Rex Ryan is a stubborn coach. Stubborn enough to shake off words from Joe Namath, the New York Jets' only Super Bowl-winning quarterback, who questioned Ryan's preparation skills as head coach.
I'm not going to change who I am because Joe Namath said something, Ryan told reporters Monday. He doesn't know our team. He's on the outside. He's not in these meetings. I think if he was, he'd be shocked at the preparation.
Ryan's comments came in response to Namath's criticism of the team and its head coach during an interview Monday on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. The former quarterback was most critical of Ryan's egotistical, trash-talking attitude that has developed as a theme during his two-plus seasons as Jets head coach.
If there's one thing about the athlete, if you keep telling him how good he is, he's going to start believing it, to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should, Namath told Kay. He may be losing some respect for the other team.
Namath said he was disheartened by the Jets' 34-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, when his old team dropped to 2-1 on the young season.
But Ryan took a more optimistic road, per usual, saying he had faith in his team to turn things around this week as they take on the Baltimore Ravens, for whom Ryan was previously the defensive coordinator. And Ryan being Ryan, he also used the opportunity to incorporate Namath into a joke.
Namath can come in here, and if he can still throw, we'll have him as a backup quarterback, Ryan said.