I asked CBS' Dan Dierdorf and Phil Simms on a conference call today what Rex Ryan is like in the production meetings network announcers have with head coaches every week.

Said Dierdorf:

"He is a breath of fresh air. You ask him a question and you get a direct answer to your question. I think so many coaches are concerned about speaking in coach-speak. They don't want to give away anything they think might help the other team. They're very guarded in what they say, even though over the years we've earned the trust of coaches around the league.

"Rex Ryan doesn't have that filter. When he thinks it he says it. Quite frankly, his production meetings are a lot of fun."

Dierdorf said Ryan enjoys talking about the sport's history and games of the past. "He accused me of holding in a game in 1982 or something. He's a fun guy to be around."

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Simms said of Ryan, "He keeps you loose, and a confident, loose player pays attention and practices well and it shows on weekends."

Later in the call, Simms had an interesting take on Brett Favre's late-season fade with the Jets in 2008. He said from what he observed, Favre still was throwing the ball well regardless of his injury status.

"The biggest problem," Simms said, "was the Jets' receivers didn't get open."

Photo: AP