<
>

Rex Ryan says he's best defensive coach

So much for staying away from boastful claims this year.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan went away from his suddenly modest ways Friday by making a very strong claim.

"I look at myself as the best defensive coach in football," Ryan told New York reporters. "That's saying something because [Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator] Dick LeBeau is pretty darn good. [New England Patriots coach] Bill Belichick's pretty good. "But that's the way I've always believed.”

Whoa!

Ryan is a great defensive coach. His Jets defenses have been No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 in his three years in New York. Ryan has proven it time after time with the Jets and also as defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

Still, I would choose LeBeau over Ryan. I would probably take Belichick over Ryan, too, although last year's awful performance by the New England Patriots' defense scares me a bit.

Ryan undoubtedly is one of the best. Yet, Ryan saying he's No. 1 adds unnecessary pressure. He should be used to it by now.