Rex Ryan didn’t know it at the time, but his wife’s feet almost became the least of his problems.
His franchise quarterback’s fist was nearly headed his way.
In an upcoming interview in GQ magazine, Mark Sanchez admitted that he wanted to fight Ryan as the Jets coach openly talked about benching him for Mark Brunell — only to be dissuaded by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Ryan could not be reached for comment last night, as the team was slated to face the Houston Texans in the preseason opener. But one might imagine his general demeanor will not be sunny after reading the article.
The incident happened when the Jets returned to practice after Miami beat them 10-6 in December, a game in which Ryan told reporters he considered yanking Sanchez. Sanchez had been informed that Ryan had ordered more first-unit snaps for Brunell. But when Brunell stepped into the huddle, Sanchez pushed him away.
Schottenheimer came out and repeated Ryan’s order that Brunell take more snaps, prompting Sanchez to say, “[Ryan] can come tell me.” Schottenheimer responded, “Come on, man, don’t do that.”
The crisis eventually passed, and Sanchez kept his job. But he told the men’s style magazine that he has yet to forgive Ryan.
“Rex is super-honest,” Sanchez said. “I wish he wasn’t that honest at times, especially to say that. I wanted to fight him. I was really mad.”
But Sanchez considered the show of force “a definite turning point.” He went out the following week and beat Pittsburgh 22-17.
Sanchez also talked about the infamous 45-3 drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots the week before.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that embarrassed,” Sanchez said. “You went out and talked a bunch of smack and then you got your butt kicked. It sucked.”
Chalk this one up as the year’s first off-field controversy. But at least it’s not as unseemly as last year’s lowlight — a foot-fetish video purportedly featuring Ryan and his wife.