Rex Ryan might be ready to change his brash tune.
Ryan seems to have been affected by LaDainian Tomlinson's criticisms of him this week, when the future Hall of Fame running back said he felt Ryan's words constantly fired the opposition up. Tomlinson's comments, paired with some things ESPN analyst and former 49ers quarterback Steve Young told Ryan in a recent conversation, have Ryan rethinking his brash approach and his Super Bowl guarantees because he respects them both so much.
"I can see it now because every article, everything we talk about is based on this," Ryan said this afternoon on WFAN's "Mike's On." "And see my thing is I thought it would put more pressure on me. Clearly, when you have a team that went to back-to-back championship games, what else is there to go for? It’s to go Super Bowl or bust. Well, we busted.
"My thing about, 'I’ll guarantee we get it done this year,' I thought the bull's-eye was going on my back and that's fine. That's where I wanted to place it. That's why I'll take all the hits. I don't care. It should be on me. But what I really didn't anticipate [is] when you read LT's comments mentioning that I put added pressure on our players when I was trying to put added pressure on myself. So that's something that obviously I’ll have to learn from."
Ryan said Young helped him realize that beating his chest wasn't doing players on the offensive side of the ball any favors.
"When you look at my background, I’m a defensive coach," Ryan said, "and I’ve been a defensive coach all my life. To me it works. ... [Young] said, 'Rex, you are treating guys all the same. You’re treating offensive and defensive guys the same -- and it’s different.' LT’s point was very similar. It’s almost like going into a fight. I don’t mind telling you I’m going to whip your ... kick your butt or whatever. I’ll tell you and then go do it.
"The offensive guy is getting hit and the defensive guy are all like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah,' because we are doing the hitting. But an offensive guys, they are the ones getting hit. So when LT made that comment and when you put Steve Young’s comment to me in there, I thought it was really interesting, something that maybe I have to take a good hard look at because I certainly don't want to fuel the fire.
"What I try to do is put things on me, on my back. If it doesn't work, it comes down on me, it doesn’t come down on players. I try to take pressure off our players, but in actuality maybe I was putting more pressure on our guys, So those are things I look at as well."
In fact, Ryan said he'll assess and analyze things a bit more prior to making any declarative statements.
"I have to look at the entire dynamic of what what I say," Ryan said, "how it doesn't just affect me. I don't mind pressure being on me. I’m a guy that kind of thrives on it because I’ve been the underdog all my life. Sometimes when you look at it, I know what motivates me, but it might not motivate our running back, it might not motivate out tackle. It might put more pressure on them than I even realized.
"So those are things that I will certainly will look at."
One thing Ryan looked at recently? MetLife Stadium decked out for the Giants' playoff win over the Falcons Jan. 8.
"I’m happy for them," Ryan said, "but I just wanted to see our stadium and it was in blue. And it drove me crazy. But I drove there specifically to see it and just to get that taste in my mouth like, ‘Next year we’re going to be here.' And I think that's the determination I have and I know that’s the determination Mark Sanchez and a host of New York Jets have."
Speaking of Sanchez, Ryan said he still has a good relationship with his quarterback.
"?We can be brutally honest with each other and we have been," Ryan said "There’s times when we’ll sit in there [in my office] and we’ll go at it. I want his take. I want him to be there. This is the thing I learned from [Bill] Parcells: You sometimes have that relationship where it’s like 'OK, we can do anything to each other -- say anything, do anything to each other -- except we can’t punch each other in the face.
"That’s the kind of relationship I have with Mark. Has it worked perfectly and all that? Nah, it hasn't worked to were we want it to, there’s no question about that. But I know we are built the same way. We are both extremely competitive and we care greatly about this football team."