Rex Ryan knew he was going to ruffle more than a few feathers with his comments about the Giants in his new book, essentially saying the Jets are the better squad in this two-team city.
So he wasn't the least bit surprised at the backlash he's received from the likes of Justin Tuck, Pat Hanlon and the scores of Giants fans who aren't thrilled with Ryan's take, nor pleased with the fact he said the Jets will be the better team for the next decade.
"Oh yeah," Ryan said Monday afternoon in a 19th-floor conference room at the Random House offices in Manhattan to promote his book, "Play Like You Mean It."
"But that’s great and you know what, that's the beauty of this sport, that you get some passionate fans about this thing. 'No way, how about our Super Bowls and all that?' But I know about as much about the Giants as probably 90 percent of the people that are fans of the Giants or even in their building, OK? Because that's what I know about, football. I love football. ... I’m certainly not trying to disrespect the New York Giants and their history, and I can’t affect what’s done in the past. But I can affect the present and the future.
"And when I came here, I didn't come here to be second fiddle to the New York Giants or anybody else in this league. I don't plan on just being better than the Giants, I plan on getting better than every organization, every team for the next 10 years. That's just what it is. Have I ever gone into a game where I didn't think I'd win? Every single game, I expect to win.
"Well, I hope I’m here coaching for 10 years, and I think that would be great. When you look at it, I base things on facts and beliefs. And when I say something, I believe it. I believe it in my heart, 100 percent. The facts are we’ve played better than the Giants the last two years and those are the only two years I’ve been here. Those are facts. We’ve gone to the playoffs, we’ve won four road playoff games. I don’t think you can dispute that. Now, what happens these next eight years that I talked about, we’re getting ready to find out, and I’m comfortable with that. It’s nothing personal against the Giants. But it’s every team in the National Football League."
Ryan couldn't help but take a funny shot at Hanlon, the Giants' director of communications who took to Twitter the other night and found all kinds of creative ways to roast Ryan.
"My thing is, I think I can whip Pat," Ryan cracked. "You know, I’m worried about him throwing a BlackBerry at me. It’s just like the Channing Crowder deal. I don’t know, I think I might have a better chance against him."
Tuck fired back at Ryan last week, responding to his "big brother" comment by pointing to his Super Bowl ring and saying Ryan can be proud of coming up short these last two seasons.
"You know what’s funny?" Ryan said. "I've met Tuck before and he’s a fine young man, and I certainly understand his thinking of things. I will say this about him, he is a great player and quite honestly, the Super Bowl that he refers to, he was like unblockable. He really was. He was a dominant player in that Super Bowl. But I think he forgets the fact that I did win a Super Bowl in 2000 [with the Ravens], and in that game, it looked like we had 11 guys who were unblockable.
"I was part of one of the best defenses in the history of this game. And I think the only defense that was better than that defense was the one my dad was with. And I think a fact that maybe he forgot to mention, my family has been to six Super bowls with five different teams and won five of them. So I know what it takes to win a Super Bowl, and I’m confident we are going to win one.
"And not just win one," he added, "we are going to win it this year. So we’ll see."