Rex Ryan couldn't resist the opportunity to have a little fun with the San Diego media today, playfully taking a poke at the Chargers in his typical trademark fashion.
Ryan interviewed for San Diego's head coaching job in 2007 after the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer, the father of Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. But San Diego went with Norv Turner instead, handing over the keys over to him.
So when someone asked Ryan today on a conference call if he ever thought how different things would be if he was the guy hired, Ryan was his normal self.
"Well, I think I would've had a couple rings," Ryan said with a laugh. "I'm telling you, those teams were loaded. There's no question about it. But things happen for a reason."
San Diego, of course, has been a postseason disappointment during Turner's tenure. A Jets spokesman said Ryan immediately phoned Turner following the call to let him know he wasn't trying to slight him, doing his best put water on the potential brushfire before it got out of control.
In fact, during the conference call, Ryan actually went on to praise the Chargers, Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.
"Obviously, Norv Turner has done a great job there, and A.J. and everybody. That's a great franchise. He probably was the best guy for the job at that time. I think with me, I was so happy that A.J. gave me the opportunity to interview in San Diego because quite honestly, I wasn't on anybody's radar. We had set records in '06 on defense [in Baltimore] and won a lot of games. But for some reason, there was like 10 openings and he's the only person that interviewed me.
"I thought that opened some doors for me. The next year I had three interviews. I never get any, so I must do a terrible job in the interview process. But I was always myself and if somebody was going to hire me, the only thing I wanted is that they would allow me to be myself. I'm real fortunate that I was given this opportunity here with the Jets."