A day after his comments about Rex Ryan on a Miami radio station caused a minor conflagration here in New York, Kenny Phillips was in full spin mode on Tuesday, complete with an appearance on SportsCenter.
“Well first I want to clear some things up: I do not want to play for the Jets, I do not want to play for Rex Ryan,” Phillips said on the ESPN program. “I was drafted by the Giants, they stuck with me through my injury and I am very happy with this organization. There were some comments made last night during the interview that were obviously taken the wrong way.”
Just as a refresher, in that interview Phillips said this: “I would love to play for a guy like Rex. He goes to bat for his players. He'll take the blame, he allows you to be you. He's not asking you to hide. If you're a guy who likes to talk, go out and talk, as long as you back it up. His guys are playing for him and I'd love to be a part of that.”
I don't know how you go from "I would love to play for a guy like Rex" to "I do not want to play for Rex Ryan," but Phillips just did.
Fellow safety Antrel Rolle, who also appeared in the radio interview, had some criticisms of Tom Coughlin. While Phillips never actually compared Ryan to Coughlin, Rolle did. So it was easy for anybody to perceive Phillips’ comments as a knock against his current head coach. He insists they were not.
“The only thing that I was trying to get across, and not only me, Antrel Rolle, was we were trying to give the Jets some praise,” Phillips said on the SportsCenter appearance. “The intention was not to take shots at Tom Coughlin. The (comments) were maybe taken the wrong way with our answers. But we were not trying to take shots. Antrel and I are very happy to be a part of this Giants organization. We didn’t get up there and try to compare the Giants organization to the Jets organization.”
As for Rolle, his comments on the radio show were rather straight-forward and unambiguous. He wants Coughlin to loosen up his grip on the team and be more like Ryan.
Apparently the media isn’t the only group that took their comments to heart. Former Giants linebacker and current assistant coach Jessie Armstead – one of the most respected people in the organization – had this to say on his Twitter account this afternoon:
“A.Rolle n K.PHILLIPS THE GRASS IS NOT ALWAYS GREENER........JETS R MAKING A GOOD RUN ....BUT IF U OPEN YOUR EYES WE HVE 3 SUPERBOWLS”