little of my mentality when I was sitting in the wrong room."