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Rex revisits Revis saga in his book

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan watches

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan watches the game action between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Lakers defeated the Knicks 113-96. (Feb. 11, 2011) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Just two seasons into his head coaching career, Rex Ryan is sharing some of his tales in a book titled, "Play Like You Mean It: Passion, Laughs and Leadership in the World’s Most Beautiful Game.”

Written with the help of author Don Yaeger, Ryan offered more insight into his world as the Jets' head coach. The first official excerpts will be published in this week's edition of Sports illustrated, one in which Ryan talks about the whole ordeal surrounding Darrelle Revis' training camp holdout -- and led to him getting an autographed Satchel Paige baseball.

He recalled the way he felt at 2 a.m. in the wee hours of Sept. 3.

"It's time to get serious," Ryan said. "I finally get home after our last preseason game, in Philadelphia, and I am hoping to get a couple of hours of sleep, but I can’t. The only thing on my mind is that we’re 10 days from opening the season, and we’re pretty much screwed. Why? My best defensive player, cornerback Darrelle Revis, is still holding out.

"The whole thing with Revis has been driving me nuts. I couldn’t say much for most of training camp because we put a gag order on the whole thing, but this is getting ridiculous. Revis was probably on the back page of the New York tabloids more than any other athlete in the city during training camp, and he wasn’t even doing anything. Distraction? What do you think?"

Ryan, as you might remember, wasn't pleased with the entire situation and didn't exactly initially have very fond feelings for Neil Schwartz and Jon Feinsod, Revis' two agents.

"I don’t think this is right," he said. "The kid has three years left on his contract. I know the negotiations haven’t worked out, and I know he has hard feelings, but we’ve been talking about this deal all off-season."

Ryan, if you recall, wouldn't take much of the credit back then for helping get Revis signed, sealed and delivered. But he made it perfectly clear in this excerpt that he did a little, er, hell raising the weekend followng their final preseason game to get some movement during what was a glacially-slow process.

"I’m getting edgy — and now I’m going to let those guys know what this really means," Ryan said. "The time for trying to get this done peacefully is over, and I drop into Rex the Wrecking Crew. It’s tantrum time for me. He wants to play, I want him to play, but it isn’t happening, so I let everybody have it. These guys are talking about the right amount, and it has to be on a four-year deal versus the long-term deal and all kinds of technical, minutia crap, and I’m trying to tell them, 'I don’t care about any of that, because if we don’t win, I’m not going to be here in four years.'

"So I make my point, and by around midnight [Sept. 5], they finally get the thing agreed to. Both sides end up happy. Tannenbaum puts in some clauses to keep another holdout from happening, which I’m glad to hear, because I can’t take this s--- again."

Wait, about that baseball, which was supposed to be a "gift" from one of Revis' agents if both sides reached a long-term agreement?

"After the deal is done, everybody gets together on Monday, Sept. 6, in Tannenbaum’s office," Ryan said. "It’s Mike, Mr. Johnson, Schwartz and Feinsod and me. Schwartz pulls out this baseball with the Satchel Paige autograph and gives it to me. I blink.

“But we didn’t get the long-term deal done,” I say.

“That’s O.K., Rex, you deserve it,” he says.

"I guess that was my commission for helping get the deal done. I guess that’s not bad, all told. But all I really want is for Revis to be good and for us to win. If that happens, I can buy all the baseballs I want."


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