- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Jets coach Rex Ryan thinks you will learn to appreciate Dolphins OLB Jason Taylor, who the Jets agreed to terms in principle with today and will sign with the team Wednesday morning.
"Well, I look at it this way: What was the kind of impact that Roger Clemens had?"
If you don't get the reference, and I'm sure you do, his point is that Yankee fans hated Roger Clemens when he was with the Red Sox, but came around when the pitcher started getting wins for New York.
Ryan was on a conference call to discuss the schedule, but took a lot of questions on Taylor as well. Here are some of the newsier bits.
Ryan was annoyed by the rumor that LG Alan Faneca, DE Shaun Ellis and OLB Bryan Thomas were being shopped.
"I'm just shocked that David Harris, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard and Damien Woody weren't on that list as well," Ryan said. "I guess you can throw enough names out there that maybe you hit on one, so, whatever. Nice report."
However, he only felt compelled to deny the rumors specifically regarding Thomas.
What Ryan said about Taylor: "I remember telling Jason, I was kidding him, I said, ‘Hey Jason you know what's great? If you come here, we think we're going to have the No. 1 defense in football. If you don't come here, we think we're going to have the No. 1 defense in football.’ That's just the way we feel. The great thing is Jason is a very talented player. (He’s) been that way for years. He's got great length and the experience I think is really going to help us. Like I say, the ability to finish teams off in the fourth quarter is going to be critical. Jason's going to be a major contributor for us this year."
Rex Ryan on the schedule: "Obviously, I'd be lying if I said that there's nothing special about playing the Ravens. I spent ten years there, getting passed over as a head coach. That one's going to be special to me and we're opening up our stadium (in the) first prime time game ever in the history of that stadium. That one's going to be a big one. Then you go on and you play the Cleveland Browns. Eric Mangini, who cares. I want to play my brother (Rob Ryan) and that one's big to me for that reason as well.