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Rex Ryan reaches out to Tony Dungy

Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy.

Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Credit: AP

If former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy wants to make a cameo appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks" training-camp reality series, he has his chance. Reacting to Dungy's recent critical comments about his salty language, Jets coach Rex Ryan reached out to the former Indianapolis coach Wednesday with the intention of inviting Dungy to a training-camp session in the hope of ironing out their differences.

Dungy, who is very outspoken about his strong religious beliefs, not only criticized Ryan's frequent use of profanity, but also  said he never would hire someone who cursed as much as Ryan. He further suggested that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should speak to the Jets' coach about toning down his language.

Asked Wednesday for his reaction, Ryan said, "I've been a big admirer of Tony Dungy, as I'm sure a lot of people are. But I felt he unfairly judged me. That was disappointing. I've made a phone call to Tony and have invited him to camp."

Ryan explained that he was unable to speak directly to Dungy but left a message and hopes to hear back from him soon. "I'm always going to be myself," Ryan said. "I'm a good person. I'll stand by my merits."

The second episode of "Hard Knocks" is scheduled to air Wednesday night, and Ryan said he has "no idea" whether or not it will contain more of his cursing. Told that special teams coach Mike Westhoff will be featured, Ryan smiled and said, "Then, there could be more F-bombs."

New York Sports