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Rex Ryan gives Stephen Hill some extra motivation

New York Giants v New York Jets Getty Images

Jets coach Rex Ryan knows how to press the buttons of his players.  And he’s pressing them again, with rookie receiver Stephen Hill.

In Ryan’s book, Play Like You Mean It, he admitted to asking Roger Goodell to rip Ryan in the presence of newly-acquired receiver Santonio Holmes, who also would be getting chewed out by Goodell, so that Ryan and Holmes could commiserate after being eviscerated by the Commissioner.  Ryan also admitted to giving first-team practice reps to backup quarterback Mark Brunell in 2010, in the hopes of kicking starter Mark Sanchez in the ass.  (Tim Tebow provides a much more credible threat to Sanchez’s total reps in 2012, another possibly ploy aimed at getting Sanchez to perform better and work harder.)

More recently, Ryan has offered up some candid remarks regarding rookie receiver Stephen Hill, a much-hyped prospect for whom the Jets traded up in round two of the draft.  And it’s hard not to view the words as part of Ryan’s latest ploy to get the attention of a guy the coach needs to step up, right away.

‘Well, nothing told me he would [contribute],” Ryan recently told Don Banks of SI.com.  “Nothing. When I saw the tape [of his collegiate play] I was concerned.  But [Jets G.M.] Mike Tannenbaum and [senior personnel executive] Terry [Bradway] and all our scouts were adamant about this guy.  They were adamant that this guy can do it.  He can run all these routes, he had good hands and he’s got 4.2 speed at 6-foot-5.  He was the guy they all wanted, but honestly, when it came down to it, a wideout?  Not my dream pick.  But now that we have him, of course, I want to claim him:  ‘Oh, that was my pick.’  But it really wasn’t.”

Strong stuff, so strong that some may suggest that Ryan is making a passive-aggressive power play, laying the foundation for blame to be placed on the front office if the team stinks this year without whoever it is that Ryan preferred to draft in round two (like maybe a right tackle).  But if the Jets fail miserably this year and if owner Woody Johnson decides that heads will roll, he’s most likely not going to fire the G.M. and keep the head coach.  If change comes to the Jets after the season, it most likely will be sweeping, with a new head coach and a new G.M. (or, perhaps, a new head coach who will be given the keys to the front office, too).

Besides, if Ryan is taking on Tannenbaum, it’s a fight that Rex is likely to lose.  Apart from the fact that Tannenbaum has much greater direct access to the owner, Tannenbaum has proven that he knows how to survive, and to thrive.

Complicating the situation for the coach, if he has decided to throw rocks at the front office, is the fact that Rex recently claimed that this could be the best Jets team Ryan has coached.  So if the team fails, how can it be the fault of the guy who built it?

UPDATE 10:51 a.m. ET:  Banks has separately clarified his remarks via Twitter, explaining that Ryan was giving credit to Tannenbaum and Bradway for picking Hill, and that Rex was joking and engaging in self deprecation.  But shouldn’t that clarification also be provided in the article itself, a fair and complete reading of which doesn’t suggest praise for the front office or humor or anything other than overt criticism of Hill, and possibly indirect criticism of Tannenbaum and Bradway a/k/a Brady?

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13 Responses to “Rex Ryan gives Stephen Hill some extra motivation”
  1. godfatherofnj says: Sep 3, 2012 9:48 AM

    He wasn’t even the best WR in NY that was drafted in the 2nd Round so Rec should be concerned…Randle on the Giants is the better player and will contribute more in 2012

  2. taurusturner says: Sep 3, 2012 9:54 AM

    Ryan is an ass of you don’t want Hill the Panthers will gladly take him.

  3. scoops1 says: Sep 3, 2012 10:05 AM

    …did he hit him some ground balls????

  4. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Sep 3, 2012 10:07 AM

    Rex Ryan is a clown. The only reason he gets so much publicity is because of his big mouth. I can’t believe any of his players respect him.

  5. ljkljdsa324kdfalkefwjfdaslkjasdf says: Sep 3, 2012 10:17 AM

    Some may say? Really? Way to take something and really run with it.

  6. ljkljdsa324kdfalkefwjfdaslkjasdf says: Sep 3, 2012 10:29 AM

    This prediction is almost as good as Tebow being the guest speaker at the RNC.

  7. nyjets1017 says: Sep 3, 2012 10:36 AM

    A defensive minded coach who didn’t wanna draft a WR who are a dime a dozen in the NFL unemployment line. Say it isn’t true.

  8. deathtoromo says: Sep 3, 2012 10:40 AM

    What coach writes a book detailing his methods while still coaching that team?? Stupid.

  9. gpry says: Sep 3, 2012 10:51 AM

    And people were calling the Ravens crazy for hiring Harbaugh instead of Ryan??? I think Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bisciotti made the wise choice!!!

  10. bick54 says: Sep 3, 2012 11:43 AM

    I think it was clear his comments about Hill were self-depreciating. He has a tough enough time leading his team consistently, and would be way out of his league as an evaluator of talent.

  11. nashwaakkidd says: Sep 3, 2012 11:54 AM

    just when you think he can’t possibly say anything stupider…… voila! this joker just can’t keep his big mouth shut can he? hello 5-11 and goodbye wrecks …. i mean rex . and take prettyboy sanchez with you.

  12. touchdownroddywhite says: Sep 3, 2012 12:15 PM

    Anybody who says the Ravens made the choice choosing Harbaugh over Ryan is an idiot. Not because it was the wrong choice, but because either guy is a solid coach that was starting with a well built team. Difference is Ryan has taken his team to 2 AFC championships. Harbaugh has taken his team to one. I don’t think it really would have mattered which coach they chose.

  13. dyn0myte says: Sep 3, 2012 12:41 PM

    The guy is an NFL head coach – routinely asked for interviews, opinions, and quotes.

    He answered a question by claiming he hadn’t realized Hill’s potential and he admitted he was wrong. He gave credit to his front office.

    I’m not a big Ryan fan, but it takes some serious reality contortion to twist this in to “he’s a big mouth ass-clown who won’t shut up and is making a passive-aggressive power play”.

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