Thursday, December 9, 2010
Updated: December 10, 11:36 AM ET
Rex Ryan got trick from Buddy Ryan
By Ian Begley
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Contrary to popular belief, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan didn't lift his ball-burying trick from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He stole it from his dad, Buddy.
Buddy Ryan, then a 25-year-old head coach at Gainesville High School in Texas, pulled the stunt after his Gainesville team suffered a 42-0 loss in 1959.
"It ain't nothin' new," Buddy Ryan said in a phone interview on Thursday afternoon.
Buddy mentioned the buried-ball stunt when he spoke to Rex after the Jets' 45-3 loss to the Patriots on Monday night.
So Rex Ryan took his team out in the cold on Wednesday and buried the ball on the practice field. He credited Buddy for the gimmick on Thursday, who he said probably "stole it from Pop Warner."
The impetus for all of this was the Jets' awful performance against the Patriots during Monday Night Football.
Buddy Ryan, one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history, said on Thursday that the Jets "weren't impressive in any phase of the game."
But, like Rex, Buddy isn't ready to panic.
"It's just one game," he said. "You're never as bad as they say you are and you're never as good as they say you are."
The message from everyone on Thursday -- Rex's dad on down -- was that the Jets' defense needs to forget about the Monday night massacre and turn the page on the Patriots loss with a strong performance on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
"The best thing for us is that it was a short week," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said.
The Jets' defense gave up a season-high 405 yards to the Patriots. The secondary -- minus injured safety Jim Leonhard -- allowed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to torch them for 326 yards and four touchdown passes.
But even after the Monday night meltdown, the Jets' defense still ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (eighth), yards per play (fifth) and rushing yards per game (third).
"Last I checked we were 9-3 and there's still an opportunity for us to accomplish everything that we want," linebacker Bart Scott said. "It's up to everyone else to go crazy, and create a [expletive] storm. We stay the course."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.