– Posted by Jay Paris –
Rex Ryan was on the phone and that’s always a hoot.
The Jets and their one-time bombastic coach, Ryan, roll into town on Sunday. The Chargers will attempt to stretch their winning streak to four, and if doing so at Ryan’s, uhm, feet, all the better.
Ryan was yapping Wednesday with the San Diego media about this weekend’s date. It was mostly coach-speak, and my hasn’t he pumped the brakes on his bravado.
Losing three of the first four and not having a reliable quarterback will tame the wildest of souls, even Ryan.
Ditto losing the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship Games, and not getting a sniff since.
Ryan’s place on this week’s conference call was so different from the last visit in 2012. That’s when the jolly coach always aiming for the NYC’s newspapers back page unleashed a zinger than got play from sea to shinning sea.
Remember Norv Turner? Thought so. He was then-general manager A.J. Smith’s pick over Ryan when the Chargers cashed out Marty Schottenheimer after the 2006 season. After Ryan previewed the game in 2012, he was asked a what if. As in “what if you were selected over Turner to coach the Chargers?”
He who hesitate is just that, and Ryan wasn’t. Before the Jets’ public relations flak’s elbow could find Ryan’s ribs, Ryan blurted: “Oh we would have won a couple of rings. Those teams were loaded.”
Ryan soon went into a backpedal so fast that if Derek Cox did the same he would still be a Charger But Ryan was right — those teams of LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal — were loaded.
Their were Pro Bowlers sprinkled around the field and on both sides of the ball.Ryan’s indirect stab at Turner made for bold headlines and an uncomfortable pre-game meeting with Turner. Later Ryan said he apologized to Turner for his remarks. But in recalling Ryan’s needle we’re reminded of “what a shame that storied Chargers era passed with the highlight being an 2007 AFC Championship Game appearance.
That’s a polite way to describe losing one game shy of playing for a Super Bowl ring. Like those several Ryan boasted would be gracing his fingers by now. We’ll never know.
Just like we’re unsure if Ryan’s quick reply two years ago was him being a blowhard or a realist. Like it was with Ryan that day, isn’t it interesting to play what if.