Sunday, October 16, 2011
Rex enlists MMA champ to fire up team
By Rich Cimini
In an attempt to motivate his in-fighting football team, Rex Ryan called upon a real fighter -- UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Edgar, a Toms River, N.J., native, was scheduled to deliver a motivational speech Sunday night to the Jets at their team hotel in New Jersey, according to MMAFighting.com. They face the Dolphins Monday night in a critical game at Met Life Stadium.
If this sounds familiar, it's because Ryan enlisted Edgar last November on the eve of a home game against the Texans. In that game, the Jets staged a miraculous victory, scoring in the final seconds. After the game, QB Mark Sanchez raved about Edgar, a fighter known for heart and toughness.
"Just talking about never giving up, being counted out, playing until the end, fighting and believing in yourself, believing in your team and the people around you," Sanchez said after the game. "Those were the only people telling him he could win the fight. Everybody else counted him out."
The bickering Jets (2-3) face a similar theme as they head into Monday night's game. They've lost three straight games, falling short of expectations, and the adversity has caused splintering in the locker room.
Ryan likes to bring in motivational speakers when he sees fit. The best one was former Jets DL Dennis Byrd, who addressed the team before its stunning win over the Patriots in last January's divisional playoffs.