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Thursday, January 21, 2010
Why Ryan won't be contagious

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Could Rex Ryan be contagious?

I’d like to send you to this post by Newsday’s blogger Neil Best where he discusses the idea that Ryan’s candor and say-anything attitude could be catchy in the NFL.

But it’s behind the paper/web site's new pay wall.

I’m guessing they’d be OK with me teasing it.

“[Ryan’s] taken fear out of the equation,” CBS’ Jim Nantz said. “He really doesn’t care what he says… It’s going to be interesting to see if this does create a new atmosphere.”

It’s a wonderful dream, but in my opinion it would take several ingredients for Ryan’s approach to overtake the more popular, reserved and less informative approach that is more prevalent now:

 
  1. Multiple Super Bowl wins a la Bill Belichick and Bill Polian, two architects with long-term success never categorized as outspoken or regarded as big-time sharers.
  2. Sufficient disciples and copycats.

While I wish it wasn't so, I’m prone to buy into an idea I heard Dan Dakich express on the radio in Indianapolis this week: while loose and fun is highly entertaining during the week, time has shown it to be a less successful formula in the modern NFL, and sports in general, than serious and buttoned up.

Ryan's bravado had a very narrow lead in this poll pitting it against Jim Caldwell's quiet confidence when I posted this.