Ignoring the Talk

Wednesday July 24th, 2013

1. I think the biggest misconception about me is that I’m a players’ coach who doesn’t hold guys accountable. I’m a players’ coach, yes, but I’m as demanding on my players as anybody I know—I just do it in a different way.

2. I think the greatest defense of all time was my dad’s ’85 Bears, and I don’t think in my career I’ll ever coach a better defense. But I’ll sure as heck try.

3a. I think my greatest coaching nemesis is Bill Belichick, but Mike Tomlin is a close second because he’s beaten me in two AFC championship games.

3b. I think my greatest player nemesis is Peyton Manning. I thought the Baltimore team I was defensive coordinator for was going to win a Super Bowl in the 2006 season—we had the best team in football, and it wasn’t close—but it was Peyton’s play-calling, against me, that won the Colts the divisional-round game. I took it really personally, but I finally got him in the 2010 playoffs with the Jets.

4. I think when we play the Buccaneers and Darrelle Revis in Week 1, I’ll make sure Marty Mornhinweg is very aware of the Revis Rules we used to follow in practice: If the ball is on the far hash mark from where Revis is lined up, you can forget about throwing a comeback or an out route his direction, because Revis is going to pick it.

Rex Ryan thinks he knows the keys to getting off Revis Island alive. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI) Rex Ryan thinks he knows the keys to getting off Revis Island alive. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)

5. I think the outside talk about me being a lame-duck coach really doesn’t bother me, because this is the best I’ve felt, ever. I’ve finally figured out how to be a head coach in my own way, and how to lead and get my vision of the team through to my players. I have to coach defense every single day.

6. I think the greatest motivator of men I have ever been around is Ray Lewis, because Ray Lewis motivated me as a coach. His message was always clear, always about the brotherhood of his team, and that’s who I am.

7. I think Clemson is a good fit for my son, Seth, a preferred walk-on to the football team. When I met coach Dabo Swinney at the school’s Pro Day last year, I noticed that he talks about his players just like I talk about my players, so I know he cares about them an unbelievable amount.

8. I think if we had a quiz show on the history of our game, I could beat anybody in the NFL, because I know the history backward and forward. Now if we had a spelling bee, I bet you I’d be dead last.

9. I think the read-option is here to stay because of the young men who are running it. It used to be that if you had a running quarterback he really couldn’t throw, but now we have more of these great hybrid athletes entering the league and thriving at the position.

10.
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.