Jets coach Rex Ryan had some news Tuesday: He said the team isn't
actively shopping cornerback Darrelle Revis, this after months of
speculation that the Jets could enter a full rebuild mode and ship their
star out of town.But something else shocking happened here, too.
Ryan completed his transformation into the new, humble Ryan.
Ryan is a changed man at this year's NFL owners meetings in Arizona.
He is thinner, quieter and, most shockingly, subdued. He isn't spending
his time poolside telling anyone who will listen that his team is Super
In fact, Ryan hasn't offered any hyperbole all week here. Listening
to him now, he sounds nothing like the brash guy he used to be.
To illustrate just how remarkable this change has been, here is a
guide to Ryan's newfound humility and change in tone.
Ryan has flip-flopped on few players more than Revis. There is good
reason for that, since Revis bounces between unbeatable on the field to a
guy who complains about his contract a lot, and Ryan adjusts
But New Rex has relaxed the idea of trading Revis over the last month.
Feb 21: "I would say, could there be a trade? Yeah. Anybody could be
traded. But do I expect there to be a trade for Darrelle Revis? No. But
something could come up."
Will Rex Ryan (background) get to keep Darrelle Revis (right)?
Tuesday: "I know for a fact that we are not actively trying to trade Darrelle Revis."
• Mark Sanchez
Ryan usually has reserved his most over-the-top praise for Sanchez,
the quarterback who started his career with two straight AFC title-game
appearances but is known more now for entering the term "buttfumble"
into America's lexicon.
Ryan's tune on Sanchez has changed dramatically. He went from tales
of high-fiving in the draft room after taking him to decidedly less bold
2011: "When you talk about elite quarterbacks, I think he's an elite quarterback
because he wins the big games."
2012: "I think Mark's going to succeed. He'll find a way one way or the other."
Tuesday: Ryan said Sanchez will take the first snap of the team's minicamp
because "Yeah, whatever, somebody's got to take it."
• The Super Bowl
Ryan fell into a habit of saying his team would win it all. Those
predictions—a spring tradition—fell flat. This week, Ryan is only
predicting the Jets will do the best they can.
2010: "We believe we're going to win, so why wouldn't we say it?"
2011: "I guarantee we'll win it this year."
2012: We want what the Giants got. We want to win a Super Bowl."
Tuesday: "Guaranteeing that Super Bowl is always going to haunt me.
If I could ever have a do-over, that would be it."
• Tim Tebow
When the Jets acquired quarterback Tebow last year, Ryan, not
surprisingly, talked big about the possibilities. On Tuesday the new
Ryan spoke vaguely about how he was still on the roster.
2012: "He's a football player and that's what I keep wanting to put
out there. Let's not just look at him as a quarterback…he's smart,
athletic, tough, a great competitor."
Tuesday: "We'll see how the off-season plays out, but right now
Tim is on our roster."
Historically, Ryan has loved telling everyone how much he loves
himself, his coaching abilities and his family's success. On Tuesday he
was a little less effusive in his self-praise, mostly because he was
fielding questions about his lame-duck status.
Since the Jets brought in a new general manager (John Idzik) this
year, there has been speculation that Ryan could be out if he doesn't
perform. Given a chance to defend himself on Tuesday, Ryan didn't really
take the bait and certainly didn't rekindle the cockiness of the old
2010: "I don't care if people don't like it or whatever (and say),
'Just shut up and win something.' I've won a lot more than that person
writing it. I can promise you that. I've been there."
2011: "I came here to win, to be looked at that way and to take over
not just this city, even though it's the city to take over, but also
Tuesday: "I never said it was going to be easy, but I'm excited about the challenges."