Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Rex Ryan's late hit on Kerry Rhodes
By Mike Sando
Rex Ryan's candor helped make him a finalist this year for the Horrigan Award.
Heck, I voted for him (results are pending).
The award, given annually by the Professional Football Writers of America, honors the non-player who helped the media best do its job the previous season. Few head coaches in recent memory have offered unvarnished assessments as regularly as the New York Jets' colorful leader has done.
That doesn't make everything Ryan says fair, of course, and his broadside shot on Jets-turned-Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes looks like a late hit.
"He was a selfish-ass guy," Ryan wrote in his new book, according to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini. "He wouldn't work and he was a Hollywood type."
Rhodes earned the "Hollywood" label after appearing in movies and doing modeling earlier in his career. He sought to change perceptions last season and made a positive impact. He was the only player in the NFL last season with at least four interceptions and four fumble recoveries. He became the first players in Cardinals history to return fumbles for touchdowns in consecutive games.
"In this league, perception is a big thing," Rhodes told Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic during the season. "When you get labeled in one place you're at -- 'Going Hollywood, he doesn't focus on football, blah, blah, blah,' whatever that may be -- it can stick with you. So, I wanted to come back this year and make sure it didn't stick."
Thanks to Ryan, Rhodes has more work to do along those lines.