Rex Ryan hits new stride with tattoo

Updated: January 4, 2013, 2:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Jets' quarterback controversy has entered uncharted waters -- as crystal clear as they may be.

A vacationing Rex Ryan was spotted and photographed Thursday sporting a tattoo of a woman who appears to be his wife, wearing only a green jersey with Mark Sanchez's No. 6 on it and posing in a way many would say resembles a crouching Tim Tebow.

A shirtless Ryan, sunbathing poolside at the Cove Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, quickly left the scene with his wife after being approached by a reporter.

According to a story in the New York Daily News, Ryan cursed at the reporter while "storming away," but not before an image had been captured of Ryan lying prone with a book in his left hand with the illustration on his other upper arm. Above it is another tattoo of a green shamrock featuring the names of his wife and children.

There was no indication in the report whether the tattoos were permanent, but a person close to Ryan told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini that Ryan's "had it for years." A few people in the Jets' organization have known about it, but not many, the source said. Even some of his assistant coaches apparently didn't know.

Sanchez was drafted by the Jets fifth overall out of USC in 2009, four months after Ryan was hired as coach.

Ryan took the trip to the Bahamas as the Jets prepare to begin interviews with general manager candidates, and with his coaching staff in limbo. Ryan and the assistant coaches had the week off.

Ryan and owner Woody Johnson have come under fire for not being available to discuss the Jets' disappointing season and the firing of general manager Mike Tannenbaum. The team announced Wednesday that Ryan and Johnson will conduct a "season-ending" news conference -- nine days after the season ended.

By waiting that long, the Jets will be in violation of the league's media policy, which states that the coach and a team official must conduct a news conference during the week after the season ends. The NFL will look into the matter, a league spokesman said.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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