August 19, 2009

“The Rex Ryan yuckfest continued Monday”, Bob Glauber of Newsday said, ” as the Jets’ trash-talking rookie head coach managed to tweak yet another opponent, this time his former Ravens team. Another day, another tweak, and more questions about whether Ryan is going to be a quality head coach, or a stand-up comedian with a headset.
I’d asked Ryan how he felt about some of his players in Baltimore vowing the team would be successful without him calling the shots as defensive coordinator.
“Hell, they’ll be OK,” Ryan said. “I helped build that tradition”
Ryan then described how he put a collage of many prominent former Ravens defenders on the back of his playbook, guys such as Rob Burnett, Tony Siragusa and pass rusher Michael McCrary. Then came the one-liner that cracked up the room, complete with an expletive.
After mentioning McCrary, who wore No. 99, Ryan quipped: “I’m isappointed they gave his jersey to a rookie that hasn’t proved —-,” Ryan said. “Excuse my language.” Ryan then turned to PR man Bruce Speight and said, smilingly, “Sorry, Bruce.”
First, the Channing Crowder set-to. Then the I-won’t-kiss-Bill-Belichick’s rings line. And now this. Even before he has coached a regular-season game.
Is Ryan to be taken seriously?
Well, maybe you should ask Paul Raymond. If he was still here, that is. But Raymond is no more with the Jets, because the head coach who is quick with a one-liner is also quick with the hook.
Less than 24 hours after the free-agent receiver/returner fumbled a punt in the Jets’ 23-20 loss to the Rams in Friday’s preseason opener, Ryan told Raymond to hand in his playbook.
Message sent? You got that right.
“I’m a player’s coach, but sometimes there’s that perception that I’m an easygoing guy,” Ryan said. “But nobody will rip a guy more than me if I don’t feel like you’re playing up to your standards, my standards, the team’s standards. I’ll let you know about it. If I see something that’s not right, I’m going to address it.
Might not be in front of everyone in the whole country It might be individually.”
Ryan may be a coach without a filter when he’s on the podium with an audience of reporters, and his in-your-face quotes will undoubtedly make news. But I will say this about the guy: He is a superior football man with a commanding knowledge of X’s and O’s, and he does command the respect of his players.
Bottom line: I think he’s going to produce some fine teams during his run as the Jets’ head coach. It may take a while with an uncertain quarterback situation, the lack of a big-time receiver and an adjustment period for his newly installed defense. But I truly believe Ryan will be known more for his team’s overall success than cutting up in the press room.
After all, when it comes to football matters, Ryan is dead serious.
Something Raymond knows firsthand. And the players still on the roster, too.
“Rex can be your friend, but when it’s business, it’s business,” safety Kerry Rhodes said. “You know he’s in charge, and he’s making the decisions. We know he hates losing. He knows it’s preseason, but at the end of the day, he knows it wasn’t right to lose. He hates to lose.”
Ryan was visibly agitated moments after the loss to the Rams, and he let his players know it.
“I hate losing,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s preseason or not, whatever the case, it stinks. We made way too many mistakes. It was embarrassing. I can’t handle getting beat physically, but I can handle it more than when we get beat mentally. That was real unfortunate.”
Meaningless preseason game? Hardly. Ryan might be quick with the one-liners, but when it comes right down to it, he’s hard-core football.
Good for him. Good for the Jets.




I can see the costumed Raider fans thinking back to “The Tooz”, Alzado, and “The Snake.” Ray Ratto reported that, “Finally, there is something Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable have in common – a desire to pound Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson into a gray paste.
Only Kiffin suspended Hanson for five days a year ago, helping hasten his falling-out with The Al, and Cable actually did it by physical force 13 days ago, according to multiple reports.
Now we’ll see where Davis stands on the matter, where the NFL stands on the matter, and most entertaining of all, where Kiffin stands on the matter.
We’ll lay odds that Kiffin talks first.
By all accounts, Cable clocked Hanson on Aug. 5 while Hanson was speaking with defensive coordinator John Marshall, and though the trigger for Cable’s
displeasure is not yet known, it does make one wonder how much longer Hanson will have a job, or, if Hanson is one of The Al’s favorites, whether Cable will find himself in the same wing of the doghouse that Kiffin owned last year.
That, though, will unfold in time. Before that happens, though, we await words from the NFL office more comprehensive than league official Greg Aiello’s “We’ll look into it.”
It will be fascinating to see how involved the league gets, given Roger Goodell’s willingness to insert himself in other legal matters (Hanson did not press charges, but police are automatically notified when an assault is reported at a hospital).
If the league does get involved, the Raiders’ current plan to stonewall the story for public consumption likely will have to collapse, despite Hanson’s refusal to cooperate with Napa police officers. Goodell is not a big fan of being told lies (see Vick, Michael), and it would take a heap of equivocating for him to ignore this incident, given his aggressive involvement in others.
So while we await developments in Napa and New York, we are most eager to await developments in Knoxville, Tenn., where Kiffin has some form of
I-told-you-so clawing at his soft palate and desperate to get out soon.
Trust us, he won’t be able to help himself. I mean, he never has before. That’s why he’s in the position he is today.
The real reason the Fightin’ Tom Cable story makes us laugh is the time lag. I mean, 12 days to figure out and stick to a coherent cover story? Really?
This is the deal: Randy Hanson got hit by someone 12 days ago; the Raider assistant coach told a doctor at Queen of the Valley Hospital it was another staff member. The hospital called the cops. The cops came to see what happened. Hanson turned into Dutch Schultz after he got clipped and didn’t rat out anyone.
The cops said they had a cold case and went home.
The Raider brass (Al Davis and the lawyer or lawyers) knows this because the Raider brass is not stupid. And the longer the facts are not reported, the safer the brass feels.
Only the Raider brass also knows that a lot of information leaks out of the building on any given day, and eventually the news of Hanson’s jaw will leak out as well. Now here’s the point where they do what they always do when a potentially embarrassing story confronts them — nothing.
Rather than playing it safe and having a plan ready in case the news does get out, they go with “It’s an internal matter.” Not a bad strategy, in truth, because it’s easy to keep your stories straight when the only story is no story.
But then Cable gets on the horn to ESPN, or ESPN gets on the horn to Cable, or someone in the organization midwifes the conversation even though the
Raiders’ official stance on ESPN is that ESPN is Satan’s broadcast partner. And Cable denies he hit Hanson. Seven hours after the story breaks, five hours
after it breaks that Cable is the alleged perpetrator, and two hours after he went with the “internal matter” cover story already issued by team official John Herrera.
What, did he forget that he didn’t hit Hanson? Or did he forget that this was “an internal matter?” Or did someone tell him to go with a new version — full denial?
This is what makes the Raiders the Raiders — they lose on the details.
Maybe Hanson was a wing nut. Maybe he said something to Cable that he shouldn’t have. Maybe he said something to defensive coordinator John Marshall that he shouldn’t have. Maybe he hit himself in the jaw with his sink. Everyone gets to have their own suspicions, and we have ours. We suspect, in fact, that it could very well have been Hanson shooting his mouth off as he did a year ago after the Denver game, and Cable was not in the mood to hear it any more than Lane Kiffin was. So he popped him.
But even if he didn’t, and let’s offer this version as well, it’s the half-sauced way the denial came out that makes you think that:
(A) It actually did happen; Cable actually did hit Hanson.
(B) The NFL is going to look harder at this than it would have under normal circumstances.
The Raiders would have been better off staying with “internal matter.” Or denying it with shrieks of injustice and conspiracy and lousy reporters and bias. You know, like they usually do.
Instead, we have this. An internal matter that isn’t. A tardy and hilariously unconvincing denial. Lack of planning, lack of forethought, lack of improvisational skills, or just folks who can’t remember what version to use.
And that’s why Cable’s guilt or innocence is almost beside the point. Almost, mind you. It’s never good to hit a guy, but it’s also never good to forget to deny it until later. Makes you look, well, like folks can’t get their stories straight.
But today’s another day, and it could be an internal matter again. Somewhere, Roger Goodell longs for the good old days when Michael Vick was his problem.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: